Features like Dark Mode, and improved multitasking made headlines when iOS 13 and iPadOS 13 were revealed back in June, and rightfully so. That said, I find that many of the smaller, under-the-radar features lend a measurable improvement to the user experience as well. Watch as I discuss my five favorite sleeper features in iOS 13 in this latest hands-on video walkthrough.

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Auto-Join Hotspot

Although it’s been possible for several years to connect to a cellular-enabled iOS device as a hotspot, doing so involved at least some manual intervention by the user in order to establish the connection. With iOS 13’s new Auto-Join Hotspot feature, the hotspot is joined automatically by a client device whenever a Wi-Fi connection isn’t available.

Auto-Join Hotspot is a great new addition for Wi-Fi-only iPad users. Having recently acquired a base model 64GB iPad Pro for testing purposes, it turned out to be the perfect device to test this feature with.

The addition of the Auto-Join Hotspot removes some of the friction produced by the previous methods of joining a hotspot. It comes at the risk of potentially lessening the appeal of cellular-enabled iPads, but I think it’s a great move by Apple to make getting online easier than before.

To enable Auto- Join Hotspot go to SettingsWi-Fi Auto-Join Hotspot and select Automatic. Be sure to do this on the client device.

Video walkthrough

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Persistent Personal Hotspot

Another new under-the-radar feature also has to do with personal hotspot in iOS 13. Persistent Personal Hotspot connectivity allows your device to maintain its connection to a hotspot even after the device has been put to sleep. This, like Auto-Join Hotspot, reduces the friction involved with getting online with a device that lacks built-in cellular connectivity.

Cursor navigation

In iOS 13, moving the cursor within editable text fields is much easier than before: Simply tap and drag the cursor and release it to the desired location within the text field.

Cursor navigation is especially handy for iPad users in iPadOS 13 who use physical keyboards. It allows an easier way to directly manipulate the location of the cursor via touch when the trackpad functionality found on the software keyboard would have otherwise been hidden.

QuickPath Keyboard

Swipe keyboards aren’t new in iOS — plenty of third-party keyboards offer such functionality — but having swipe built in to the stock iOS keyboard as a native feature is definitely a first. No longer do users have to rely on third-party keyboard offerings, along with their respective shortcomings, to enjoy the speed advantages offered by swipe input.

You can toggle QuickPath functionality by going to SettingsGeneral Keyboard and enabling the Slide to Type switch.

Silence Unknown Callers

As someone who receives their fair share of unsolicited calls each and every day, the ability to silence unknown callers automatically within iOS 13 is a welcomed feature. If you’re like me, and find that at least half of the calls that you receive are from telemarketers or robots, then Silence Unknown Callers will go a long way towards restoring your sanity.

To enable the ability to automatically silence unknown callers go to SettingsPhone and enable the Silence Unknown Callers switch.

9to5Mac’s Take

There are tons of new features worth talking about in iOS 13 and iPadOS 13. That much is clear just by watching our hands-on look at over 200 new changes and features found in this year’s update. Some of the enhancements, such as Dark Mode, stand out above the rest, but quite a few of the new updates are of the unassuming variety. Yet, despite being low key, many of the under-the-radar changes result in much-improved quality-of-usage for iPhone and iPad owners.

What’s your favorite under-the-radar new feature in iOS 13? Sound off down below with your thoughts and observations.

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