Apple pulled back the covers on its latest version of the iPhone operating system at its WWDC event in June 2019, with the release date announced as September 2019. iOS 13 features plenty to tempt those considering the upgrade, with a new Dark Mode, various performance and security enhancements, plus a swipe keyboard as standard.
Of course, none of this will be any good unless your device can run the new software. So, here's all you need to know about iOS 13 and if it will work on your iPhone.
iPhones that will get iOS 13
Apple has always had an impressive record of keeping older models of iPhone compatible with the latest updates to iOS. This continues with the release of iOS 13. Alongside the new iPhones that accompany its release, there are several devices whose lives will stretch a little longer thanks to the upgrade. They are as follows:
- iPhone 6s
- iPhone 6s Plus
- iPhone SE
- iPhone 7
- iPhone 7 Plus
- iPhone 8
- iPhone 8 Plus
- iPhone X
- iPhone XR
- iPhone XS
- iPhone XS Max
- iPod touch (7th gen)
You can see from the list that there are no iPads mentioned. This is because Apple made the surprise announcement that its tablets would be switching to the new iPadOS, which has been optimised for the larger devices.
Should I update to iOS 13?
For most users, upgrading to a newer version of iOS is a good move. There have been controversies in the past, where Apple admitted it was slowing down certain iPhone models to preserve battery life, but since this came to light the iOS team has focussed on making the experience better for older devices, with many reporting performance increases after upgrading to iOS 12.
iOS 13 promises further enhancements to general speed, plus a range of new features and beefed-up security protocols. To see what's on offer, and whether you should make the change, read our iOS 13 vs iOS 12 guide.
How can I get iOS 13?
If your iPhone is one of those listed above, then you'll be prompted to install the new version of iOS once it's available for your device. Then it's simply a case of going to Settings > General > Software Update, then tapping on the Download and Install options that appear.
We explain this process in more depth, and more importantly troubleshoot any issues you may encounter, in How to update iOS on iPhone. But note that this doesn't work yet, as iOS 13 won't launch officially until September 2019.
If you're interested in getting iOS 13 sooner than that, Apple also offers a public beta-testing program for iOS, macOS, iPadOS and tvOS. This allows you to gain early-access to forthcoming updates before they go on general release. If this appeals then you can follow our How to install iOS 13 beta on iPhone guide and see what goodies lie in store.
What if my iPhone isn't going to get iOS 13?
There's no need to panic. While you might not be able to avail yourself of the funky Dark Mode and other features that iOS 13 brings to the table, your iPhone will carry on working perfectly fine on iOS 12 and still offer the same great experience.
Apple will continue to release security updates to patch any vulnerabilities and all the features you've grown used to will not be going away. So long as you're happy with the way things are, there's no need to buy a new device just to move up to iOS 13.
Of course, if you're looking for an excuse or feel its time to retire your old handset, then be sure to peruse our roundup of the Best iPhone deals so you can save money while bagging yourself a shiny new device.