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Apple unveils iOS 13 features at WWDC 2019: Dark mode, swipe typing, privacy and performance boosts come to the iOS 13 beta

Apple unveils new features and big improvements to the iPhone operating system with the launch of iOS 13 beta

 Surprising precisely nobody, Apple used a major part of its WWDC 2019 keynote to discuss the latest version of the iPhone’s operating system: iOS 13.
Apple’s Craig Federighi introduced “a huge release, packed with lots of capabilities,” led by a new Dark Mode that moves away from Apple’s traditional light colour scheme and gives everything a black hue that’s easier on battery and on the eyes.

Buried in this section and barely getting a full sentence of its own was the news that iOS 13’s keyboard will now be adopting its own form of swipe typing, called “Quick Path.” As someone who hasn’t bought an iPhone in years, in part down to the lack of first-party swipe support, this feels like it deserved a bigger cheer for me.

READ NEXT: iOS 13 release date 

What did get a huge cheer was the speed increases Federighi says iOS 13 manages. Claiming the development team has carried out a thorough audit of iOS to look for optimisations, the numbers sound impressive. The iPhone running iOS 13 will be up to twice as fast at launching apps, and app downloads should be reduced by 50%. For those of you with Face ID, Apple is promising a 30% boost in unlocking as well with iOS 13.
Some of Apple’s core apps have had solid improvements, too. Safari gets preferences for individual websites, Mail gets better formatting options including rich fonts, and Reminders has been completely reworked, with the app intelligently guessing at what you might want reminding of.
Perhaps the biggest cheer was reserved for a privacy innovation, however. Apple has an alternative to the ‘log in with Facebook’ or ‘sign in with Google’ widgets you see on websites. Tapping to ‘Sign in with Apple’ will have the convenience “without all the tracking.” It uses Face ID and creates an account “without revealing any personal information.” If you want to hide your email address, Apple will generate one for you, forwarding anything sent to it on to you. If you’re fed up with the contact, you can remove this unique throwaway address at any time, as every app or website gets its own fake address.

Introducing Federighi, CEO Tim Cook highlighted why Apple is making such a big deal of the new innovations. The current version of the operating system – iOS 12 – is currently installed on 85% of handsets worldwide. This “industry leading” figure compares favourably to “those other guys.” That’s Google: Android 9 Pie is stuck on 10% adoption, according to Apple’s stats.

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