Apple announced in a press release that iOS 13 will be available on September 19. Even if you don’t plan to buy a new iPhone, you’ll be able to get a bunch of new features.
But that’s not all. iOS 13 will get its first update, iOS 13.1, just a few days later. That update will be available on
September 30 (Update: iOS 13.1 will now ship on 9/24, we’re told, one week ahead of the previously announced schedule.) Apple had to remove some features of iOS 13.0 at the last minute as they weren’t stable enough, such as Shortcuts automations and the ability to share your ETA in Apple Maps. That’s why iOS 13.1 will be released shortly after iOS 13.
As always, iOS 13 will be available as a free download. If you have an iPhone 6s or later, an iPhone SE or a 7th-generation iPod touch, your device supports iOS 13.
In addition, watchOS 6 will be released on September 19. Unfortunately, Apple won’t release iPadOS 13 until
September 30 September 24th (Update: Apple’s iPadOS page has been changed to say that it’ll be released on September 24th, one week earlier than expected.) And it looks like tvOS 13 will be released on September 30, according to a separate press release.
Here’s a quick rundown of what’s new in iOS 13. This year, in addition to dark mode, it feels like every single app has been improved with some quality-of-life updates. The Photos app features a brand new gallery view with autoplaying live photos and videos, smart curation and a more immersive design.
This version has a big emphasis on privacy, as well, thanks to a new signup option called “Sign in with Apple” and a bunch of privacy popups for Bluetooth and Wi-Fi consent. Apple Maps now features an impressive Google Street View-like feature called Look Around. It’s only available in a handful of cities, but I recommend… looking around, as everything is in 3D.
Many apps have been updated, such as Reminders with a brand new version, Messages with the ability to set a profile picture shared with your contacts, Mail with better text formatting options, Health with menstrual cycle tracking, Files with desktop-like features, Safari with a new website settings menu, etc. Read more on iOS 13 in my separate preview.
On the iPad front, for the first time Apple is calling iOS for the iPad under a new name — iPadOS. Multitasking has been improved, the Apple Pencil should feel snappier, Safari is now as powerful as Safari on macOS and more.