Apple launches iOS 13 public beta: 10 reasons to get the software now if you're feeling brave

Edward C. Baig


Published 4:29 PM EDT Jun 25, 2019

Apple will unveil new iPhones in September, assuming the company sticks to its usual playbook. The fall timeframe is also when Apple officially releases the latest flavor of iOS, the software that will not only be at the core of whatever new handsets Apple introduces, but that will also add fresh features to the iPhones already out in the wild, likely including the phone in your pocket.

iOS 13 is compatible with models dating back to the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus that were released in 2015.

If you want to get a head start on the latest software, Apple on Monday unleashed the public beta of iOS 13 available to anyone willing to assume the risks the come with beta software.

The usual caveats apply: Prerelease beta software is considered a beta for a reason, so I wouldnt recommend installing the software on the device you count on daily.

Beta software may be buggy and new features may not be finished yet. And not all the apps you currently use may work at this early stage.

(If you have an iPad, the same admonitions apply to the public beta of iPadOS, the newly spun-off software for Apples tablet, that was also made available Monday).

If youre willing to proceed anyway, enroll your current device with Apple at and back the phone up inside iTunes so that you can restore it to its former state should anything major go wrong.

Apple says there are more than 300 new features built into iOS 13, some of which were highlighted during the company's Worldwide Developers Conference earlier this month.

Here are 10 of the features that grabbed my attention.

Dark Mode

This is all about aesthetics. The new dark motif, which Apple is also opening up to third-party developers, is said to be easier on the eyes in a low-light environment. If you dont think so or prefer things the way they are, you can stick with the status quo. You can also schedule Dark Mode to turn on during sunset or some other designated time.

Sign in with Apple

This is Apples answer to the familiar "Sign in with Google" or "Sign in with Facebook" methods to log into certain apps and services via Apple's rivals, which Apple will tell you comes with privacy risks.

Tracked by Google: Check your settings if you don't want Google tracking every move

Apple claims signing into participating sites through its upcoming method instead provides better privacy safeguards. Apple says it wont track you or build a profile based on your activity. Developers can only request your name and email address. That email address can be anonymized too. If so, the contents you need or want to see will be forwarded to your actual address.

Apple requires developers with an app in the App Store or who use a third-party log-in to offer the "Sign in with Apple" option.

Redesigned Photos app

This feature is largely about aesthetics, too, though it is also meant to make it easier for you to find pictures you want to see. That appears to be the case.

The Photos tab is organized into separate Years, Months, Days and All Photos views.

The Years view is contextual, meaning youll see events from years past tied to the current date. And if the date in question happens to be the birthdate of someone in your People album, past photos of the person will be highlighted on the day.

Your photos library will be livelier, too, with videos and Live Photos – that's the feature where you'll see a few snippets of video at the start and close of a still photo – playing silently in small windows behind you.

Video editing

With iOS 13, Apple will let you apply many of the same tools you use to edit photos to do the same with videos. For instance, you'll be able to rotate and crop videos, and apply various filters.

Apple Maps

Apple's Maps app has had a poor reputation compared to Google Maps. As it plays catchup to Google, Apple is, indeed, beefing up its own app, all for the better. One way is t

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