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IPhone: iOS 13 preview: Shaping up to be a huge update


Odds and ends

Like every other release before it, iOS 13 is also packed with features that, while quite helpful, don’t really require too many words to dissect. Here’s a not-quite-comprehensive list of the ones that have stood out during my first few days testing the beta build.

Improved Memoji: If you’re the kind of person who insists your Memoji look just like you, iOS 13 is your friend. There are more customization options, from piercings to editable makeup to new hairstyles (30 of them, to be precise). You can now also make Memoji stickers to share with people via Messages.

QuickPath: Apple finally built swipe-to-type functionality into the iOS keyboard. (For those who don’t know, people have been doing this on other smartphones for nearly a decade now.) I hate the name, but it works exactly the way you’d expect to.

iPhone: iOS 13

Easier access to Emoji: While we’re talking about Apple’s keyboard, there’s finally a separate button that lets you drop in those much-needed emoji, not to mention any Memoji stickers you’ve created. I’ve always hated having to tap the globe icon multiple times to switch keyboards. This little tweak has already saved me a lot of frustration.

A better share sheet: When it’s time to share a photo or a file with someone, the new sharing interface offers a handful of suggested contacts. It might not sound like a big improvement, but it’s a subtle change that makes it hard to go back to iOS 12.

Local file support: This is arguably more important for iPads, but you can now save files directly onto your iPhone and manage them using the improved Files app. Frankly, I had given up hope that Apple would ever allow this, so consider me pleasantly surprised.

Silencing unknown callers: This exists in the Phone app’s settings, and it’ll send phone calls from people who aren’t in your Contacts, Mail and Messages apps straight to voicemail. It took a while to find the setting, but it seems to have helped; looking at my missed calls list, several numbers appear that (I’m fairly sure, at least) didn’t cause my phone to ring. I’ll need to test this further, but it could be a huge help in mitigating robocalls.

Xbox/PS4 controller support: I’ve successfully synced both of these controllers to an iPhone XR and an iPad Pro without any fuss. They make for probably the best mobile Fortnite experience you’ll find but sadly, the list of great iOS games with full controller support is fairly short.


I’ve only been testing the iOS 13 beta for a few days, but I’m impressed by all of the fixes and features Apple packed in here; these tweaks go a long way in making an already solid mobile OS feel that much more complete and capable. That said, I’ve only really begun to scratch the surface; between improvements to Apple’s vision for augmented reality, updates to Siri and a

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