The iOS 13 review for journalists: An introduction

Craig Federighi - Apple's senior vice president of Software Engineering – at the launch of iOS 13 in June 2019

Marc Settle, BBC Academy smartphone journalism specialist

So here we are again, again. Hasn’t the last year flown by, since my review of iOS 12? And another September means another new version of iOS, the operating system that powers iPhones and iPads. Although this time around, it’s only iPhones (and iPods, to be strictly accurate) as instead of shoehorning iOS to work on iPads, Apple has decided to make a dedicated version of the operating system for iPads, which after no doubt months of brainstorming, is called iPadOS.

Regular readers of my iOS reviews (hi, Mum!) may know that they can get quite long, so I’ve had to make a fairly bold decision in order to prevent the length of this review becoming extraordinarily long: I’m only going to review what’s in iOS 13 and not what’s in iPadOS. Had I included it, that would have turned this epic into something akin to War and Peace in length, so instead I’ll concentrate on iOS 13 which will work on any iPhone newer than an iPhone 6s/SE/iPod Touch (7th generation). Yes that does mean that the iPhone 5s and the 6/6plus won’t be getting the latest update but it was always stretching things to think that even Apple could support the 5s which was released in September 2013.

If you go back to my review of what was new and exciting in iOS 12 for journalists and mobile journalists in particular, you might detect that I was in fact a little underwhelmed by the immediately beneficial and useful innovations it brought. And while it would be going too far to say I’m overwhelmed by what’s in iOS 13, I am certainly...whelmed. There’s a LOT in the latest refreshing of the operating system for iPhones. This review will concentrate on the new features, redesigns and tweaks that should be of most interest to journalists and mobile journalists ("mojos") in particular – that small but select band, increasingly large in number, who use an iPhone as their primary way to record, edit and send material from location. 

Depending on what you’re interested in, you can go straight to the page about video, or for photos and audio. There are also pages on what’s new and interesting with the keyboard, text formatting, shortcuts, Safari and battery and data usage. Or you could just sit down with a nice cup of tea and read the whole thing in order. You’ll be prompted to go backwards or forwards through the related links at the top and the bottom of each page.

If you’ve got a specific query, you can join the Yammer group where you can contact the trainer in this subject area directly.

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