There were tonnes of leaks about the iOS 14, the latest version of iOS. But now that Apple has officially unveiled the operating system on its WWDC 2020 event, here’s the most notable features you’ll need to know about the iOS 14 update.
Apple iOS 14
Widgets on Home Screen
Apple has finally added widgets on the home screen in iOS 14. Before adding a widget, you can choose what size widget you want placed on the homescreen. The design are all unified and streamlined, so each app’s widget fits the overall iOS look. Each widget provides essential information, and can easily be added from the widget gallery. When placing them on the homescreen, other apps surrounding the widget would move around to make space for the widget automatically.
iOS does have a problem with app management on the home screen, and while folders does help a little bit, all it does is hide away apps and after a while you’d forget about them. Apple introduced App Library, a new page that reorganises all your apps into simple categories, which is just a swipe away. Once you’ve set up App Library, you can even hide the app pages that you don’t need anymore, so you’re one swipe closer to your App Library. On the top, you’ll even have a search bar to get to your desired app faster.
Compact Siri UI
Whenever you call upon Siri, she (it?) usually takes up the entire screen and distracts you from what you need. In iOS 14, Apple has reduced Siri’s footprint and made her UI more compact. Now when you call Siri and ask for an action, the actions get done in notification form, and helps you stay focused. You can get Siri to tell you about the weather, and it would appear in a small notification window on the top.
Finally, picture-in-picture arrives on the iOS 14 update. Now, there’s also a TV widget that can be placed on the homescreen. If you press play, it will bring you straight to the Apple TV app and start streaming the video. However, if you swipe up and go to the homescreen, the video starts floating in a window and you can place and move it wherever you’d like. You can pinch to enlarge the size of the video, swipe it to the side to hide the video but leave the audio on, and close it by just pressing the “x” button.
Pinned Conversations in Messages
Messages also gets quite the update in iOS 14. This took Apple a while, but you can now pin your most important messages in the app to the top spot so you can easily access it as soon as you get into the app.
Group Photo in Messages
For the first time, Apple users can now customise their group photos in messages with either a custom image, or a memoji. On top of that, the group photo is also responsive where the most active user in the group will show a larger profile photo compared to the others. That way, you know who is more active and who isn’t.
iOS 14 users can now have inline replies in the Messages app. You can reply to another user’s specific message, or view it as its own separate thread. This way, you can clear the clutter of unnecessary messages and just focus on your conversation with a specific user from the group.
Apple has also introduced new ways for you to express yourself with new memoji customisations. These new customisations are made to be more modern and more relatable, where it even includes a face mask option. Not only that, you can also add a cheer, fist bump, or blush gesture to your memoji.
Apple unveiled its new Translate app that features almost instantaneous translations. You can use voice to immediately input your language and choose which language you want to output to. Turn your phone sideways into landscape mode, and the app goes into conversation mode. Just tap on the mic button, and the app is capable of recognising which language is being spoken and it will instantly translate it to the person on the receiving end. For now, Apple can handle the languages below.
To add on to the new Translate app, you don’t need an Internet connection to perform these translations. iOS 14 users will be happy to know that these translations can be done right from the device because they’re already stored on to the device itself. Well, as long as the language is already covered, of course.
Guides in Maps
Maps has now been improved and it can even give you detailed guides on how you travel about your route, be it in your car or public transportation.
Cycling direction in Maps
Adding to the Maps app is cycling direction. You can now even plan your route if you’re biking to your destination. The Maps app can show you bike routes which have bike lanes and pathways, and it can even tell you if you need to carry your bike up the stairs or have a slope coming up in your journey. In addition, the app can also tell you if your bike journey will be a tough workout, or a leisurely stroll.
Maps EV Routing
If you own an electric vehicle, you can use the Maps app to plan your route and have routing to charging stations added to your trip automatically. Not only that, the app will also route you to charging stations that are only applicable to your vehicle. Apple is working with Ford and BMW to improve this feature.
You can now (okay not now, but soon) use your iPhone as your car key. Just unlock your car with the phone, place it on the wireless charger, and you can start the car with the push start button. You can also invite users and give them access to your car so they can drive your car without needing to get the car keys from you. The first car to have this feature is BMW’s 2021 Series 5 car. Also, the Car Keys feature will also be provided to iOS 13 users so they can use this feature as well.
Lastly, Apple introduced App Clips in iOS 14. App Clips are short snippets of app pages that appear when you need them just by tapping on an App Clip sticker or scanning an App Clip code. If you see an electric scooter and want to rent it but you don’t have the app for it, just tap your iOS device on the App Clip sticker and the App Clip will appear and you can instantly use the app. App Clip also works with Apple Pay and Sign In With Apple to make payments and get you started right away.
The public beta will be rolling out starting July, 2020 and it will be compatible for iPhone 6s, 6s Plus and later.