Adam Garrett-Harris

My Favorite iOS 13 Features

January 30, 2020

I wasn’t on iOS 12 long (I got an iPhone in Nov 2018), but here are some of my favorite features.

  • The new volume UI

    Instead of covering a large portion of the screen, it’s now a small unobtrusive bar on the left side of the screen (or the top on iPadOS)

  • Dark mode

    I switched to dark mode immediately and I love how many apps quickly added support for this. A lot of apps have had minor bugs with dark mode where small parts of the app were hard to read or were still light, but most of those have been ironed out by now.

  • Swipe keyboard

    This is something I enjoyed on Android and it’s good to see it on iOS without needing a third-party keyboard. It’s also great that it works on iPad with the smaller keyboard.

  • New Shortcuts syntax

    I absolutely love Shortcuts and the new syntax makes it so much easier. No longer do you have to make so many variables because you can choose the input to actions. And the parameterized actions opens up so many possibilities for third party aids to provide powerful functionality to Shortcuts.

  • New share sheet

    The new share sheet is so much more steam-lined and I love how individual shortcuts show up in the list so you don’t have to select Shortcuts first and then the name of the shortcut.

  • Mouse support

    I love using the iPad Pro with a mouse and keyboard hooked up to a USB-C monitor. It can be a little clunky at times to perform swipe gestures with a mouse, but it’s better than having to reach up and touch the screen, which can get tiring. It’s a bit cumbersome that you have to manually turn this feature on and off. Thankfully, you can do it with Shortcuts, but in the future I would like to see this turn on and off automatically.

  • Gestures for cut/copy/paste/undo/redo

    I had an iPhone for months before discovering how to undo, and while these are not any more discoverable, it’s a lot less awkward than shaking your device.

Most wanted features

We got a lot of new features and improvements from iOS 13 and I’m really pleased with it. Here are a few things I would like to see next.

  • Search in the emoji keyboard

  • Folders in Shortcuts (or some sort of organization)

  • The ability to change the wallpaper with Shortcuts

  • The ability to get the badge number of an app from Shortcuts

  • Shortcuts trigger when power is connected/disconnected

  • The ability to move icons around on the home screen with Shortcuts

    This one is a bit of a stretch, but I could see it being useful to set up different “workspaces” by rearranging the apps in your hone screen based on time of day or location.


Adam Garrett-Harris

Written by Adam Garrett-Harris, host of BookBytes and Web of Tomorrow podcasts. You should follow him on Twitter