The 12 Coolest iOS 13 & iPadOS Features Apple Didn't Announce at WWDC

At this year’s WWDC, Apple sped through the iOS 13 and iPadOS announcements so fast that there were quite a few fun updates that didn’t get mentioned. In addition to Dark Mode and enhanced privacy protections, iOS 13 brings us a new volume slider, the ability to silence unknown callers or mute noisy email threads, and better search functionality in the Messages app. Of course, with the iPad getting a unique OS, that means there are even more fun iPad features to look forward to, such as mouse support. Read on to learn about all the cool iOS 13 and iPadOS features you haven’t heard of yet.

Related: Organization & Streamlining in the Appleverse: Everything Apple Announced at the WWDC Keynote

1. Use a Mouse with Your iPad

iPads will now support your Bluetooth enabled mouse. Technically, the mouse is an Accessibility feature, located in settings as an Assistive Touch Device. Unlike a desktop mouse, the mouse support in the iPadOS is set up to mimic touching the screen, so the mouse functions will take some getting used to unless Apple improves the functionality before the public release this fall.

2. A Volume Overlay that Doesn't Block Your Whole Screen

​​A new volume hud appears on the left side of the screen near the physical volume buttons. The hud expands out from a thin line that collapses against the left side of the screen in portrait mode. In Landscape mode, the volume hud is centered at the top of the screen.​

3. Search Individual Conversations in Messages

Search in the Messages app has been terrible for a long time. Now when iOS 13 and iPadOS are released, you'll be able to search for a term within a specific message thread, rather than searching through all your message threads at once.

4. Automatically Send Unknown Callers to Voicemail

With this setting toggled on, Siri automatically sends any calls from numbers that are not found in your Contacts, Mail, or Messages apps to voicemail. Goodbye, spammers!

5. Mute Email Threads

The arrival of this feature was rumored online in advance of WWDC, but Apple forgot to confirm the rumor during the announcement. The Mute Thread feature will turn off notifications from noisy email threads across all your devices.

6. Block a Sender in Mail

The loing-requested Block Sender feature will move any incoming messages from that sender to the trash, and will work across all your devices.

7. Real-Time Transit Information

Maps will offer real-time transit information for public transportation options in a given area so you don't get caught by surprise on your commute.

8. Low Data Mode

Don't find yourself runnging out of data at the end of the month. Like Low Battery Mode optimizes an iPhone or iPads settings to preserve battery, Low Data mode will let users reduce network data use.​

9. Longer Live-Photos 

If you’ve taken multiple Live-Photos in succession, then those Live-Photos can be merged together for a longer playback time.

10. Set Daily Reading Goals

Like Health Tracking, the Books app will track your reading health by analyzing your habits and giving you badges for meeting milestones.

11. Site-Specific Settings in Safari

This one is very exciting; with Per-Site settings, you can set individual sites to enable or disable location tracking, the microphone, and camera. You can also enable content blockers, enable Reader mode, and select whether or not an individual site will always open in desktop or mobile view.

12. Automatically Close Unused Tabs

Set a timer to automatically close unused tabs in Safari in iPadOS after a certain amount of time. Like all the beta features in this list, this feature may or may not end up in the final shipping version of iPadOS, but here's hoping!

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Author Details

Tamlin Day's picture

Author Details

Tamlin Day

Tamlin Day is a feature web writer for iPhone Life and a regular contributor to iPhone Life magazine. A prolific writer of tips, reviews, and in-depth guides, Tamlin has written hundreds of articles for iPhone Life. From iPhone settings to recommendations for the best iPhone-compatible gear to the latest Apple news, Tamlin's expertise covers a broad spectrum. 

Before joining iPhone Life, Tamlin received his BFA in Media & Communications as well as a BA in Graphic Design from Maharishi International University (MIU), where he edited MIU's literary journal, Meta-fore. With a passion for teaching, Tamlin has instructed young adults, college students, and adult learners on topics ranging from spoken word poetry to taking the perfect group selfie. Tamlin's first computer, a Radioshack Color Computer III, was given to him by his father. At 13, Tamlin built his first PC from spare parts. He is proud to put his passion for teaching and tech into practice as a writer and educator at iPhone Life.