Apple iOS 13

Apple recently released a beefy new update – iOS 13 – and I’ve been playing around with it on my iPhone Xr all week.

This one’s packed with new features, some of which are fun, others not as easy to opt out of (Share Sheet quick options, I’m looking at you!), but a few stand out for me when it comes to privacy, photo enhancements and websites/apps secure sign-ins.

iOS 13 Photos by Day iOS 13 Adjust Exposure
[iOS 13 Photos by Day, iOS 13 Adjust Exposure]


Apple updated photo edit tools in a big way. The new look and layout of the tools has changed but it’s worth getting used to. The Edit button still lives in the top-right corner; selecting it opens the default edit tool to choose auto adjustments, but now you can scroll to change a photo’s brightness, brilliance, noise reduction, definition and a lot more.

iOS 13 Adjust Brilliance Noise Reduction

Moving the line of bars below the any of those options to the left or right numerically adds the amount of that feature into the photo. Haptic touch adds a tactical experience here as well.

The crop tool can now adjust a photo’s perspective, which means you can adjust the viewing angle of the photo both horizontally and vertically. There’s also some great video editing features that have been added to iOS 13.

Mac Mail Formatting Mac Notes formatting


Not only are the icons at the bottom of the Notes app bolder, but when you either create or copy and paste text into a new note, you’ll automatically get a bold title on top! I love this feature as in the past I’ve written in notes and have had to manually add a title and then make it bold to stand out from the body of the note.

I also dig the new Gallery view in Notes now that Apple has included dates below the title of each note. For me, this is way handier than the list view (also still an option).

Another great little Notes feature: you can now double-tap to highlight a sentence and triple-tap to highlight an entire paragraph.

As in Mail, you can also format text in Notes, including adding numbered lists and indents. And Mail allows for custom fonts, something I can appreciate being a designer.

Sign In with Apple

Sign In with Apple

Apple in iOS 13 introduced a new Sign in with Apple feature that lets you create accounts for apps and websites using your Apple ID so there’s no need to give away your personal details. It’s an alternative to the current sign in with Google and Facebook options offered by various apps and websites.

Sign In with Apple not only protects your privacy but allows you to mask your email address.

Sign In with Apple

If an app you’re using supports Sign in with Apple, the Continue with Apple option is shown when asked to create a new account. With this new feature, you can either provide developers and websites with your real email address, or use a hidden one (assigned by Apple) that gets forwarded to incoming correspondence to your real email address.

As for your real address, you can use any email associated with your Apple ID. Websites will still request your Apple ID to log in, but the authentication process now gets handled by a separate window (done by Apple) so that site never sees your Apple ID.

Your Sign in with Apple logins are protected via Face ID, Touch ID and passcode options, making you the only one that can sign into your accounts.

Apple stores an on-device list of all of apps and websites you’ve used Sign in with Apple. To use the option, open Settings, tap on your profile, select Password & Security, and tap on the “Apps Using Your Apple ID” option.

Silence Unknown Callers

Silence Unknown Callers

Via this option, unrecognized calls now get sent straight to voice mail and you won’t hear the phone ring. An awesome new feature for when the telemarketers come around with their spammy calls!

The system looks at any cases of that particular number having been previously used in emails, notes, etc. to potentially detect if the caller is legit – or has been at one time on your phone.

Live Transit Live Transit Notification Center

Live Public Transit Routes, Departures and Arrivals

Getting ready to head out on public transit has gotten a boost with Apple’s iOS 13 live transit details! Along with departure and arrival times, you can also see what transit lines are closest to you, as well as outages, early arrivals/delays and cancellations. I keep the transit departure widget right in the notification center.

This will save everyone here so much time as Translink no longer has an app to live update your route schedule, unless you type in the URL and go to the Next Bus option.

Phone location Sharing Location

And a Few More…

Luckily I haven’t yet lost an iPhone, but Offline Find My iPhone could potentially become a fave down the road!

You no longer need to have a signal for your iPhone to be found. Apple will “crowdsource” it for you, meaning that any other connected Apple devices nearby will spot the lost phone and send it to Apple’s servers – all encrypted, of course.

Memoji Stickers Memoji Stickers

Fun new visual features include Memoji Stickers, the customizable, system-wide Dark Mode color scheme, and something we are really looking forward to: Look Around, coming to Maps! You’ll soon be able to get a visual boost whenever you look up an address (in select US cities): a high-res, interactive 3D view that pans around 360 degrees and moves down the street to show what’s around.

Look Around, in Maps
[Look Around, in Maps]

When launching Maps, check to see if there’s a binoculars icon in the exact location of your map. If so, tap on it to get a street-level view (in a card overlay) at the top of your screen.

Look Around, in Maps

Note: If Look Around isn’t yet supported in your chosen location, you’re still able to search for locations that support it, via searching for a city, then finding a Look Around icon in the resulting overlay. I imagine it will compare to Google Street View, but promises to be smoother and more fluid than its competitor.

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