5 new iOS 13 features you haven’t heard about yet

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iPadOS and iOS 13 have gotten so many new features and tweaks, it’s hard to know where to start. We’ll be covering everything in-depth over the coming weeks and months, but here’s a little glimpse at some of the best new features in the newest version of iOS.

Delete apps from the App Store update list

App updates no longer have their own tab in the App Store. Now, they appear inside your account panel, (the one where you tap the little head icon to access your account, previous purchases and more). The updates tab has been replaced by Apple Arcade.

In iOS 13, you can delete apps right from the update screen.Delete apps right from the update screen.
Screenshot: Cult of Mac

However, there is some compensation: Now you can delete apps right from the update list. You know how an app you never use keeps getting updates, but you can’t be bothered to track it down to delete it? Now you don’t have to. Just swipe it in the update list.

Contextual menus everywhere

Long-press any kind of file in iPadOS, and you’ll get a contextual menu. “Files” here includes photos in the Photos app, files in the Files app, and even links in Safari and Mail. Links load a small pop-up preview, with a small menu offering to open it, add it to your reading list, and so on.

Here are a couple of screenshots to show you what’s what:

Files app offers a ton of options in its contextual menus.The Files app offers a ton of options in its contextual menus.
Photo: Cult of Mac Photos app's contextual menu.The Photos app’s contextual menu.

If you’re using a mouse with your iPadOS iPad, then you still have to long-press (or long-click, I guess) the file/link/photo to activate this. It would be much better if Apple added a proper right-click to the mouse.

Connect to Bluetooth and Wi-Fi from the Control Center widget

This one is a real time-saver. In iOS 13, you can connect to Bluetooth devices and Wi-Fi networks right from the Control Center widget:

Connect to Bluetooth and Wi-Fi from the Control Center widget.Connect to Bluetooth and Wi-Fi from the widget.
Photo: Cult of Mac

This is way nicer than digging into the Settings app to do the same thing. Right now you can’t disconnect from a Bluetooth device in this panel, although you can still disconnect from all devices, like you can in iOS 12.

Automatic Dark Mode

Let Dark Mode, one of iOS 13's marquee features, take over automatically after sundown. Let Dark Mode take over automatically after sundown.

The new Dark Mode can be toggled manually (from the Control Center brightness widget, for example). But you can also set it to flip on at sundown, and off again the next morning. If you prefer, you can set custom on and off times.

Run Shortcuts more easily

Shortcuts now appear at the top level of the share sheet.Shortcuts now appear at the top level of the share sheet.
Photo: Cult of Mac

Shortcuts now appear at the top level of the iOS 13 share sheet. Instead of having to tap the share arrow, and then tap the Shortcuts icon, and then tap the shortcut you want to run, you can now cut out the second step. Buttons for your shortcuts appear in the share sheet alongside all the other buttons.

The new quick-action buttons in Files' column view.The new quick-action buttons in Files’ column view.
Photo: Cult of Mac

This doesn’t sound like much — just one fewer tap — but it makes a huge difference in day-to-day use. Or it will. In the current iPadOS beta, my iPad Files app freezes whenever I actually try to activate anything in the share sheet. And speaking of the share sheet, you can now access it from a dedicated button in the new Files column view, along with quick-access buttons for markup, image rotation and one-touch PDF creation.

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