iOS 13 to bring faster downloads, smaller app sizes and greater user privacy

Apple has used its annual Worldwide Developers Conference to detail the coming iteration of its iPhone operating system, iOS 13.

Overall, iOS 13 promises to deliver faster, more responsive performance; something anyone would expect from a new operating system. However, thanks to the new ways in which apps are stored on an iPhone, software downloads are purported to be much faster, while Apple says apps will take up to 50% less storage space than currently seen. That may be significant to game developers, when so many consumers prioritise titles that do not hog too much of their available device space. Equally, many gamers look for a game to play on the fly, and may be more likely to commit to – and subsequently stay retained by – a game that appears on an iPhone promptly after any purchase or commitment to download. Furthermore, apps may now launch up to twice as fast.

“iOS 13 brings new capabilities to the apps you use every day, with rich updates to Photos and Maps, and privacy-protecting features like Sign In with Apple, all while delivering faster performance,” said Apple’s Craig Federighi, senior vice president of software engineering, in a statement to the press. “We’re excited for customers to experience what’s coming to iPhone this fall and can’t wait for them to see how great everything looks in Dark Mode.”

Dark mode, meanwhile, introduces a new colour scheme where the typical bright white backgrounds seen in the operating system and its apps can be replaced with darker tones. The approach is meant to improve viewing in low light, and be more comfortable when using an iPhone in the evening and through the night. Third party developers – including game makers – can integrate the feature into their own apps.

Apple has also seen teams drive four million miles to better improve their maps experience, perhaps with a view to gaining some ground lost to Google Map’s dominance of the space. It is not yet clear if the improvements will offer significant gains for developers working on location-based games.

The tech giant has also asserted a significant commitment to user privacy across its Worldwide Developer Conference announcements; perhaps to distance itself from the likes of Facebook and Google as it continues to position itself as a provider of platforms and software as much as a hardware company.

An early example of Apple Sign In in action

Sign in with Apple is at the forefront of that effort. The approach allows users to sign in to numerous websites and apps using their Apple ID, rather than using an email or through a social platform such as Facebook or Twitter.

Apple’s statement on the matter reads: “Apple will protect users’ privacy by providing developers with a unique random ID. Even in cases where developers choose to ask for a name and email address, users have the option to keep their email address private and share a unique random email address instead. Sign In with Apple makes it easy for users to authenticate with Face ID or Touch ID and has two-factor authentication built in for an added layer of security. Apple does not use Sign In with Apple to profile users or their activity in apps.”

Apple Developer Program members can access a preview version of iOS 13 with immediate effect.

The full list of new iOS 13 features can be found over at Apple’s website.