Apple’s iOS 13 update is official and today we want to take you through everything we know, and think we know, about iOS 13’s successor.
Apple is still hard at work improving iOS 12. The company recently released iOS 12.3.1 and iOS 12.3.2 bug fix updates and the company is planning to release iOS 12.4, another milestone update, this summer.
The iOS 12.4 release is on the horizon, but many of you probably have your eyes on iOS 12’s successor. Apple’s iOS 13 upgrade is confirmed and the company outlined a number of key details on stage during its WWDC 2019 keynote.
We don’t have the full picture yet, but we have enough to provide you with a broad outline of the key components which include the iOS 13 beta, the iOS 13 release date, the devices getting iOS 13, and the update’s features.
iOS 13 Beta
Apple’s beta programs give developers and average users a chance to test out new features ahead of time. They also helps the company weed out bugs and performance issues before software updates hit millions of users around the world.
Apple’s released the first versions of the iOS 13 beta. The beta is currently available to those enrolled in its developer program and the Beta Software Program. Trying the developer beta costs money, but the Beta Software Program is free.
The iOS 13 beta is compatible with most iPhone models, a list that includes the iPhone XS, iPhone 8, iPhone 7, and many others.
Before you download the iOS 13 beta onto your device, remember that pre-release software is plagued with bugs and performance issues. These issues could impact the performance of your core apps, your device’s battery life, and its overall speed.
You should be able to fix some of these issues on your own, but some bugs and performance problems will require a fix from Apple in a future beta.
Apple is currently on iOS 13 beta 3 and we’ll see more beta releases throughout the summer.
The company will likely release new iOS 13 betas for developers, and those in the Beta Software Program, around 10AM Pacific. The company typically releases new beta updates every 1-2 weeks.
For more about the iOS 13 beta, take a look at our guide.
iOS 13 Release Date
The iOS 13 beta will stretch over several months culminating with a release sometime in the fall after the 2019 iPhone launch event.
We don’t have a specific date to share with you at the moment, but odds are good that iOS 13 launches sometime in September for compatible devices.
September is a key month in Apple’s annual release cycle and it’s usually when the company pulls its new iOS software out of beta and releases it for millions of phones and tablets around the earth. And as of right now, it doesn’t look like Apple will deviate from that protocol in 2019.
2019 iPhone rumors are pointing to a release this fall and September is the month Apple typically uses to announce and sell its new iPhones.
iOS 13 will likely make another appearance on stage during the iPhone launch event, this time in official form. Apple will then set a final date for its release.
iOS release dates typically fall between the iPhone media event and the iPhone’s in-store release date.
New iPhones run the latest iOS software out of the box which means the 2019 iPhones will run iOS 13, not iOS 12, when they arrive later this year.
In addition to iOS 13, Apple’s 2019 iPhones are rumored to have new cameras, design changes, improved LTE and Wi-Fi, and battery life improvements.
Which Devices Will Get iOS 13?
Last year, Apple bumped all iOS 11-powered devices to iOS 12. This was a big deal because it meant an additional year of support for fossils like the iPhone 5s and iPad mini 2. Apple typically kills off support at the four year mark, but the decision gave a fifth year of life to these aging devices.
iOS 12 and its performance enhancements virtually transformed these devices overnight. Phones and tablets that were struggling on iOS 11 blossomed on iOS 12.
Before we get to the devices getting iOS 13, we should note that Apple’s announced a new operating system for iPad called iPadOS. That’s right, iOS is now exclusive to the iPhone.
So if you own an iPad, you’ll get an iPadOS 13 update instead of the iOS 13 update. You’ll also need to download the iPadOS 13 beta if you want to use these features ahead of time.
As for iOS 13, here are the phones getting upgraded to the official version later this year. These are also the devices that are compatible with the iOS 13 beta:
- iPhone XS
- iPhone XS Max
- iPhone XR
- iPhone X
- iPhone 8
- iPhone 8 Plus
- iPhone 7
- iPhone 7 Plus
- iPhone 6s
- iPhone 6s Plus
- iPhone SE
Apple has declined to offer support for the iPhone 5s, iPhone 6, and iPhone 6 Plus which means those devices will stay put on iOS 12.4.
iOS 13 Features
There are a ton of new features coming to iPhone in the iOS 13 update including Dark Mode, a new swipe keyboard called Quick Path, Low Data Mode, performance upgrades, and more.
Apple’s also made some huge performance enhancements to iOS 13. Downloads are 50 percent smaller, Face ID is now 30 percent faster, updates are 60 percent smaller, and apps launch twice as fast as they do on iOS 12.
It’s important to remember that iOS 13’s feature set right now might be different from the feature set in September. Apple often adds and subtracts features based on their performance in testing. Features that go missing are often added back in milestone upgrades (iOS 13.1, etc) later on in the development cycle.
Speaking of iOS 13.1, there’s a good chance Apple uses the first iOS 13 milestone upgrade to deliver Unicode 12’s new emoji characters.
To celebrate World Emoji Day, Apple’s previewed the emoji characters coming to compatible iPhone models in the fall. The update includes a new smiley face for yawning, a one-piece swimsuit, waffle, falafel, butter and garlic, and new animals like the sloth, flamingo, orangutan and skunk.
The new emojis aren’t available in the iOS 13 beta and we expect Apple to bring them to the iPhone inside of a x.x milestone software update later this year.
For more on iOS 13’s features, please take a look at our guide.
Install the Beta to Help Improve Apple Improve iOS 13
While trying new features is certainly exciting, remember that you're also helping Apple squash issues before they reach millions of iOS users around the world.
Your testing could help the company discover a nasty bug or performance problem ahead of the final release later this year.
If you're sick of dealing with issues or sick of hearing friends and family complain about problems, think about giving the iOS 13 beta a try.
If you decide to download the iOS 13 beta and find an issue on board, make sure you report it to Apple. This way, engineers can work on a permanent fix.
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