iOS 13: Dark Mode, detachable panels, Safari and Mail upgrades, undo gesture, volume HUD, more – 9to5Mac


Apple is expected to unveil iOS 13, the next major version of the iPhone and iPad operating system, at its annual Worldwide Developers Conference, which kicks off on June 3rd. Now, people familiar with the development of the operating system have shared exclusive details with 9to5Mac. Read on for new details about what to expect.

Dark Mode and Multitasking

First, the long-awaited Dark Mode is finally coming to the iPhone and iPad with iOS 13. There will be a system-wide Dark Mode that can be enabled in Settings, including a high contrast version, similar to what’s already available on macOS. Speaking of macOS, iPad apps that run on the Mac using Marzipan will finally take advantage of the Dark Mode support on both systems.

There are many changes coming to iPad with iOS 13, including the ability 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.

These cards can also be stacked on top of each other, and use a depth effect to indicate which cards are on top and which are on the bottom. Cards can be flung away to dismiss them.

Undo gesture, Safari improvements, and font management

Another thing many iOS users complain about is the lack of a standard undo system, which on the iPhone and iPad currently requires physically shaking the device.

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With iOS 13, Apple is introducing a new standard undo gesture for text input on the iPad. The gesture starts as a three-finger tap on the keyboard area, sliding left and right allows the user to undo and redo actions interactively.

There will be a tutorial the first time the keyboard is opened to teach users how to use the new feature. It’s possible that developers will be able to adopt this interaction in custom controls through a public API.

Safari on iOS 13 for the iPad will automatically ask for a desktop version of websites when necessary, preventing a common issue where 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.

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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.

Thanks to Steve Troughton-Smith for his help with this report.


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