Apple Releases iOS 13.3

The latest iPhone software update adds new parental controls and addresses minor defects. If you’ve already upgraded to iOS 13, the latest update is worth installing. For those who have held off on iOS 13, it may be a good time to finally upgrade.

By Chand Bellur

December 17, 2019 at 11:18 p.m. PDT

iOS 13.3 Brings Powerful Parental Controls to the iPhone

iOS offers industry leading parental controls. Almost every product in the Apple ecosystem is kid friendly. Parents have fine grained control over how their children can use devices, apps and services.

Apple’s latest mobile operating system brings improvements to parental controls. The Screen Time app gives parents authority over their child’s contacts. This gives parents the ability to limit contact on FaceTime, Message and phone calls.

The Screen Time app adds a new, innovative feature enabling parents to remotely control their children’s contacts. A new contact list for children appears in a parent’s Screen Time app. Parents can now add or remove a contact on their children’s phones remotely, without having to physically access their family members’ devices. They can also see a real-time list of every contact on their kids’ iPhones.

Apple has come a long way with parental control features. Steve Jobs famously disallowed his own children from using most Apple devices, which seems like the ultimate parental control.

iOS 13.3 Brings Improvements to Apple News and Stocks Apps

Modest improvements to the Stocks and News apps make iOS 13.3 a relatively low risk release. Given iOS 13’s troublesome debut, Apple seems to be adding new features with care.

Apple News+ offers a new layout for major newspapers, such as The Wall Street Journal. Readers can now tap to like or dislike an Apple News article.

The Stocks app adds bilingual French and English language support for Canada. Related news articles are now linked from stock quotes. The app also features new labels for top stories.

For a relatively major release, iOS 13.3 doesn’t add much more beyond enhanced parental controls and cosmetic changes. The good news is that myriad bug fixes made their way into the release.

iOS 13.3 Fixes a Backlog of Defects

iOS 13 has been one of the worst Apple releases in recent history. That said, Apple still offers industry leading quality. The following defects and enhancements are part of the iOS 13.3 release:

  • Enables the creation of a new video clip when trimming a video in Photos
  • Adds support for NFC, USB, and Lightning FIDO2-compliant security keys in Safari
  • Fixes issues in Mail that may prevent downloading new messages
  • Addresses an issue that prevented deleting messages in Gmail accounts
  • Resolves issues that could cause incorrect characters to display in messages and duplication of sent messages in Exchange accounts
  • Fixes an issue where the cursor may not move after long pressing on the space bar
  • Addresses an issue that may cause screenshots to appear blurry when sent via Messages
  • Resolves an issue where cropping or using Markup on screenshots may not save to Photos
  • Fixes an issue where Voice Memos recordings may not be able to be shared with other audio apps
  • Addresses an issue where the missed call badge on the Phone app may not clear
  • Resolves an issue where the Cellular Data setting may incorrectly show as off
  • Fixes an issue that prevented turning off Dark Mode when Smart Invert was enabled
  • Addresses an issue where some wireless chargers may charge more slowly than expected

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