iOS 13: Dark Mode, Updated Design, Smarter Siri

iOS 13 [For representational purpose]
iOS 13 [For representational purpose]

Apple pushes a major iOS update every year along with its new iPhone. Prior to that, the company previews the software at its developers conference in the month of June. With Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) 2019 nearing, we take a look at what the next version of iOS could pack.

The last time iOS’ design was significantly changed was in 2013, making it a six year gap since then. Apple could actually revamp the UI and UX of iOS with its upcoming version, well nothing wrong with the way iOS works now. However, when Apple unveiled the iPhone X without the home button, netizens rushed to question why the company wouldn’t move from the grid of apps.

Not just a coat of paint

Could iOS finally have widgets on the homescreen?

Could iOS finally have widgets on the homescreen?

Could Apple actually change the way iOS works? Maybe but it will definitely be risky because iOS’ grid of apps home screen has been the same since the first version of the same. However, considering the fact that, phones keep getting bigger and bigger, it would be nice if Apple could actually upgrade the UI/UX as well.

Keeping the bigger changes aside, Apple does need to fix some quirks immediately like the volume dialog. The popup volume dialog covers a significant portion of the screen making it difficult to focus on the content; its just very obtrusive. Also, it takes a second or two before it disappears which is further frustrating.

It’s high time that Siri be smarter

Siri could finally be useful

Every year before the WWDC, reports start flooding the internet with news of Apple finally fixing Siri, its virtual voice based assistant. However, it never actually happened, well, Apple does update it every single year but it hasn’t been able to keep up with its competitors. Google Assistant and Amazon’s Alexa are far ahead of Siri and it’s funny because Siri was born first.

Apple did “shake up” its Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning departments which could mean improved Siri. The company hired John Giannandrea from Google to steer its AI/ML efforts and recently made him part of company’s executive team. All of which hint at Apple finally turning serious about AI; Apple’s approach is still unclear as it doesn’t have the data that Google does.

Dark Mode

iOS Dark Mode [For representational purpose]

Moving to rumours and leaks that actually sound legit: iOS 13 is reported to be integrating a system wide “dark mode”. It’s a feature that has been turning popular with many apps and users have been asking for every software to offer the same. Apple unveiled dark mode in macOS last year with its “High Sierra” release and it’s very likely that, it will do the same with iOS.

The default mail app on iOS and Mac has been under fire for a long time now. Users and tech journalists have been ripping it apart for its backwardness. The app is far behind with features when compared to Google’s Gmail app, Microsoft’s Outlook app, and Spark email app (popular among iOS users). For few years now, the “Mail” app upgradation has been on users wishlist; let’s hope it happens this year.

iOS 13 will be unveiled at WWDC

Well, if Apple does actually make big changes to iOS with its 13th release, it very well won’t be pushed to the iPhone 5S, iPhone 6, iPad Mini 2, and the iPad 5. The iPhone SE and the iPhone 6S fall in the middle, they are relatively new but they could also be phased out if the software turns out be demanding. With iOS 12, Apple focused on device stability and support for older devices, it may very well stop there.

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  1. Siri, Siri, Siri…it is definitely my main gripe with iOS/Apple! It’s just been a poor performer for way too long. Forget what Google or Amazon are doing…Siri should be much more advanced and reliable than it currently is. I simply get tired of saying the same phrase 3 times for it to miss simple words and ultimately, me typing in what I want. The unreliability is clearly why I’ve not tried once to use it on our Macs.

    Apple Mail will have to be a major overhaul to beat the likes of Spark, in my opinion. Spark is just a wonderful experience in both iOS and Mac. My only super wish for it is Rules capability. Outlook and Gmail also shine vs. Mail. But I doubt I’ll switch even if Apple does update Mail. At this point, Apple seems content to leave simple designs for its base apps like Mail, Calendar, and Reminders in lieu of the plethora of impressive 3rd party solutions.

    Dark Mode seems a given considering the pseudo solution iOS 12 currently has in Night Mode, as well as dozens of popular apps. Still not sure if I’ll like it 24/7 in iOS, but seems like we’ll certainly have this option in 13.

    In a lot a ways, I’m less excited about new iOS updates than I was with the 3, 7, 9 releases. But that happens with any mature solution (Office, Photoshop, Mac OS), which also explains why people (like me) seem less responsive to update their iPhones when new models are released…my “old” phone seems to just fine!

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