After an awkward iOS 13 and 13.1 release schedule, punctuated by two rapid-fire bugfix releases (iOS 13.1.1 and 13.1.2), Apple is ready to move on to iOS 13.2.
The big new feature in 13.2 is the Deep Fusion computational photography upgrade for the camera in the iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro. During its big September event to debut the phones, Apple promised this update is coming “this fall” and showed off its prowess in mid-to-low light with what can only be described as a “hipster in a Cosby sweater.”
Currently, iOS 13.2 is only available as a developer beta.
Updated 10/16/19: Apple has released beta 3 of iOS 13.2 to developers. The public beta will probably release later today or tomorrow.
How to get the iOS 13.2 beta
If you want to download the beta to try it out, head to beta.apple.com using the device on which you wish to run the beta. It will have instructions for how to download a beta profile. Then, head to Settings > General > Profiles to enable the beta profile. Once you’ve done that, update your phone in the usual way by going to Settings > General > Software Update.
Registered developers typically get beta releases about a day before the general public, though timing can vary. If you’re a registered developer, you can download developer beta profiles at developer.apple.com/download/.
What’s new in iOS 13.2
Deep Fusion: The marquee feature of iOS 13.2 is said to be the new Deep Fusion computational photography upgrade for the iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro. According to The Verge, there are basically three modes of operation for iPhone 11 cameras following the Deep Fusion upgrade, which will simply be automatically selected and applied based on the situation:
The standard wide angle lens will use Smart HDR for bright to medium-light scenes, Deep Fusion for medium to low light, and Night mode for dark scenes.
The telephoto lens will usually use Deep Fusion, using Smart HDR only on very bright scenes, and Night mode for very dark scenes.
The ultrawide lens will always use Smart HDR; it supports neither Deep Fusion nor Night mode.
Siri privacy controls: After a small controversy this summer over contractors hearing unintended recordings when grading Siri requests for accuracy, Apple promised to suspend the Siri grading program until it could give users better control over what is stored and shared.
When iOS 13.2 is installed, a new splash screen gives users the ability to opt out of sharing audio from that iPhone or any connected Apple Watch or HomePod. There’s also a toggle for “Improve Siri & Dictation” in the Privacy section of the Settings app. In the Siri & Search section of the Settings app, you have the option to delete your Siri and dictation history.
New emojis: There are a host of new emojis as part of the Unicode 12 standard, which Apple previewed this summer. They finally come to your iPhone in iOS 13.2; they first appear in beta 2.
Delete apps from the home screen: When you long-press on an app icon, there will new be an option to “Delete app.” The “Rearrange apps” option has been renamed to “Edit Home Screen.”
Set video resolution and frame rate in Camera app: If you have an iPhone 11 or iPhone 11 Pro, you can change the video recording resolution and frame rate right in the Camera app. Just tap on the resolution and frame rate display.
We’ve been asking for this ability for years. It’s great that it’s here, but it’s a shame that it’s limited to the new Camera interface for the iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro, rather than all modern iPhones.
Announce Messages with Siri: Originally announced as part of iOS 13, the ability to hear incoming messages and reply to them without even saying “Hey, Siri” is finally a part of iOS 13.2. It requires second-generation AirPods (and possibly the PowerBeats Pro) in order to work. Go to Settings > Siri & Search to find the Announce Messages menu. You can optionally enable the ability to reply without Siri reading the message back to you.
Note that we had to re-pair our second-generation AirPods and turn our phone off and on again (a full power off, not just to sleep) in order for this function to appear.
AirPlay & Handoff: In Settings > General > AirPlay & Handoff, you have have the Transfer to HomePod option as well as the ability to disable automatic AirPlay to TVs.
Home grouping: In the Home app there is now an option to show accessories with multiple functions as a single tile, or as multiple tiles for each individual function. Prior to iOS 13, everything was ungrouped. In iOS 13, everything is grouped. The iOS 13.2 update gives you control over showing it the way you like it.
When will iOS 13.2 be released?
We simply can’t look at past years’ iOS releases as any indication of when this year’s updates will drop. The release of iOS 13, and it’s subsequent point-release and bugfix updates, has been rapid and staggered, and at this point all bets are off.
Our gut says that we’ll see 13.2 before the end of October, hopefully in time for all those Halloween photos in medium-to-low indoor light!