How does iOS 13 measure up to previous iOS betas?

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iOS Days in Beta chart: Will Hains' excellent chart breaks down the iOS betas.
Will Hains' excellent chart breaks down the betas.
Photo: Will Hains

We’re up to the eighth beta of iOS 13, but that’s not nearly the record for iOS betas. That honor goes to iOS 11. It might seem like we’ve had a lot of betas this time around, but two years ago, Apple seeded 13 betas before hitting the Gold Master stage.

With just a few weeks left until the expected iPhone 11 launch, it seems unlikely that record will fall. In terms of sheer number of betas, iOS 13 is not even close. But what about total time spent in beta? Or the fewest betas? Let’s look at the chart.

How to get around with Apple Maps’ Look Around in iOS 13

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Look around on iPad
Look Around is like GTA, only you can't steal cars or murder people.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Look Around is Apple’s answer to Google’s Street View, and it’s about a zillion times better — if your area has coverage, that is. Look Around is just getting started, and covers very few places. Street View, on the other hand, is available for pretty much anywhere, including underwater, up mountains and on hiking trails.

Why is Look Around better? Well, it’s faster, for one. And it just looks nicer. The images are super-high-resolution and full-screen. Using it on a 13-inch iPad Pro feels like taking a virtual street tour of a neighborhood.

iOS 13 inches closer to launch with new beta [Updated]

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iOS 13
Apple has made great strides in debugging iOS 13.
Screenshot: Apple

Apple just seeded the seventh Developer beta of the next iOS and iPadOS version. This is the latest stage of a debugging process expected to end in September.

UPDATE: iOS 13 Public beta 6 just launched as well, so anyone who wants to try this new version can. The same goes for iPadOS Public beta 6.

See iOS 13’s best unannounced features [Video]

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iOS 13 on an iPhone X
Some of the best iOS 13 features are ones Apple never mentioned.
Photo: Ian Fuchs/Cult of Mac

After spending time playing with the iPadOS 13 developer beta and iOS 13 beta , it’s clear there are tons of nice changes coming to Apple’s mobile platforms this fall.

Cupertino highlighted the biggest ones at this year’s Worldwide Developers Conference. However, there’s a bunch of smaller stuff they didn’t tell us about. While there are hundreds of “under the hood” changes, these are the best iOS 13 features Apple didn’t announce.

Best unannounced iOS 13 features

Latest iPadOS 13 beta is finally stable enough for almost anyone [Opinion]

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iPadOS Home Screen
Widgets on the Home screen are something you can have today, if you install the iPadOS13 beta.
Photo: Apple

The iPadOS beta Apple introduced this week offers something none of its predecessors did: reliability. Stability, even. After days of testing on an iPad Pro, I found it close enough to the final version that an average person can access a mouse or thumbdrive with their iPad nearly hassle-free. That hasn’t been true of earlier betas.

Less rigorous testing of iOS 13 on an iPhone XS Max indicates it’s also relatively stable.

New iOS 13 beta makes Dark Mode easy as flipping a switch

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iOS 13
There’s lots to try out in iOS 13 Public beta 5.
Screen capture: Apple

Apple just introduced a fifth beta of iOS 13 to the general public. All the really significant new features appeared in earlier betas, but this one does have a nice tweak: switching to Dark Mode takes only pushing a button.

Apple also released the closely-related iPadOS 13 Public beta 5, as did tvOS 13.

How to repeat and shuffle songs in iOS 13

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Shuffling songs used to be easy. Here's how to shuffle songs in Apple Music in iOS 13.
Shuffling songs used to be easy.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

This may seem like a frivolous how-to. But seeing as I couldn’t work out how to switch off shuffle Apple Music tracks on my iPhone in iOS 12, I think it’s worth a look — if only so dummies like me can look it up.

BTW, you can find the Apple Music repeat and shuffle controls in iOS 12 by swiping up on the Now Playing panel to reveal the buttons at the bottom, if you need to know.

So, let’s take a look at how Apple changed things in the iOS 13 Music app.

Apple picks up the pace of iOS 13 betas

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iOS 13
After being unveiled in June, iOS 13 is headed for release perhaps as soon as next month.
Screenshot: Apple

Apple seeded iOS 13 Developer beta 6 this afternoon, slightly more than a week after the last pre-release update. Until now, the company has generally introduced new versions every two weeks, so it’s accelerating the rate.

Tablet users also got the sixth iPadOS 13 Developer beta today containing the same changes as the iPhone one. There are fresh betas for watchOS 5 beta 6 and tvOS 13 beta 6, too.

How to add a custom iMessage avatar in iOS 13

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Memoji are awesome. Here's how to make your own.
Now you can use Memoji in iMessage profiles.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

You know how you can add an avatar to pretty much any social app ever, and all your friends, family, contacts, etc., will see it? Well, in iOS 13 you can finally do the same for iMessages.

No longer will you have to hope that your contacts use a nice photo of you, or worry that your boss is using a picture of a cute pig or pussycat to represent you in the group chat. Now you can add and share your own avatar, or even a Memoji. Let’s see how.