Ars Technica reviews Apple’s iOS 13: There’s a lot more to this update than just Dark Mode

Dark Mode in iPadOS 13 brings a dramatic look to iPad for an immersive visual experience.
Dark Mode in iPadOS 13 brings a dramatic look to iPad for an immersive visual experience.

Samuel Axon for Ars Technica:

iOS 13 does bring a new look to the software that runs on iPhones, overhauls a few oft-criticized first-party applications, and puts additional emphasis on user privacy. Most of all, it adds new, powerful interactions for power users—some of which we thought we’d never see in Apple’s mobile software.

iOS 13 is a worthy upgrade. It opens new doors for users who want more out of their phones, and it’s indicative of an Apple that is doing something rather uncharacteristic—generously listening to and addressing user feedback.

That doesn’t mean you should upgrade right away though; the initial launch of iOS 12 saw a lot of significant issues that had to be fixed in subsequent updates, and that was a release focused on stability. The iOS 13 beta period has been rockier than that of iOS 12, so I expect the same here… So you might want to wait for at least iOS 13.1. But whether you upgrade now or in a few days or weeks, your iPhone will get more powerful and useful—and that’s what most of us are looking for these days.

MacDailyNews Take: Yet, still, we do love iOS 13’s Dark Mode oh so very much!

As usual, Ars technica’s review is voluminous and highly recommended. Check out the full review here.


    1. I’ve been used to reading in Dark Mode at night in the Kindle app. It didn’t take long to get used to it at all. Loving it on my iPhone and can’t wait for it on my iPad Pro. Also it’d be great if the sign on screen doesn’t blind me in the night as it does now.

    2. Seems like Maps is still a work in progress. FTA:

      “It still has not achieved parity with Google Maps in terms of the data—not even close—but Apple Maps tries to make up for at least some of that with a smoother, more responsive interface and some more sleekly executed features than what Google Maps offers.”

      “Unfortunately, Look Around is not available where I’ve been testing in Los Angeles, so I wasn’t able to try it on my home turf. As I write this review, it’s not even available in Manhattan or really anywhere at all I could easily find besides San Francisco. There’s no top-level way to see where it’s available; you have to zoom in quite close to a street for the icon to appear. (Are you noticing a theme here, by the way? So many things in iOS 13 are cool but hard to discover.)”

      And the round up includes what we’ve already known for the past few releases of iOS:

      “Some of the features and improvements are going to be hard for most users to discover”

      “We may be reaching a point where feature bloat is actually making the operating system a little overwhelming to use for some people”

  1. I read somewhere that white text on black background is better / easier / healthier on the eyes

    Now I don’t know where I read it, but maybe you could duck duck go it and find out.

  2. Dark mode exists for a couple main reasons. Most importantly, it’s more energy efficient on OLED screens. Secondly, now that Jony is gone, night owls can finally get their wish of computing late without getting their retinas blasted by Ive’s horrible white & light gray interface with skinny font.

    Too bad Apple is so stingy on offering user GUI controls. Some computer makers allow the user to select their own color themes and switch between them easily whenever light conditions or moods warranted it. Those users have enjoyed Dark Mode since the late 1990s. Steve Jobs used to tout how great it was that Macs supported beautiful fonts. Now Apple restricts all its GUIs to an uninspiring sans serif font that isn’t highly legible. The thrill is gone.

  3. Sorry, but though I can’t disagree, a whole lot of that a lot more is arbitrary. We are not in the golden age of smartphones, in spite if what NYT may say, and Apple’s engineers are idiots. One example: the more contextual items they add, the less legitimate shortcuts there are (minus Siri, of course. They REALLY want you to use Siri, which cuts productivity for a legitimate power user by a nice margin). The era of actual expertise is just dead, methinks, iOS really is becoming a toy. I’m amazed it doesn’t smell like bubblegum or Crunch Berries (though it does prominently feature magical horsies).

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