Apple recently took the stage at WWDC to unveil iOS 13, the latest version of its iPhone operating system. With the unveiling, it also announced a multitude of features coming to iOS, some of which have us really excited.
But through the fanfare, there were some features that Apple failed to add. Some of these features we've been waiting years for Apple to introduce. Nevertheless, it's clear iOS still has a long way to go.
Always On display
Android pioneered the Always On display and continues to refine the feature, but iOS is still not jumping on the Always On display boat. This is even more confounding considering it added OLED displays to the iPhone, which is the perfect canvas for an Always On feature. Unfortunately, we did not get it with iOS 13. Maybe a later update to iOS 13 could see the feature added.
Home screen customization
Since the announcement of iOS, or iPhoneOS, back in 2007, the iPhone has featured the same static home screen. And even as calls intensified for customization via better widget integration, Apple stood steadfast in its support for the boring home screen. We have to give it credit for changing things up with iPadOS and pinned widgets, but that feature is not available for the iPhone.
While on the topic of customization, system-wide customization is also missing from iOS 13. You can't change the accent colors of the apps, the system font, or even the shape of the icons. It's still the same rounded square icons we've had since the beginning of iOS. Apple really doesn't want users to tinker with how iOS looks.
Split screen view
Split screen view has been available on the iPad for a few years, but it has never made its way to the iPhone. Apple argues that the display is too small and the feature is too niche, which is understandable, but it could at least be useable on the bigger iPhone XS Max display. That would give the bigger iPhone an even bigger selling point.
Night mode for camera
This one is probably on hold for the next major iPhone coming in the fall, but seeing as Google can roll out this feature through software updates, we think Apple should have introduced the feature with iOS 13. Apple is lagging behind with a true night mode for its camera, which has become a huge selling point for Google's Pixel line.
Truly improved Siri
Apple did improve Siri with iOS 13, including adding a whole new voice, but let's be honest, Siri didn't really change that much. We say that because Apple's voice assistant hasn't really improved over the past few years. It has been falling behind Google Assistant and Alexa for a while now and the incremental updates we suspect iOS 13 adds aren't going to elevate Siri to that next level.
Default third party apps
iOS 13 is yet the latest update in which Apple does not allow users to change default apps. The iPhone has Safari, Notes, Calendar and Maps, but there are plenty of third party apps that are much better. If you want to use third party apps, you still have to jump through a bunch of hoops to get the best experience.
True use for 3D Touch
Apple failed yet again to truly find a use for 3D Touch, its pressure sensitive feature on iPhones that lets you access hidden actions. Apple is likely planning to get rid of the feature with the next iPhone. We were hoping iOS 13 would be one last hoorah for the feature, but given its lack of updates, we don't expect it to be around in future iPhones.
Third party apps in Control Center
Control Center has come a long way since its introduction, but there is still one feature missing: access to third party apps. You can add custom controls that work within iOS's core services, but not third-party controls. This means no access to some of the more popular apps via Apple's always-there panel that serves as a shortcut to many functions.
Better first party wallpapers
We'll give Apple credit because it's getting better with its wallpapers, especially the new ones that work with Dark Mode, but they are not overwhelming. Aside from a few new ones, Apple has failed to add a robust offering of wallpapers. We'd at least take the ability to retain older iOS wallpapers that Apple annually discontinues.
- Here's everything you need to know about iOS 13
- 10 awesome iOS 13 features Apple didn't talk about
- 10 great features iOS 13 stole from Android