iOS 13 : the small and big changes of design

With iOS 13, Apple has made changes to many elements of the user interface of its mobile system. In addition to the introduction of a mode dark which one did the trick, the buttons, symbols and menus have changed. The transformation sometimes goes beyond the aesthetic, it affects the very operation of iOS.

On all the following captures, iOS 12 is on the left and iOS 13 to the right.

New buttons

The buttons at the top of the lists, which are used to filter the content according to different criteria, are abandoning blue in favor of an effect of depth. These new buttons are similar to a switch, indicate more clearly which option is selected.

iOS 12 / iOS-13

iOS 13 a new pop-up menus. The change is of importance, because it is not only of aesthetic order. These menus replace the Peek and Pop on terminals equipped with 3D Touch.

On iOS 12, when you press firmly on an image or a link, you have a preview of the content (action, ” Peek “). To reveal the contextual actions, such as copy or share, it will then need to drag the preview to the top.

On iOS 13, when you press firmly, you have directly the overview and the contextual actions below (or above, depending on the case). However, there is more Pop, that is to say action to open the content by pressing firmly once again.

The advantage of the new context menus, in addition to quickly display the different actions, is that they are available on all terminals, including those without a 3D Touch. With these, it is necessary to press and hold on the content to open the context menu.

Although the first beta of iOS 13 can raise fears, 3D Touch is not abandoned on the devices that are equipped. Press firmly on the content it will open the context menu (faster than a long press on the terminals without the 3D Touch).

The new shortcut menus are also replacing advantageously the old menus on files and folders.

Head fused with the background

Apple generalizes a trend which began with its apps the most recent (Files, Shortcuts, Wallet, etc.) under the previous versions of iOS : there is more separation between the header (the top part of the app which includes in its name or in the name of the selected section) and the content. The title is not in a separate zone, it is placed directly on the background of the app.

Generalization of modal windows

Another aspect of generalized iOS 13, modal windows, which arise over the application and can be closed by swiping down. On iOS 12, it is found in Mail, when you write a new mail. On iOS 13, they are present in many places.

On iOS 13, take a look at the top of the screen : you can see the top of Safari in the background. You can close the modal window by swiping to the bottom.

Apple asks developers not to abuse it either. The modal window should be used for a new action or a new type of content. In the Calendar, the creation of a new event called a modal window. By contrast, the edition of an event already created in the continuity of the application, without a new window.

New symbols

Apple has redesigned all the symbols present in the system. In general, the new symbols, named SF Symbols and provided to developers, are a little thicker and more rounded. They are more widely used in iOS (for example in the contextual menu) and to automatically adapt to the adjustment of the size of the font.

The menu of sharing has been completely reworked. Here, too, it is not that a lick of paint, it is its operation which has been turned upside-down. It reminds us of the element that will be shared and suggests frequent contacts.


A new button “··· ” made its appearance in several apps. It is used to display a list of options.

In the control Center, speakers with AirPlay are best distinguished from the iPhone.

Some texts are now docked to the left.

There is no more big “Cancel” button in the option menus, or sharing, it closes the window in the down or touching the cross.

We already talked about , but it recalls so it was expected : the meter volume is also more discreet.

To conclude

Apple has finally put the consistency in a system that gradually became heterogeneous. iOS 13 generalizes elements of design previews in recent apps Cupertino and clarifies some points that might be lacking. It is definitively removed the “flat design” of iOS 7 : the system is regaining thickness and depth.

On a wider plan, iOS 13 standardizes finally, the context menus between the terminals that have 3D Touch and those who do are not equipped. As to the iPad, it wins the specific changes that we will detail in a future article.