Apple’s iOS 13 update is official and today we want to take you through everything we know, and think we know, about the upcoming operating system.
Apple is still hard at work improving iOS 12. The company recently released iOS 12.4.1 for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. iOS 12.4.1 brings an important security patch.
iOS 12.4.1 might be the last version of iOS 12 and suspect a lot of you have your eyes on iOS 12’s successor. We don’t have the full picture yet, but we have enough to provide you with a broad outline of the iOS 13 update’s key components which include the beta, the release date, the devices getting iOS 13, and the update’s features.
In this guide we’ll take you through all of those as we push toward the official iOS 13 release for iPhone.
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.
The iOS 13 update is currently in beta testing and it’s 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 including the iPhone XS, iPhone X, iPhone 8, iPhone 7, iPhone 6s and 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 8 for developers and iOS 13 beta 7 for the general public. The company could choose to release more betas before the final version arrives in the fall.
Apple generally pushes new iOS 13 betas to developers, and those in the Beta Software Program, around 10AM Pacific. It 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 shortly after the 2019 iPhone launch event.
Apple’s confirmed the 2019 iPhone launch for September 10th. There, the company will take the stage and showcase its new fall hardware.
iOS 13 should make an appearance alongside the new iPhone models and we should also get a firm iOS 13 release date during the show.
The 2019 iPhone release date is currently rumored for September 20th. If true, it means the iOS 13 release date will fall somewhere between the 10th and 20th.
Apple tends to release new software on Monday or Tuesday so don’t be surprised if the release date falls on September 16th or September 17th.
New iPhones always 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.
Will My iPhone 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. 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 likely stay put on iOS 12.4.1.
iOS 13 Update: What’s New
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 later on in the development cycle.
Speaking of milestone upgrades, Apple’s already confirmed iOS 13.1 and the software is in beta testing ahead of an unknown release date.
The current version of iOS 13.1 includes some features that Apple removed from the iOS 13 beta in the months since WWDC 2019. Unfortunately, the first version iOS 13.1 doesn’t include new emojis.
To celebrate World Emoji Day, Apple previewed the emoji characters coming to compatible iPhone models in the fall.
The Unicode 13.0 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 or the iOS 13.1 beta though 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.
iOS 13 Jailbreak
Earlier this year jailbreak developers teased an iOS 13 jailbreak. Unfortunately, we haven’t seen a public release and probably won’t see one until well after iOS 13’s launch in September.
That said, if you’re interested in jailbreaking your device, you’ll want to keep an eye out for iOS 13 jailbreak news as we push away from the official release.
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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