Apple released iOS 13 for iPhones as old as the 6S on Thursday — and although some people have been using the public beta since June, it's new to me.
I downloaded iOS 13 to my iPhone XR soon after it was released, and so far I've been impressed. While I haven't had the time to extensively test out every new feature in the sweeping new update, some updates stuck out immediately as clear improvements.
In this update, Apple focused on privacy, on performance, and on improving core apps like Photos, Maps, and Messages. I've been pleasantly surprised to find that those tweaks make my phone a little better and more useful: The new design of the Photos app makes it more usable, so you can quickly find the photo you're looking for. I also found some useful updates in the Messages app and in the App Store.
Finally, I'm optimistic about Shortcuts, the Apple-made app for helping automate common tasks on your phone. It comes built-in to iOS 13 (before, it was a separate download), and suggests some helpful uses based on your habits. I've already used some of those routines several times.
The actual usefulness of these changes will become more clear over time, but here are some of my first impressions after a day with iOS 13: