Apple will be using its upcoming Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) to reveal the latest improvements to iOS, macOS, and other operating systems, but you don’t have to wait to test them out.
On Monday, Bloomberg published reports from unidentified sources saying Apple is planning several updates to iOS, macOS, and its Apple Watch operating system watchOS during the WWDC keynote in San Jose, California on June 3. Those changes, according to sources, could include a new Dark Mode to reduce iPhone eye strain, and the option to listen to audiobooks on the Apple Watch.
WWDC is a critical and much-hyped weeklong event for Apple as it pitches new services and products heading into summer. WWDC also lets Apple connect with third-party developers who build either apps or provide services for its many operating systems. Additionally, there also will be workshops, breakout sessions, and talks by Apple engineers to assist developers.
The Bloomberg report didn’t say when the new features will arrive on Apple’s operating systems, but the company in recent years has released OS updates in the fall. If Apple sticks to that trend, the public won’t see the rumored features for a few months.
However, there’s another option.
Some of the updates Bloomberg’s sources leaked are already available in third-party apps downloadable now from Apple’s App Store. In some cases, they add features to make them even more robust than what Apple has planned.
Here’s a look at five rumored iOS 13 features you can try now via third-party apps:
Type With a Swipe
Apple will add a new text-input method to its iOS keyboard, according to Bloomberg’s sources. Instead of requiring you to tap around the screen to type words, the new feature would let you glide your finger over keys. Apple’s software would analyze your movement along with the keyboard and predict the words you want to send.
If you want to try out a swiping keyboard, download SwiftKey Keyboard. It’s a free app and one of the more popular options in the Utilities category in Apple’s App Store. Swiping along a keyboard might feel odd at first, but many SwiftKey users say in App Store reviews that they actually type more quickly swiping around the screen.
Turn Your iPad Into a Monitor
According to Bloomberg’s sources, Apple will let you link your iPad to your Mac and use the tablet as a second monitor in iOS 13.
Enter Luna Display. After installing the free app on your iPad, you can wirelessly link the device to your Mac and use the iPad as a second display. You can even drag windows from your Mac display to your iPad and back.
Let’s Get Organized
Apple will make several improvements to its Reminders app in iOS 13, including a feature that makes it easier to find scheduled tasks and organize your day, according to Bloomberg.
But even with those updates, Apple’s Reminders app will still be no match for third-party alternative Todoist. This free app lets you share projects with friends, track how well you’re doing each day at completing tasks, and organize those tasks into different categories.
A Better Way to Message
Apple is including new messaging features to its iMessage service that will let you add a profile picture and change how your name displays in text messages, Bloomberg’s sources say. Apple will also make it easier to send stickers and emoji through texts.
If that all sounds familiar, it’s because it’s already available in the Facebook-owned messaging app WhatsApp. And like iMessage, you can use WhatsApp to send both text and voice messages to friends. For some, WhatsApp is a full replacement for iMessage.
Getting a Good Night’s Sleep
Apple is boosting its Sleep Mode feature in iOS 13 to do a better job of tracking your sleep patterns and help you find the ideal time to set your alarm and wake up in the morning, according to the Bloomberg report.
Instead of waiting for that update, just download SleepScore, one of several popular sleep-tracking apps available now in the App Store. SleepScore helps you track your sleep and uses a “smart alarm” feature to wake you up at the right time in your sleep cycle, so you feel more refreshed when you wake up. SleepScore also has a scoring system to show you on a scale of 0 to 100 how well you slept overnight.