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Craig Federighi unveiling iOS 13 at WWDC 2019. Photo: Apple

By the end of its developer conference keynotes, Apple often has users drooling for all the ways their existing iPhones will be better with the next version of the operating system. This year, though, the changes seemed more modest than in years past.

Why it matters: IPhone sales have already been struggling as users keep their devices longer and most people who can afford a high-end smartphone have one.

Yes, but: The more Apple uses software upgrades to improve all iPhones, the less incentive existing owners have to invest in new phones.

  • So in some ways, the ho-hum operating-system upgrade could help Apple sell more iPhones this fall, provided there are hardware improvements.

Details: There are changes to be sure (full list here), including...

  • Significantly improved photo and video editing, Dark Mode and improved Apple Maps.
  • New augmented reality capabilities, Memoji stickers, and the type of tracing keyboard long found on Android devices.

My thought bubble: There just didn't seem to be a killer feature — the kind of thing that made me want to download the beta onto my everyday phone as soon it was available despite warnings not to.

Flashback: Standout features seen in Apple's past annual iOS releases...

  • iOS 12 (2018): Memoji, Screen Time.
  • iOS 11 (2017): AR, peer-to-peer Apple Pay.
  • iOS 10 (2016): Apple Music, Home app.
  • iOS 9 (2015): Apple News, iPad multitasking.
  • iOS 8 (2014): Health app, predictive text, family sharing.
  • iOS 7 (2013): AirDrop, Control Center, redesigned user interface.
  • iOS 6 (2012): Shared photo streams, Siri on iPad.
  • iOS 5 (2011): iMessage, Siri.
  • iOS 4: (2010): Multitasking, app folders, iBooks.
  • iOS 3: (2009): Copy and paste, voice memo, Find my iPhone.
  • iOS 2: (2008): App Store, Exchange ActiveSync for work email.

Go deeper

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
40 mins ago - Economy & Business

Workers are getting a really bad deal

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

This week's spate of data highlighted the difficulties Americans who have lost their jobs have had bouncing back from the coronavirus pandemic, and just how much those who have managed to keep their jobs have been working.

What's happening: The Labor Department reported Thursday that the productivity of American workers fell by a revised 4.2% annual rate in the fourth quarter, the largest decline in 39 years.

FBI: Trump appointee arrested in connection with Capitol riot

Photo: Samuel Corum/Getty Images

The FBI on Thursday arrested former State Department aide Federico Klein, a Trump appointee who worked on the former president's 2016 campaign, on charges related to the Jan. 6 storming of the Capitol, according to a court filing.

Why it matters: The 42-year-old Klein is the first member of the Trump administration to be arrested in connection with the insurrection, which led to the former president's second impeachment and charges against over 300 people.

Biden confronts mounting humanitarian crisis at the border

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios. Photo: Pool/Getty Images     

Just over a month into his presidency, President Biden is staring down a mounting crisis at the border that could be just as bad as the ones faced by Barack Obama and Donald Trump, if not worse.

Why it matters: Immigration is an issue that can consume a presidency. It's intensely and poisonously partisan. It's complicated. And the lives and welfare of vulnerable children hang in the balance.