In just under a week Apple's annual developer event, the Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) kicks off. It's the time when Apple reveals its plans for iOS, macOS, tvOS and watchOS.
Over the last month or so, Apple has updated many hardware products, ensuring software remains front and centre. But today, leaked images about iOS have surfaced, stealing some of the company's thunder. Here's what we know.
The leaked images and information were found by 9to5 Mac.
System-wide Dark Mode confirmed
While many app developers have been creating their own versions of Dark Mode within apps, Apple has applied the battery-saving and easier-on-the-eyes mode across all of iOS. Dark Mode will be accessible either through Preferences or, more conveniently, from the Control Centre that's accessed by swiping down from the top-right corner on iOS devices.
Every app that Apple develops and includes with iOS will be getting the Dark Mode treatment.
A new Find My app
Find my Friends is a handy feature - my wife uses it to keep track of where I am when I'm out on a long run. And the Find my Phone feature has been responsible for tracking down many lost or stolen iOS devices. Now, the two apps are being combined into a single Find My app so you can look for your friends and Apple hardware.
App updates aplenty
Apple's Health app is getting a refresh along with Maps, Reminders and other Apple-developed apps.
The Health app could use a lot of work. Apple keeps talking about their efforts in AI and machine learning research but most of it seems to be around Siri. I'm hoping they apply some technical nous to making it easier to get useful insights from Health data.
Maps needs some serious work. It's a long way behind Google Maps when it comes to usefulness and access to pertinent information while driving or walking. An update is long overdue.
When can you get iOS 13?
Apple will announce iOS 13 during the opening keynote at WWDC next Tuesday. The first developer preview will be made available very soon after that announcement. You'll need to pay for a developer account if you're desperate for that early access. That membership will give you access to early versions of all Apple's software, including point releases, for an entire year.
Typically, about two weeks later, the public beta process will open up so you can install the latest version of iOS, and Apple's other operating platforms, onto your devices. Updated beta releases will follow every two weeks or so from then until the final release, the so-called Gold Master, is ready.
I've installed beta releases of Apple's operating systems for several years and I've found that by the third beta version, most of the features are locked down and working. But you can expect the odd crash so I wouldn't recommend installing the beta versions on a device you rely on.
The official release of iOS 13 is likely to be in late September, around the same time Apple announces the next version of the iPhone.