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Apple iOS, iPadOS and watchOS 2019 updates

Part 2 in the series about the updates to Apple software coming in Autumn 2019

Apple iOS, iPadOS and watchOS

Following on from yesterday’s post about the Apple software updates coming in the Autumn. This post will focus on Apple iOS, iPadOS and watchOS updates.

If you haven’t read the first in the series, go read it first. The post covers the app updates that will be rolled out across all operating systems. 

It includes info on the updates for Photos, Reminders, Notes, Safari, Screen Time and Mail. All of these updates will be available across all devices that run them.

This post will be looking at the upcoming updates for iOS, iPadOS and watchOS.

As with yesterday’s post, I’ll cover the relevant bits as best as I can. Apple haven’t yet released any of their operating systems to the beta programme. 

Once they’re released I’ll get them set-up and give you a full rundown of the features in more detail.

The sections of this post are:

iOS 13

Apple really DGF when it comes to superstition about numbers. They’re more interested in security & privacy, thankfully.

In keeping with their approach of improving what’s already in use rather than innovating new things, this flows with iOS13. There aren’t many new *things* that you’ll find in the latest update.

All of the updates I’m listing for iOS13 will also apply to iPadOS.

Dark Mode

What’s to say? Dark mode, on iOS. It was rolled out on macOS last year. Which would be great but not every product supports it so there’s a bit of a disconnect.

Native iOS apps will have a dark mode option, but non-native apps won’t all support it. It does help your eyes, but switching between the two can be quite jarring.


I’ve already said that they’re going to use machine learning to Marie Kondo(ish) your images. Showing you the ones that it thinks sparks joy. Check out yesterday’s post for more details.

Apple have announced they’ve tweaked the portrait photo mode to add more features to it. You can now adjust how the photo is taken in more detail. To make you look like you’re in a photographers studio. I’d like to add that it doesn’t turn you into a photoshop touch-up pro, which is generally how these images look shit hot.


They’ve redesigned editing to give you more features and the ability to edit film on the iPhone (or iPad). This got a ton of whoops from the crowd. With any luck it should be easy enough to do to make a difference to those clueless editing n00bs (me).


Yesterday’s post I covered logging in using AppleID so I’m not going to cover that today.

What I will cover is that they’re introducing camera storage that has security and privacy built in.

There has been a lot of concern about camera footage from internet of things devices being uploaded to servers. A lot of the time it’s only after the devices have come out that we find out by accident that the manufacturers are taking our footage.

Any internet of things camera devices that are connected to its HomeKit service will be protected. That means your videos will be stored in iCloud using end-to-end encryption. This is also free storage and won’t count against your storage plan.


Given their history with Maps you’d expect any update relating to this to be slightly laughable. Yet, they’ve taken their first release failing to heart and upped the ante.

They’re in direct competition with Google (or Bing at a push) for shit hot map technology. That said, they do appear to be challenging the status quo with it.

The new map has seen them map over 4million miles to rebuild the map from the ground up. They’ve introduced 3D mapping and you can get their version of street view within the app on iOS.

What they haven’t said is whether they’ve mapped all countries. It looks like only the US has been done so far.

Additional features include Favourite locations (handy – it’s one thing I think Google sucks at here).

Collections is also new, so if you want to plan a trip you can create a collection of locations you’d like to go to. I can see this will be handy if you’re the kind of person who has a lot of business meetings all over the place in one day.


Siri has a new voice. They’ve introduced neural text-to-speech and the difference when you hear it is noticeable. I don’t know if they’ve fixed the issues recently highlighted about voice assistants being sexist.

With Siri you can now learn the voices of family members using HomePod. They demoed this and showed that each family member will get unique recommendations based upon their preferences. So when you ask Siri to play a themed playlist, the music should be tailored to the individual requesting it. Which naturally means the dog will now play “who let the dogs out” on repeat.


If you own a set of AirPods, Siri can now read out your messages to you as they come in. You can also reply on the fly to them. All of this without picking up the phone. Handy, if you own a set that is.

Share music between two people

Fancy sharing music you’re listening to with someone else? You’ll also be able to do that, as long as they’re both using AirPods. Which is naturally awesome, if you have someone to share music with, and you both have AirPods. Wonder if Apple can help me with that? Hey Siri….

Memoji & Messages

Memoji has the ability to create all kinds of looks for your floating head. Has anyone actually managed to make one that looks remotely like them? Does anyone actually use them? Well, anyone over the age of Millenial that is?!?

Anyway, you can now use them as stickers and put them in Messages and Mail. They’re also talking about 3rd party app integration. Probably WhatsApp, possibly, maybe.


Apple have been doing some tinkering under the hood to make iOS faster across devices. 

It will be a lot easier for you to unlock the screen using FaceID (up to 30% faster).

They’re also shrinking app size for faster download and opening rates.

And another thing...

Mail will have rich text formatting options so you can create professional looking emails from your phone.

Health App will give you more personalised features (skip to the watchOS updates for something women have wanted since they introduced it).

Handoff to HomePod is the thing that has me the most excited.  You will be able to handoff whatever you’re listening to directly to your HomePod. I hope this is easier than it is currently. 


iOS 13 will be compatible with the following devices:

  • iPhone Xs
  • iPhone Xs Max
  • iPhone Xr
  • iPhone X
  • iPhone 8
  • iPhone 8 Plus
  • iPhone 7
  • iPhone 7 Plus
  • iPhone 6s
  • iPhone 6s Plus
  • iPhone SE
  • iPod Touch (7th Generation)


Wait, What the? 

Yup, you heard that right, they’re launching an OS specifically for the iPad. It’s like they’ve genetically spliced macOS and iOS to create a love child. It makes a lot of sense to give the device more features.

Apple have given the iPad more multitasking and multi-touch features. They’ve also introduced something called Sidecar – which will allow you to use an iPad and a Mac together.  To find out more about Sidecar, have a read about it in part 3 of this series.

Slide Over & Split View

They’re making this more intuitive, apparently. Which is good, because I had to Google how to use it. I really should start using this more frequently and let you know why it might be useful.

Something they’re introducing that is useful, is working across the same app in two screens.

This is something I use this ALL the time on my iMac. In fact, right now I’ve got two Chrome windows open typing this and referencing the Apple updates. I find I focus more as I’m only using the two windows I need at any given time. It’s my top productivity hack.

New Home Screen

This newly designed layout is pretty amazing. It’s taken your shortcut screen and added it with your apps to the right. I can see this will help improve productivity.

Apple Pencil

A host of new, more person friendly features. A redesigned palette, full-page markup for screen captured images (I use this feature a lot) and Sidecar in macOS Catalina.

Text Editing

No more swearing at trying to get your cursor in the right place, or looking like an idiot shaking your iPad like it’s etch a sketch. The ability to copy, edit, paste, undo, highlight, move the cursor around and doing intelligent text search has all been improved.


Unless you balance your iPad on your lap, trying to type with it can be an utter faff. I know, I know, there’s a way to split the keyboard, but I never remember to do it. 

So they’ve given you the ability to pinch to shrink the keyboard. Then you can move it to the side of the screen so you can do one handed typing.

Even better? Keyboard shortcuts! This is only usable with the physical keyboard attached. Still, it’s a useful thing to have. 

I’ve found myself taking my iPad and keyboard out to places when I want to sit and just do a bit of writing, undistracted. Then find myself using, or trying to use keyboard shortcuts I’m used to using.


The ability to install custom fonts on your iPad (and iOS, but probably more useful on iPad) is now an option. If you’re using branded fonts, like I do, then being able to install them on your device is a great feature.


Improved layout and the ability to access network drives is kinda cool.

But I think the thing that really stands out is the ability to plug external hard drives, SD card readers and even USB drives is amazing. 

What I don’t know is if this feature is available for iPads older than the one they released this year (as it has USB-C).


The biggie is using desktop versions of websites on your iPad. They’ve shown it using Google Apps, Squarespace and WordPress. This will obviously come as great news to developers who will want to kill someone at Apple.

iPad Compatibility

iPadOS is compatible with these devices

  • 12.9-inch iPad Pro
  • 11-inch iPad Pro
  • 10.5-inch iPad Pro
  • 9.7-inch iPad Pro
  • iPad (6th generation)
  • iPad (5th generation)
  • iPad mini (5th generation)
  • iPad mini 4
  • iPad Air (3rd generation)
  • iPad Air 2


Not a ton of updates for watchOS. I think this is mainly to do with the focus being on iPadOS and a few other enhancements.

They did however release the one that has impressed a lot of women. I understand WWDC19 didn’t have that many women in attendance, but you wouldn’t have known that from the noise the audience made when they announced cycle tracking for women.

New Faces

This one is hard to summarise as it’s a pretty visual thing. I can’t share images because I wasn’t there and didn’t take any photos… so you’ll have to go to Apple’s website or wait until they come out.

The faces have the ability to show more complications and a few new design layouts.

They have added some subtle new features. The watch can silently tap your wrist on the hour. They’ve also said that when you hold the face with two fingers it will tell you the time out loud. Which is naturally easier than hold your watch up to your face and reading the time.

Adding a calculator, however, is handy as hell.  I’m shit at maths, so a calculator is one of the most used native apps I have. On my wrist it will probably get a lot of use.

Enhanced Siri

Ever shazam a song? I do it all the time. I have grabbed lots of music this way. I love this feature, and now it’ll be available on your watch. Awesome, eh?

App Store

Apple announced that apps will be able to run natively on your watch. Meaning you won’t need a wifi or a mobile signal, I think. For that to happen they need an app store, which is coming to your wrist. It feels like the future is suddenly here!

Activity Trends

I use my activity tracker a lot. It really does help me keep up a regular habit of getting off my fat (not fat) arse and do some exercise.

They are enhancing the Activity app to include trends. This means if you’re dropping below a pattern of established exercise it will show you.  It will then give  you recommendations on how to improve.

Cycle Tracking

The thing women everywhere have been complaining about since they launched the Health App. Well, not all women. It’s hard to track a cycle if you’ve had your uterus or ovaries removed.

The cycle tracker looks like it’s got a really simple to use interface making it more likely you’ll use it. There are all kinds of benefits for being able to track this. 

Looking at it from my own personal perspective, as a woman hits peri-menopause, being able to track your cycle and what your period is like will help you have more assertive conversations with your GP.

Oh, and the best news? You don’t have to have an Apple Watch to use this. You’ll be able to get the same app via the health app on your iPhone.

Hearing Health

Got problems with your hearing? I SAID HAVE YOU GOT PROBLEMS WITH YOUR HEARING? Sorry, can’t beat a good hearing joke there.

The Hearing app has been designed to help reduce potential damage to your hearing by telling you what the sound levels are like.

It will detect a level when your hearing might be affected and tell you about it. Or yell it at you if you’re losing your hearing.


watchOS will need an iPhone 6 or later with iOS 13 installed.  The Apple Watch devices it’s compatible with are:

  • Apple Watch Series 1
  • Apple Watch Series 2
  • Apple Watch Series 3
  • Apple Watch Series 4


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