iOS 13 launched just a week ago, adding a plethora of new features for the iPhone 6S and above, yet Apple has already rolled out the next major update for its mobile operating system. iOS 13.1 was initially slated for a September 30 release, but Apple has fast tracked the rollout after users began to complain of frozen screens and apps crashing.
The release notes for iOS 13.1 reflects how buggy the initial release of iOS 13 actually was, with the new update bringing fixes for issues with Mail, Siri not working with CarPlay, faulty app icons and sign-in failures.
Another major issue with iOS 13 was with location permissions – Fast Company recently reported that if a user had selected to never share location details for an app, a privacy flaw changed that selection to “Ask next time”.
Those privacy issues are also addressed in the new release, along with a fix for a lockscreen bypass bug that could let others access a user’s contact list by simply making a FaceTime call and using Siri’s voiceover feature to gain access.
And while all these fixes are good news, iOS 13.1 also adds some new features to what came along with iOS 13.
All things shiny and new
Share ETA in Maps
Google Maps added this feature a while back, and now Apple Maps users can also share their approximate time of arrival with friends and family right from the app itself. When you set up directions to a location and start the journey, an option to ‘Share ETA’ shows up at the bottom of the screen. From there you can choose the contact you want to share your approximate time of arrival with, which gets sent as an iMessage (to another iPhone user) as a regular text. If Maps detects you’ll likely arrive later than expected, a message will automatically be sent to the contact to let them know you’re running late.
Lyrics view in Apple Music
If you’re an Apple Music subscriber, you’ll find a new icon – like a speech bubble – on the bottom left of the Now Playing pane. When selected, it brings up lyrics to the song you’re currently listening to. The lyrics will also automatically scroll like a karaoke machine. Lyrics are available only if songs have been downloaded from Apple Music, not for tracks added from an external source via iTunes.
This is specific to the 2019 iPhones, making use of the “spatial awareness” of the Ultra Wideband technology in the new U1 chip in the iPhone 11, 11 Pro, and 11 Pro Max. If you’re using the new handsets, you’ll be able to AirDrop files to other compatible iOS devices by simply pointing towards the device, meaning the two devices are aware of their position relative to each other.
Automation tab in Shortcuts
The Shortcuts app has become smarter, with an easier way to set up new routines. For example, you can trigger off your morning routine by setting up a Shortcut that loads your drive to work on Maps, brings up your day’s appointments on Calendar and so forth. You can set a time for each trigger, meaning Maps will launch automatically at, say, 8am when you’re ready to leave home.
There are a lot of other changes as well, including updated Fonts settings and Personal Hotspot pages. If you test beta apps, they will now be indicated with an orange dot, and the old dynamic bubble wallpapers that disappeared when Apple added dark mode-friendly wallpapers in iOS 13 are now back.
There’s a new ‘Peak Performance Capability’ feature in the iPhone XS, iPhone XR and the XS Max, as they’re now a year old and may start having battery issues as they continue to age. This means that as the battery begins to degrade, the performance management feature will be triggered to throttle the CPU, although an option to disable this will be available at that point.
All in all, iOS 13.1 should improve your iPhone’s performance and stability over what iOS 13 offered when it launched last week.