Apple Launches iOS 13, watchOS 6, and Apple Arcade
Apple has begun pushing iOS 13 and watchOS 6 to supported iPhones and Apple Watches. Both updates bring substantial changes—especially iOS 13—and mark the beginning of a new annual update cycle.
While it may take some time, most users should see iOS 13 become available in the Settings apps on their iPhones or iPod touches by the end of the day today. The watchOS update will pop up in the Watch app on iPhones that are connected to an Apple Watch.
Also launching today is a new service called Apple Arcade, a $4.99/month subscription service that gives users access to 100 or more mobile games. None of the games are microtransaction-driven titles. They are all premium titles, and many are from prestigious designers and studios like Zach Gage (SpellTower, Really Bad Chess), Snowman (Alto's Odyssey), Dinosaur Polo Club (Mini Metro), The Gentlebros (Cat Quest), and more. Apple has added a dedicated tab in the App Store for Arcade.
iOS 13 brings subtle-but-impactful design changes across the mobile OS, including a system-wide Dark Mode interface. It adds a plethora of new features to the Photos, Maps, and Safari apps, among others, and completely overhauls the Reminders app. It also introduces "Sign in with Apple," a sign-in method for apps and websites that Apple claims is focused on user privacy. Ars Technica's review of iOS 13 will be published here tomorrow.
This year, Apple branched iOS 13 into separate iPhone/iPod and iPad versions, with the latter being called iPadOS. iPadOS launches September 30 along with an updated version of tvOS and a new, base iPad. We will be reviewing it separately shortly after that date. Apple also plans to release iOS 13.1 in the very near future, with a few features that were intended for iOS 13 but didn't make today's release.
watchOS 6 is a more modest update. It adds the ability to track menstrual cycles, report ambient noise, and track activity trends in a new way. It also brings several iPhone-specific apps to the Watch, most notably the App Store; users will be able to browse and download apps directly on their Watches without having to do so remotely on the iPhone. Ars will review watchOS 6 alongside the new Apple Watch series 5 next week.
iOS 13 is available on the following devices: iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, iPhone XR, iPhone X, iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 6S, iPhone 6S Plus, iPhone SE, iPod touch (7th generation). It will also be pre-installed on the new iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, and iPhone 11 Pro Max that launch tomorrow.
watchOS 6 works on the Apple Watch series 3 and 4 today (and will be included with the series 5 when it goes on sale tomorrow), with series 1 and series 2 support to come at a later date.
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