13+ iOS 13/iPadOS features you might not know about

Apple's latest mobile OS includes a variety of less well-known improvements, enhancements and features. Here are some you might not know about (yet).

Apple, iOS iOS 13, iPad OS, iPad, iPhone, iPhone 11
Apple

I’ve continued my quest to identify some of the small improvements, enhancements and new features in Apple’s latest mobile operating systems. These are changes you should know about, but may not yet heard of.

Load the mobile version of a site

Safari on iPadOS loads the full desktop version of websites you visit by default – but this is sometimes a problem if you want to load the mobile version to access something (particularly multimedia content).

Here is how to load the mobile version of a site:

  • Tap the A/a icon in the search bar
  • Choose Request Mobile Website from the options that appear.

Automatic close

Are you someone who ends up with dozens of still-open websites in Safari tabs on your iDevice? Open Settings>Safari and scroll down to the Tabs section where you should select Close Tabs. You can choose to close tabs manually, or automatically after a day, week or month.

You may also want to enable the Show Icons in Tabs setting here.

Open them all

You can open all the pages contained inside a Bookmarks folder. Just open the Bookmarks drawer and tap and hold the folder icon for the selection you want to open. You’ll see all the pages and four controls:

  • Copy Contents.
  • Open in New Tabs.
  • Edit.
  • Delete (deletes the contents of the folder).

Option 2 does just what it says.

Reduce data use

If you’re coming to the end of your network data allocation and want to squeeze your way through to the next contract period, try using Data Saving mode. This limits data used by apps in the background, such as automatic app downloads, updates, message retrieval and the like.

You enable this in Cellular>Cellular Data Options.

You can also reduce background use of data on a Wi-Fi network. Tap Wi-Fi, tap the name of the active network and enable Low Data Mode.

What you don’t see

One feature you won’t know you’re using: intelligent duplicate detection in Photos means you won’t see duplicate images in any gallery views.

What you don’t want to see

Sick of those marketing emails? Tried to unsubscribe, but they still make it through? Messages you don’t need getting past your Junk filter?

Try blocking the sender and automatically filing their messages into your trash. Settings>Mail>Blocked Sender Options is where to look.

You can also mute threads or get notified when new messages come through when you swipe a message and tap More.

Colorful flags

Open an email and tap the reply icon, then tap Flag. You’ll find that you can now flag messages for later reference using any of seven colors, or tap the last choice to remove an existing flag.

You’ll also find a whole series of new email formatting options (at last including bullet points), just tap the Aa icon when writing a reply. Or tap the scanner icon (a square with four lines around each corner) to scan a document directly into an email.

Manage your Messages app

While it seems to me that apps in Messages ended up becoming little more than amusing GIFs, travel details and Game Pigeon, Apple has at least made it a little easier to manage all those in-app apps.

Here’s how it’s done:

  1. In a Message window, slide the app shelf all the way to the left until you find the ellipsis (…) item.
  2. Tap that.
  3. Tap Edit and you can move your apps into a more logical order, and disable the apps you don’t want to use.
  4. Then tap Done.

PS: I hope Apple lets us edit the suggested Shares row in the Sharing tab. People just don't like the fact they can't. I'm getting multiple complaints from readers about this.

Scan from inside Files app

I've mentioned this before: If you want to scan a document directly into your Files app, just tap the Ellipsis icon above Browse and choose Scan Documents. The end.

Store files for future use

You can now add attachments to Calendar events. Try it.

Update your Apps

Apple has replaced the Updates icon in the App Store with the Apple Arcade icon. You can still control when you choose to update your apps: Just tap your Account icon while in the App Store and you’ll find them there.

Search anywhere

You can now use Siri/dictation to search anywhere on your device; just tap the waveform icon you’ll see in the search bar.

Better battery life

The Optimized Battery Charging feature inside Settings>Battery>Battery Health is worth enabling.

It attempts to reduce battery aging (and thus the duration of usable battery life) by learning your daily charging routine. It will then delay charging the device beyond 80% until it figures you are most likely to use the device.

What does this mean?

It means if your iPhone rests on its wireless pad during the night and wakes you with a merry Ice T track every morning at 6 a.m., your iPhone won’t be charged over 80% until just before wake up time.

Manage downloads

Apple now has a dedicated Downloads Manager in Safari. This lets you save all your Safari downloads to your iCloud Drive, if you want. This is great for Apple as it tries to get you hooked on renting online storage space – and good for you, as you should find the same files on any device.

However, you can also set this to save to other online storage services, or directly to your iPad/iPhone.

  • Do this in Settings>Safari>Downloads.
  • Tap Other to choose any other service you’ve set-up for use with Files.

One more thing: Tap and hold any link in Safari and you’ll be able to open it, add it to your Reading List and so on, but you’ll also be able to tap Download Linked File to save it directly to your Downloads folder.

Hey, where’s my Undo?

Undo hasn’t gone: now you don’t need to shake your device, you just need to quickly tap your display three times with three fingers, or swipe right with three fingers to find the Undo command. Or tap and hold the screen with three fingers to find Undo, Cut, Copy, Paste and Redo.

Also read:

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