Let’s Go Dark Mode

Apple released iOS 13 yesterday (Thursday 19th September) and I’m hyped for dark mode.

Apple is proud of the fact that the majority of its iPhone users are on the latest operating system. The benefits of managing your own software on devices you make are self-evident and is the reason Google has expanded their product line to hardware. So what is new in iOS 1?

Dark Mode

I can’t remember being this excited for an iOS update. I’ve been waiting for dark mode since my first iPhone. Not that looking at an iPhone screen is unpleasant, it’s just that I’m a programmer and most of my best work happens at night. Apple released a dark mode on Mac last year with the Mojave update and coupled with a browser extension my workflow usually occurs in pure dark bliss.

The only thing to interrupt this shadowy enterprise is the white glow of my iPhone or iPad screen. Now with dark mode on the horizon, I can be much more productive. And because Apple usually does things right, I’m expecting the system-wide dark mode to make looking at an iPhone screen even more pleasant.

Photos and Camera

Apple announced their new hardware at their iPhone event last week and as we have come to expect, there have been major upgrades in the camera department. The new iPhone 11 Pro’s are basically designed around their new camera system and Apple aims to make this the best phone camera ever.

The major advantage of building your own hardware and software is the seamless integration. At WWDC, Apple announced major improvements to the camera app. You can now change the light intensity for light in a Portrait Mode photo. There is also a “high-key mono which allows you to add more beautiful chromatic effects to your Portrait mode photos.”

There is also an updated photos tab that allows you to curate your pictures a little better. I think this uses machine learning to store your pictures chronologically in varying categories.

The editing tools inside the photos app have received incremental improvements over the last few years allowing users to personalize their pictures natively. In this update, that capability has improved significantly and I may no longer have to use a plethora of third-party apps to enhance my pictures.

Although I play around in the photos app quite a bit; more since I’ve been blogging; I have never really got a handle on video editing. In the upcoming year, I would like to improve on this and I feel that the updated photos app with new “powerful video editing” will aid my efforts. You can now crop, rotate and auto-enhance videos. This is like being a kid in the proverbial candy store for a newbie tech blogger and enthusiast.

Privacy and Security

Everyone gets hacked these days and even reputable companies like Apple who are the custodians of some of our data are vulnerable. However, I feel safer with Apple than most other companies because they do not need to sell our data. Their products are high-end hardware coupled with capable software and services. They do not need to sell my data like other companies that provide their main revenue streams for free to users and sell your data to advertisers and other interested parties. This is why I’m definitely switching some of my Sign In with Google or Facebook to Sign In with Apple.


Maps 3D Experience

The maps update seems cool but I’m not holding my breath for that capability to come to South Africa any time soon. I got lost in the Cape Town CBD because of maps and the app is convinced there is a Mugg & Bean around the corner from me. I have checked and this is not so.


I am really excited about the Siri update and new Siri voice. I have tried to integrate Siri into my workflow more this year and this has become easier with the AirPods. I’ve also put the shortcuts app in my dock so that I may use it to automate tasks.

Reminders App

I use the app every day for help with my daily tasks but the interface is really crap. So I’m glad there is at least an update here.

Apple Arcade

This is a big one. I am not a huge gamer but have enjoyed quite a few iOS games in the past few years. The subscription service comes at $4.99, a good (about R70) price, and I believe that 100 games will be available at launch. These games will be available on the iPhone, iPad, Mac and Apple TV.


There are many more updates and iOS is still also used for CarPlay and on the HomePod speaker. See the full list here

WatchOS 6 and tvOS 13 release on the same day. iOS 13 will be the first to include Apple Arcade with other platforms getting it later in Spring (US fall). iPadOS will be released on 30 September. MacOS Catalina will arrive in October.


To fully experience iOS13 I will just have apps that support the new operating system at launch. No dark mode, no download. No, really😉

  1. iOS is Apple’s mobile Operating System (OS) that traditionally powered both the iPhone and iPad. The i stands for internet. iPad will now be powered by iPadOS.

Photo Credits

Cover Photo by Xavier Wendling on Unsplash.

All other images are screenshots I took from the Apple.com website without permission. To see the images in their intended state please visit apple.com