iOS 13 preview: Dark mode, new Desktop mode, and a revamped home screen

iOS 13 is on the way this year and with it comes a lot of new changes. In reality, rumors about iOS 13 have started to heat up for months, hinting at the impressive features coming to Apple’s next mobile operating system.

Apple’s WWDC 2019 is set for June 3 and iOS 13 is expected to shine at the event thanks to its long-awaited features, from an official Dark mode, smarter gestures to better third-party support and smarter Siri. And in the section below, we have rounded up everything we can expect from Apple’s next-generation iOS.

Update: 05/07/19: We have updated the article with more information about iOS 13

First, release date

WWDC is one of the biggest events in the Apple calendar where it showcases new software updates and initiatives. A new version of iOS, of course, will make its debut during the keynote and we have heard that it will be held on Monday, June 3 at the McEnery Convention Center in San Jose, California. That’s the same week of June for the last year’s event.

For some background, San Jose had been Apple’s location of choice in the past for its WWDC, but the keynote was moved to San Francisco for several years. WWDC 2019 will mark the third year in a row that San Jose will host the convention.


Apple’s iOS is highly optimized for a wide range of iPhones. However, that does not mean all iPhones will be able to run iOS 13 at launch. Last year, Apple made waves when it expanded iOS 12 support to iPhone 5s, which was first introduced in 2013.

We have heard that iOS 13 will require an iPhone powered by the A8 chip or newer. That will make the iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPad Air 2, and iPad mini 3 the oldest devices on Apple’s compatibility list.

Also read: iPhone running slow? Try out these tips

At WWDC 2018, Apple claimed that iOS 12 would improve the performance on older devices. The firm used the iPhone 6 as an example on stage and showed us how significantly things improved when it comes to launching applications and accessing the camera.

WWDC 2018

However, we have also heard that iOS 13 will end support for older devices like iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, or iPhone SE. That seems plausible seeing that Apple might launch the second-gen SE later this year.

New iPad features

With iOS 12, Apple poured a lot of love into iPad with the addition of iPhone X-like gestures, redesigned Status Bar, revamped News app, and new Stocks app. A reliable source claimed that iOS 13 will add a slew of big changes to the iPad. One such change lies in a Desktop mode.

In reality, Apple has marketed its iPad Pro lineup as an ideal alternative to laptops on the market. The current iPad Pro uses the A12X Bionic chip for superior performance when it compared to the previous models. Apple claims that the A12X Bionic chip is up to 92% faster than all portable PCs on the market.

Apple scores

I have to admit that it is very powerful and even faster than my 2017 MacBook Pro with Intel’s 7th- generation processor during the Geekbench test. However, the A12X Bionic started to throttle when it comes to rendering or editing videos. That seems plausible seeing that the MacBook Pro is a full laptop with a full desktop OS.

There are rumors that iOS 13 will include support for a cursor. That’s great, isn’t it? To be honest, I’d love to see a cursor with the iPad as it offers a full desktop experience. In reality, I can do a lot more things with mouse and keyboard than with my finger. Plus, adjusting or formatting can be a pain on the iPad as I need to reach up to the screen. Android is now compatible with a mouse, so Apple does not want to get left behind.

Home screen redesign

We have heard that iOS 13 will bring about an overhauled home screen. In reality, we have seen the same layout for years and it’s time for Apple to consider new changes. iOS 12 was initially tipped to include a redesigned home screen, but it was nowhere to be found upon release.

There are rumors that iOS 13’s home screen will include a slew of cool things like the 5-day weather forecast, appointments, and news headlines. This is something we have seen on Android for years, so I cannot see why iOS still lags behind.

homescreen gif

Of course, in Apple fashion, you have a few customization and flexibility. However, Apple has started to open its OS to third-party to developers in recent years. A reliable source says that Apple has been working on a dedicated home screen for its iPad, which suggests that future iPads may feature a bigger screen.

Dark mode

The dark mode is something that’s been demanded for years. Last year, Apple added an official dark mode to macOS Mojave, allowing you to turn everything into darker colors and themes. There is a good chance that Apple will do the same thing this year, building a dark mode directly into the operating system.

Dark mode

To be honest, dark mode is the only Android feature that I am jealous of.  And I am glad to see an official dark mode in macOS Mojave. In reality, iOS includes a secret dark mode called Smart Invert Colors, which only inverts the user interface while things like graphics, images, or app icons remain the same.

Fewer bugs, please

Like any previous iOS releases, iOS 12 focuses on bug fixes and performance boost. However, we still have heard some of the issues iPhone and iPad owners are facing with Apple’s latest iOS version. One serious problem with FaceTime Group that was found in iOS 12 allowed you to eavesdrop people to eavesdrop on your iPhone and Mac without your permission. Luckily, Apple addressed the glitch by disabling FaceTime feature.

As an iPhone user, I am satisfied with what iOS 12 provides, reviving older iPhone models out there. In reality, bugs and glitches are inevitable when a software update comes out. However, I expect better app optimization in iOS 13.

Redesigned Maps

I now rely on Google Maps for navigation. In reality, Apple has its own mapping service called Apple Maps, which gets better every year. However, it still lacks some important features that make Google Maps more capable.

Apple Maps is the only competing product that challenges Google Maps out there. So, I’d love to see a revamped Apple Maps this year. One major problem with Apple Maps lies in map data. Indeed, Google Maps will display more accurate data when it comes to the locations of businesses.

Another weakness of Apple Maps is that it does not allow users to download maps for offline use, which is one of the highlights of Google Maps.

Apple Maps is one of the best mapping apps out there thanks to its intuitive user interface and attractive design language. However, it still lacks some things to make it a perfect Google Maps alternative.


iOS 13 preview

Release date June 3 (WWDC event)
Features New iPad Desktop mode and cursor support

Official dark mode

Smarter Siri support

CarPlay improvements with more customization options

Redesigned Maps app (offline download support, better transit data)

Better iMessage

Always-on display

Third-party apps support in Control Center

iPad features coming to iPhone

Home screen Overhauled home screen with redesigned app icons

Smarter multitasking for iPad

Improved Files app for iPad

Others Fewer bugs and glitches.

iOS 13 release is still a few months away, but Apple’s next-generation OS seems to be a big update this year. As we are now so close to WWDC, we expect to hear more leaks on Apple’s upcoming mobile operating system. We will keep you updated with the latest news when they pop up.

Any questions? Let us know in the comments below.

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