Everything You Need to know about iOS 13.2 Update

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9 min read

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.”

But this version of iOS has new features for everyone, including new emojis, Siri privacy controls, HomeKit Secure Video, and more.

Open the Settings app and tap on General. Then tap Software Update.

If you don’t want to force the install manually, you’ll likely be prompted to install the update over the next week or so.

The Deal Breakers

The headline news is iOS 13.2 has been bricking the Apple HomePod. Working in unison with a new version of the speaker’s audioOS, HomePod owners have found that connecting to iPhones upgraded to iOS 13.2 breaks Apple Music and if they try to reset their HomePods they are stuck in an endless boot loop. Apple has now issued a warning about this and pulled the respective updates. What a mess. 

For everyone else, iOS 13.2 seems no better. Dropped call problems continue and the battery life bug continues to frustrate:

“@AppleSupport I am glad to learn that the iOS13 battery drain is not a hardware defect but an iOS thing. I updated (iPhone 6s) today to the latest 13.2 and the problem is as bad as before. #fixbatterydrain” – source

“Updated to iOS 13.2 after 13.1 in hope that the battery drain issue would be fixed. Now it is worse! Really not a great experience” – source

“@AppleSupport the battery drain is still crazy bad on 13.2 and iPhone SE. Is this a sneaky way to force me to upgrade?” – source

Mail problems are also unresolved (“@AppleSupport I downloaded iOS 13.2 on my iPhone 8 and now I cannot see any emails – source, “#iOS 13.2, and Mail app is stupidly still broken. Thanks @apple @AppleSupport for the $700 useless communication device – source) and Messages still has issues

So What Do You Get?

While it seems Apple didn’t spend much time trying to fix existing problems in iOS 13.2, it does introduce a lot of new features. They are as follows:

  • Deep Fusion for ‌iPhone 11‌, ‌iPhone 11 Pro‌, and ‌iPhone 11 Pro Max‌ 
  • Change video resolution directly from the Camera app for ‌iPhone 11‌, ‌iPhone 11 Pro‌, and ‌iPhone 11 Pro Max‌
  • Over 70 new or updated emoji
  • AirPods Pro‌ support
  • Siri‌ can read your incoming messages to AirPods‌
  • HomeKit‌ Secure Video to privately capture, store, and view encrypted video from your security cameras
  • HomeKit‌ enabled routers to control ‌HomeKit‌ accessories over the internet or in your home
  • Siri privacy settings to stop Apple storing audio of ‌Siri‌ and Dictation interactions
  • Option to delete your ‌Siri‌ and Dictation history from ‌Siri‌ Settings

What’s new in iOS 13.2

Deep Fusion

Foto by MacWord

A new photo from Apple showing Deep Fusion in action.

The headline here is Deep Fusion. This is a new form of image processing which shoots multiple images at different exposures then fuses them together (much like the technique Google Pixels use). It’s an automatic mode, so you can’t manually select it, but when enabled it has the potential to produce significantly better texture and detail for photos taken in mid-to-low light. 

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.

iOS 13.2 also sees Apple step up its HomeKit efforts after they had started to stagnate and the new Siri modes are essential after the Siri privacy debacle.

Apple has also been working on things under the hood. The company’s official security page lists 26 security fixes (14 of which are for WebKit) and Apple has actually quashed some bugs, just not the big ones: 

  • Fixes an issue that may prevent passwords from autofilling in 3rd party apps
  • Resolves an issue that may prevent the keyboard from appearing when using Search
  • Addresses an issue where swipe to go home might not work on iPhone X and later
  • Fixes an issue where Messages would only send a single notification when the option to repeat alerts was enabled
  • Addresses an issue where Messages may display a phone number instead of a contact name
  • Resolves an issue that caused Contacts to launch to the previously opened contact instead of the contact list
  • Fixes an issue that may prevent Markup annotations from being saved
  • Resolves an issue where saved notes could temporarily disappear
  • Fixes an issue where iCloud Backup might not successfully complete after tapping Backup Now in Settings
  • Improves performance when using AssistiveTouch to activate App Switcher

Helpful as these are, the serious ongoing problems with Mail, Calls and Battery Life need to be treated as a priority at this point. 

New Emojis

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.”

  • Includes 60+ the new emoji previewed by Apple back in July
  • New emoji picker for selecting multiple skin tones within a single emoji

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

ios 13 2 frame and resolution

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 AirPods 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. 

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.

Release Notes

The full official release notes from Apple are as follows:

iOS 13.2 introduces Deep Fusion, an advanced image processing system that uses the A13 Bionic Neural Engine to capture images with dramatically better texture, detail, and reduced noise in lower light, on ‌iPhone 11‌, iPhone 11 Pro, and iPhone 11 Pro Max. Additional features include updated and additional emoji, Announce Messages for ‌AirPods‌, support for ‌AirPods Pro‌, ‌HomeKit‌ Secure Video, ‌HomeKit‌ enabled routers, and new ‌Siri‌ privacy settings. This update also contains bug fixes and improvements.

Camera

  • Deep Fusion for ‌iPhone 11‌, ‌iPhone 11 Pro‌, and ‌iPhone 11 Pro Max‌ uses the A13 Bionic Neural Engine to capture multiple images at various exposures, run a pixel-by-pixel analysis, and fuse the highest quality parts of the images together resulting in photos with dramatically better texture, details, and reduced noise, especially for mid to low light scenes.
  • Ability to change the video resolution directly from the Camera app for ‌iPhone 11‌, ‌iPhone 11 Pro‌, and ‌iPhone 11 Pro Max‌.

Emoji

  • Over 70 new or updated emoji, including animals, food, activities, new accessibility emoji, gender neutral emoji, and skin tones selection for couple emoji.

‌AirPods‌ Support

  • Announce Messages with ‌Siri‌ to read your incoming messages aloud to your ‌AirPods‌.
  • AirPods Pro‌ support.

Home App

  • HomeKit‌ Secure Video enables you to privately capture, store, and view encrypted video from your security cameras and features people, animal, and vehicle detection.
  • HomeKit‌ enabled routers put you in control of what your ‌HomeKit‌ accessories communicate with over the internet or in your home.

‌Siri‌

  • Privacy settings to control whether or not to help improve ‌Siri‌ and Dictation by allowing Apple to store audio of your ‌Siri‌ and Dictation interactions.
  • Option to delete your ‌Siri‌ and Dictation history from ‌Siri‌ Settings.

This update also includes bug fixes and other improvements

  • Fixes an issue that may prevent passwords from autofilling in 3rd party apps.
  • Resolves an issue that may prevent the keyboard from appearing when using Search.
  • Addresses an issue where swipe to go home might not work on iPhone X and later.
  • Fixes an issue where Messages would only send a single notification when the option to repeat alerts was enabled.
  • Addresses an issue where Messages may display a phone number instead of a contact name.
  • Resolves an issue that caused Contacts to launch to the previously opened contact instead of the contact list.
  • Fixes an issue that may prevent Markup annotations from being saved.
  • Resolves an issue where saved notes could temporarily disappear.
  • Fixes an issue where iCloud Backup might not successfully complete after tapping Backup Now in Settings.
  • Improves performance when using AssistiveTouch to activate App Switcher.

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