Apple’s New iOS 13 Software, Dark Mode and an Attack on Spam

Apple’s new iOS 13 software: Dark mode and an attack on spam, robocalls

Apple’s launch of its latest software update will leave some users out in the cold. Apple’s new iOS 13 software: Dark mode and an attack on spam, robocalls. The tech giant revealed on Monday at its Worldwide Developers Conference its new iOS 13 software update, which also carries a system-wide dark mode for the iPhone.

This is expected to make users’ experience of the phone in lowlight situations better, but not every phone will get it. It will only work on the iPhone 6S and beyond, leaving any iPhone 6 users out.

It comes as the upcoming iOS 13 software update will also have features to help users block frequent scam numbers, robocalls and spam callers.

If this setting is turned on, only phone numbers that are recognised in users’ Contacts, Mail, and Messages will ring through on the iPhone. All other calls that are unknown go straight to voicemail and the user will only be notified about the call if a voicemail is left.

Users can screen Apple’s transcription of the voicemail before calling the number back. The new feature comes after Google introduced its own features on its Pixel phone to stop spam callers and telemarketers.

An Apple employee demonstrates the app switcher on the iPhone X at the Apple Store Union Square, in San Francisco, California. Apple unveiled other privacy and security measures as part of iOS 13.

Users will have more control over sharing location data with apps and photos, and can receive alerts when an app is using their location in the background.

The developments come after Apple on Monday announced the demise of its groundbreaking iTunes platform in favour of three more tailored apps, as it refines its offerings to be a stage for digital music, films, podcasts and more.

iTunes transformed the way people buy and listen to music after its launch in 2001, but is now being phased out, Apple senior vice president of software engineering Craig Federighi said, while helping kick off the technology giant’s annual gathering of developers in Silicon Valley.

The transformation of iTunes into three separate apps comes with Apple preparing the international launch of an eponymous TV+ later this year.

The new content will be available on an upgraded Apple TV app, which will be on smart television sets and third-party platforms including Roku and Amazon’s Fire TV.

The California company showed off its podcast app on Monday as well, and said that service would be tailored to work independently on its smartwatch.

Some features from iTunes will be melded into the other Apple apps. 

It remains to be seen what will become of the iTunes version tailored for Windows-powered computers, or how people will be able to move music libraries they have amassed.

The innovations come as Apple shifts to emphasise digital content and other services to offset a pullback in the once-sizzling smartphone market, and with many news organisations struggling to monetise their online services.

Apple's vice president of Hardware Engineering John Ternus speaks during Apple's Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC).  Apple is aiming to leverage its position with about 900 million people worldwide who use at least one of its devices.

The packed WWDC audience cheered when executives spoke of improvements that promised to make it easier for one app to work across the array of devices. Apple is apparently trying to get app makers looking beyond the iPhone to the company’s family of hardware with a message of “better together,” Milanesi reasoned.

“It is about the breadth of those devices together,” the analyst said. As high-end Android-powered phones made by Google become more attractive to iPhone users, having apps that extend experiences across Apple Watch, iPad, TV and Mac help keep them loyal to the brand, according to Milanesi.

“Not only are you driving more engagement with Apple, you are lowering the risk of having users go elsewhere,” she said.

Next-generation iOS software powering iPhones coming out later this year was reworked “top to bottom” to be faster, according to Federighi.

Apple chief Tim Cook and other executives focused on privacy features of improved software across the range of devices.

Apple's vice president of technology Kevin Lynch speaks during the keynote address during Apple's Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC). 
Protections being added to iOS mobile operating software included the option of giving apps permission to access location just once, instead of all the time, and letting users know when apps are tracking their whereabouts.

A new “Sign In With Apple” feature will be launched as an alternative to logging in using Facebook or Google accounts. “This can be convenient, but it can also come at the cost of your privacy,” Federighi said.

“These log-ins can be used to track you.” The iOS log-in feature will let people sign into apps using AppleID information, but provides the option of masking user names or email addresses with randomly generated information.

“The entire experience is meant to help you have control over your data,” Federighi said, to applause.

“A lot of love for random addresses here.” Apple also announced changes that will make iPads easier to use as auxiliary screens for Mac computers, and even perform a bit more like laptops themselves with capabilities like multiple windows operating simultaneously.

The company unveiled a new Mac Pro high-performance desktop computer aimed at professionals, with a starting price of $5,999. Apple’s new iOS 13 software: Dark mode and an attack on spam, robocalls.