iOS 13: Everything you need to know about the new iPhone software update coming at WWDC 2019

Every Apple device in use is about to get a major update, and the iPhone will be chief among them

Andrew Griffin
Wednesday 08 May 2019 15:23 BST
Apple CEO Tim Cook delivers the keynote address at the Apple 2012 World Wide Developers Conference
Apple CEO Tim Cook delivers the keynote address at the Apple 2012 World Wide Developers Conference (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Apple is about to unveil the future of the iPhone.

The company is holding its biggest software event of the year – its Worldwide Developers' Conference – at the beginning of next month.

It will play host to a huge range of announcements: everything from new software for the Apple TV to the possible release of new Macs.

But probably most significant of all will be the unveiling of iOS 13, the new operating system for iPhones and iPads. With the release of that software, most of the phones made by Apple in use will immediately be given new features.

Everything will be fully revealed on 3 June, when Apple brings the world to California and shows off the new software. But plenty has been leaked before then, giving us a look at how the iPhone of the future might look.

Release date

While WWDC will play host to the announcement of the operating system, the schedule for its release isn't ever quite that simple. New versions of iOS are actually in development right through the summer – and even after that, through further updates.

The full version usually arrives at the same time as the new iPhone. That comes some time towards the end of September, and there's no reason to think it'll be any different this year.


Traditionally, the beta is released straight after the announcement concludes. Only developers can download it at first, though there are occasionally ways to get it onto your phone even if it isn't registered.

A few weeks after that, the public beta usually opens. At that point, users can sign up and get their hands on the software – though it can often be buggy, and Apple asks you to provide feedback in return for the early access, it can be an exciting if risky way of getting a look before anybody else.


Many of the features that are said to be coming to the operating system have already been revealed in various leaks. Those rumours suggest that the upgrade could be relatively minor, at least in terms of spectacular features – allowing Apple another year to concentrate on improving stability and performance – but that there will be plenty of smaller upgrades to make using the iPhone and iPad a better experience.

Perhaps the most eye-catching (or eye-resting) of the various updates is the addition of dark mode. That will allow users to invert the colours so that the phone is largely white-on-black, meaning that the screen should be less dazzling and helping to preserve the phone's battery.

Plenty of Apple's own apps will get updates too. Reminders, Screen Time, Mail, Home, Books, Maps and iMessages are all rumoured to be getting small tweaks.

Perhaps the most significant of those will be the Health app, which will be given a more comprehensive "today" feature to allow users to see how their activity more quickly, as well as the addition of hearing health and period tracking capabilities.

The iPad will also get its own upgrades, including changes to how users switch between apps and the option to use two versions of the same app at the same time.

Will we get new iPhones?

WWDC tends not to have a huge number of hardware announcements, and those there are tend to be Macs rather than iPhones. The iPhone gets its own event, in September, and Apple has more than enough going on at each event to blur the two.

But iOS is always a hint at the future of the iPhone and all of the ecosystem around it. The features already rumoured – like the focus on health – is a hint

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