Best new (and returning) features in iOS 13.1 beta 1

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iOS 13.1 beta 1 adds Books reading goal, brings back almost every feature dropped in previous betas.
iOS 13.1 beta 1 brings back almost every cool feature dropped from previous betas.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Surprisingly, iOS 13.1 is already in beta. It looks like Apple’s release strategy this year is to freeze the current beta version of iOS 13.0 in order to get it ready for the new iPhones expected on September 10. Meanwhile, Apple continues to test the next version, adding back some features removed during the beta period — Shortcuts automations, for example.

So, what other new (or revived) features will you find in iOS 13.1 beta 1?

iOS 13.1 beta 1 new features

Note: If you are already testing the developer betas for iOS 13, then you can just update as usual to get iOS 13.1 beta 1. There’s no need to install a new beta profile to get access to these new features. And public betas? Who knows?

Shortcuts automations

Shortcuts Automations are back!
Shortcuts automations are back!
Photo: Cult of Mac

Automations are a whole new section in Apple’s Shortcuts app. They allow you to trigger actions based on location, time and even by tapping your iPhone onto an RFID tag. Apple tested Shortcuts automations in a previous iOS 13 beta, then pulled them. They make a welcome return in iOS 13.1 beta 1.

Right-click for mouse

It’s been possible to map a long-press to the right mouse button in the iPadOS 13 beta for a while now, but it hasn’t worked. If you tried to use it, the cursor would just jump to the center of the screen. Now, it works as expected.

Why is this good news? Because a long press in iPadOS brings up a contextual menu, making it just like a right-click on the Mac.

AirPods volume bezel

If you change the volume with AirPods attached, the volume indicator now shows an AirPods icon. Maybe this is for the iPhone only, or for AirPods 2, but on my iPad this hasn’t changed.

Fancy HomeKit icons

The HomeKit icons get a makeover that brings them in line with what you’ll see in the current macOS Catalina beta. New HomeKit icons for specific types of lamps and other devices make the Home app look better than ever. (Hopefully the same will happen to the Shortcuts icons, because they’re hideous.)

Shared ETA

Previously removed in an earlier iOS 13 beta, Shared ETA reappears in the Maps app in iOS 13.1 beta 1. You can send a message to tell someone when you’re on your way, and your estimated time of arrival will automatically update. This looks like one of those small features that will turn out to be essential.

Fonts in the App Store

There’s now a section for fonts in the App Store. Apparently. I can’t find it.

Reading goals in Books

FFS, Apple.
FFS, Apple.
Photo: Cult of Mac

Yes, you can gamify your reading experience. Is nothing sacred?

Other new features in iOS 13.1 beta 1

iOS 13.1 beta 1 brings some other tweaks here and there (Nike+ Run Club is now called Nike Run Club, for example), but these are the main changes. If you spot any cool additions or tweaks, let us know in the comments below.