Any day now, any minute, perhaps, you’ll be able to download the public beta of Apple’s iOS 13 software for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. Time, then, to recap what’s coming.

Apple says it’s coming this month, so check back here: I’ll be updating this post with links to how to download the beta as soon as it’s available.

Note that it’s early days and Apple advises you only test the new software out on a secondary device – plenty of apps won’t be compatible just yet, be warned and battery life often diminishes sharply with beta software on board.

Here are the 13 best features of the new operating system, which will finally go live in the fall.

1 Dark Mode
This is a crowd-pleaser, offering a chic and understated look to your iPhone. So, Notes, Messages, Mail and more suddenly have a white-out-of-black look that’s highly attractive. And if you have an iPhone X, iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max with their classy OLED displays, then Dark Mode will likely save battery life into the bargain. (This energy saving doesn’t apply on the iPhone XR which has an LCD screen and note that Apple isn’t making any claims in this regard).

works so well because it’s system-wide. It means that while the design of the Apple Watch and Calculator apps, for instance, can already give you a preview of what it looks like because they’ve always looked that way, now the same elegant color choices are there in the App Store, News and so on.

2 Sign in with Apple
This is very cool. When you’re signing up to a new app you’re currently presented with options which can include the option to sign in with Facebook, Google or with email. Apple, in its typically privacy-conscious way, is offering an alternative which avoids users running the risk of being tracked, leading to targeted advertising, for instance.

Signing in with your Apple ID will be an option, presented alongside the other ones, and will offer significant benefits. It has two-factor authentication built in as an extra layer of security.

Even better, where a developer asks for a name and email address, you can choose whether or not to give it. If you prefer, Apple can create a randomized email address so when the app sends you a message it comes to your Apple ID email but via Apple, so nobody knows your email.