Apple is expected to launch iOS 13, the next major update for the iPhone and iPad operating system, at it’s annual Worldwide Developers Conference, which kicks off at June 3rd. Now, people familiar with the development of the operating system have unveiled some information that we like to share.
Dark Mode and Multitasking
Firstly, the long-awaited Dark Mode is finally coming to the iPhone and iPad with iOS 13. There will specifically be an option in the Settings, including a high contrast version, similar to the macOS one. As for the mac, iPad apps that run on the Mac using Marzipan will finally take advantage of the Dark Mode support on both systems.
Many changes come to the iPad as well, including the abolity for apps to have multiple windows. Each window will also be able to contain sheets that are initially attached to a portion of the screen, but can be detached with a drag gesture, becoming a card that can be moved around freely, similar to what an open-source project called “Panelkit” could do.
Undo gesture, Safari improvements and font management
Another thing coming to the new iOS is the undo system, which on the iPhone and iPad currently requires physically shaking the device.
With iOS 13, the user will be able to use a gesture to undo or redo his text. The gesture starts with a three-finger tap on the keyboard area, sliding left will undo and right will redo the text and actions, generally.
A tutorial will be available the first time the user opens it to teach them how to use the new feature. It may be possible this feature to be included for developers in custom controls through a public API.
Safari on iOS 13 in iPad will ask for a desktop version of websites when necessary, preventing a common issue when websites will render their iPhone version even when running on an iPad with a big screen. YouTube is notorious for this behavior, forcing users to rely on a “Request Desktop Site” button.
Font management is getting a major upgrade on iOS 13. It will not be necessary to install a profile to get new fonts into the system anymore. Instead there will be a new font management panel in Settings. A new standard font picker component will be available for developers and the system will notify the user when they open a document that has missing fonts.
Smarter Mail, improved multiple item selection, more
The Mail app is getting smarter for the first time in a while: the upgraded app will be able to organize messages into categories such as marketing, purchases, travel, “not important” and more, with the categories being searchable. Users will also be able to add messages to a “read later” queue similar to third-party email apps.
Engineers are also working on bringing easy collaboration to third-party document-based apps, similar to what’s already available in Apple’s own productivity apps including Pages, Numbers and Keynote.
The focus on productivity on iOS continues with the inclusion of new gestures to allow for the selection of multiple items in table views and collection views, which make up for most of the user interfaces found in apps that list large amounts of data. Users will be able to drag with multiple fingers on a list or collection of items to draw a selection, similar to clicking and dragging in Finder on the Mac.
There will also be the ability for developers to use a different status bar style (light or dark) for each side of a Split View (side-by-side apps), which should prevent issues that currently happen in some apps where the status bar will lack contrast with the background in one side of the split view. Split Views on Marzipan apps based on iPad designs that run on the Mac will get the ability to be resized by dragging the divider and have their position reset when double-clicking the divider, like existing Split View apps on the Mac.
New Volume HUD and other changes
Other features to come with iOS 13 include a redesigned Reminders app, which is also coming to the Mac, a new volume HUD (the current obtrusive one has been a UI joke for a while now), better “Hey Siri” rejection for common mistaken noises such as laughter and crying babies, better multilingual support for keyboards and dictation, and expanded in-app printing controls.