Yes, iOS 14 is coming and it’s bringing along some exciting new features. We got our first look at iOS 14 at WWDC 2020 and all it’s new features and there’s a lot to take in. It’s already possible to download the iOS 14 developer beta, so if that’s your thing, you can get started straight away. But for the rest of us, we’ll have to wait just a little bit longer until the public beta is available for download in July.
So, what’s new in iOS 14? Surprisingly, quite a lot. We could list them all here, but why not just dive straight intoeverything iOS 14 has to offer.
Widgets got a new upgrade improving what was already useful on the iPhone and giving it a nice new boost. You can now move widgets around on your Home screen. As well as being able to choose the size of the widget and the amount of information on display. This gives a fresh new look to your home screen in the first time since, well, ever.
It allows you to find a more convenient place for your widgets where you’ll see them. Which makes widgets like shortcuts a lot easier to utilize. There’s also a new smart stack widget, which gives you the ability to stack up your widgets. switching between widgets on your smart stack is as easy s swiping up. But, if you prefer, you can set up your smart stack to show different widgets at different times of the day.
This is a feature that I’m not too interested in for myself. But I can see how it will be useful for some people. The App library is a new feature, which will automatically categorize apps for you in to handy and organized folders so you can find what you need easily and efficiently. There’s a suggestions folder which will show you Apps that are more frequently used. As well as a recently added folder for any new Apps you may have recently installed. It is tidy and it is a nice feature, it even contains a search bar. All of this is nice, but honestly, I feel it’s not necessary.
Imagine that you can’t find photos on your iPhone because it’s too messy, so you have to go to the App library to find it. This is a waste of time. It’s a lot easier to say “Hey Siri, open photos” than to waste time digging through your iPhone to find the App that you want. one feature that I am excited about, is the new ability to edit pages. To do this go into Jiggle Mode and click the dots at the bottom. From there you can hide entire pages and really clean up what you’re showing on your iPhone. This feature is great for me as I really utilize Siri for almost everything and appreciate having a little less clutter on my screen.
A very small feature that makes a big difference is the less intrusive compact calls. Whenever you get a call on your iPhone, it doesn’t matter what you’re doing, you’re interrupted by the whole screen coming up with whoever is calling you. For me personally, I hate phone calls with a passion. So the idea of someone calling me and distracting me while I’m using my phone is infuriating, to say the least. Fortunately the new compact calls just shows a small bar at the top of the screen which is easily swiped away if you’re in the middle of something. It also works for third-party Apps. Simple and effective.
Picture in Picture
Yes, finally, you can access Apps whilst watching a video. Or even when on a FaceTime call. you can reposition the screen, even pinch to zoom if you’d like it a bit bigger. you can also swipe it off the screen and it’ll continue playing. This feature has already appeared on the iPad, so it’s great to see iPhone get this feature as well.
Siri has had a big improvement, with a new, innovative, compact design. Siri used to take up the whole screen when you would say “Hey, Siri”. But now, just like with the compact calls, it doesn’t do that anymore. Instead you’re greeted with a small Siri icon at the bottom of your screen. On top of that, if you ask Siri a simple question, like “How’s the weather?”, Siri will now open a notification showing the weather, rather than changing the entire page.
I never even knew I had issues with Siri until now, so it’s always great when they improve something before I had a chance to complain about it. On top of this, Siri can now answer more questions, like “Why are flamingos pink?” or “When do babies start teething?” You can also now send voice messages, ask Siri to send a voice message for you and it will start recording.
Now Apple has it’s own translation App. Well, this may not seem like a new feature, thanks to Google Translate. However, there are some differences. For a start, the App can be used completely offline. Not so useful now. But, when the world opens up again, that’d be a game changer when you’re in a new country with no Wifi or data. As of now, unfortunately it’s only available between 11 different languages. But hopefully in the future, we’ll see some more options. One of the best features on this App is if you turn it to landscape for Conversation Mode. In this mode, there’s only one microphone option, as the App intelligently detects which language is being spoken and translates it accordingly.
Messages have also had a revamp this time round too. You can now pin your most important conversations. Which saves a ton of time for you to find someone you talk to more than others. There’s also been an improvement to Memojis. With a ton of new looks, hairstyles and hats to choose from than ever before. And also, would 2020 be complete without a facemask memoji? I would think not! There’s also more age options available now too. As well as now being able to send a hug, fist bump or blush.
Groups have now had a little change. Now you can respond directly to a certain message, and also the ability to mention someone. Sounds a lot like what you can do in FaceBook Messenger? Well, that’s because it is exactly the same thing. Not new to the world, but it’s Apple’s way of keeping up with its competitors. There’s even a way to customize your groups now, with a symbol or even a photo. If you choose to keep it how it is, the new group icon will show the most active people in the group as the largest there.
Maps is getting it’s own boost. After it was released last year (yes, only last year). There’s general updates, that you expect from any map App. But there’s also some interesting new features, like the option for cycling, which allows users to ride their bikes along bike lanes, paths and roads. It’ll also tell you if a route is uphill or if you need to carry your bike upstairs. As of now, there aren’t a great deal of citties that offer this feature, but hopefully more will be coming soon.
There’s also a new feature for electric car users; EV Routing. Maps will track your cars current charge and will also factor in things like elevation and weather to determine when your car will need it’s next charge. It will also find you the correct charging station, based on your car model. You also have the option to avoid congestion zones.
There’s an App for everything nowadays. But sometimes, you just don’t want to fill your phone up with Apps. Well, now there’s the new App Clips that will help you to still use certain Apps without it taking up space. Need to Pay for parking? Now it’s as easy as either scanning the code with your camera or using the NFC to touch the symbol. App Clips is relatively new and it seems like the range at the moment isn’t too great, but hopefully in the future, we’ll be using App clips more than Apps. We all have those clunky annoying loyalty Apps. I think it would be better for everyone if it was just an App Clip instead.
Other New Features
This is basically everything that ws covered. One thing that we haven’t mentioned about yet is the new car key feature. But we’ll probably go into much more detail about that in the not-too-distant future. One of the other new features we didnt mention about are the new tap on the back of your iPhone features, which can help you to take a screenshot and more.
iOS 14 will become live around September, with public Beta testing some time in July.