At Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference – WWDC20, we got a glimpse of what’s to come with iOS 14. From new features like App Library and updates to Siri to new privacy and security features, iOS 14’s going to be good.
A fresh new look
The home screen hasn’t changed much since Apple introduced the first iPhone back in 2007 but that’s about to change.
Widgets have been available for a while – you can find them by swiping right on your home screen. But they’ve been redesigned to give you more info at a glance. You can change their size and move them to your home screen now, too.
And then there’s Smart Stacks – a collection of apps that you use the most. The right widget will show up at the right time of day. So, if you like to check the headlines with your morning coffee, that’s when your news widget will appear. Nice.
It’s easy to fill your screen with pages and pages of apps – there’s an app for almost anything. And yes, you could organise them into folders, but who has time for that, really?
Enter the new App Library. It does all the work for you, organising your apps and displaying them on one easy to view screen.
They’re organised by category too, with your most used and recently added apps at the top where you need them.
Gone are the days where an incoming call or FaceTime notification would take up your entire screen, interrupting you completely.
Now, they show as a new compact notification at the top of your screen. They’re easy to answer and can be flicked away if you don’t fancy a chat.
Picture in Picture
Video calling has become so important in recent months – we’re using it more than ever. And wouldn’t it be great if you could continue with your call, while you checked your calendar or used another app?
Well, now you can with Picture in Picture. Continue with your FaceTime call or carry on watching a video, while you use another app. You can move the video around to suit you. And you can even move it off screen completely, all without the audio dropping out.
This is a big one. With so much personal information stored on your iPhone, privacy’s hugely important, and Apple understand that.
iOS 14 brings with it enhanced privacy features that give you more control. You’ll be able to choose to share your approximate location, rather than your exact location when giving apps access. You’ll be asked if you want to allow apps to track you for personalised adverts, too.
And soon, app developers will have to be more transparent about how they collect and use data. These details will be displayed in an easy-to-understand way on App Store product pages so you’re in the know, before you’ve downloaded anything.
As an extra measure, a recording indicator will be available on iOS 14, too. An icon will show at the top of your screen to let you know when an app’s using your mic and/or camera. You’ll also be able to see if an app’s used your mic or camera recently, in the Control Centre.
There are updates and new features coming for Messages, Maps and Siri.
You can now pin your favourite or most important conversations to the top of your conversation list. And it’s easier to keep track of group chats thanks to the addition of inline replies and mentions.
Endless group chat notifications can be annoying – especially if you’re trying to get some work done. But you can now change your message notifications, so that you only get alerted when you’ve been mentioned in a conversation.
There are new Memoji options coming too – over 20 new hairstyles, head wear, and face covering options. And 3 new Memoji stickers have also been added: fist bump, hug, and blush.
If you’re a keen cyclist, then you’ll be pleased to hear that cycling directions have been added to Maps. They include elevation too, so you’ll know in advance if you’re in for a hilly ride.
Electric vehicle routing’s been added as well and automatically takes charging points into consideration, so you don’t get caught short.
Siri’s had a makeover too. Sporting a new compact design, it no longer takes up the whole screen. It’s smarter and able to answer more complex questions and you can now ask Siri to send an audio message, too.
Super-easy to use, the Translation app gives you quick, natural translations of voice and text in 11 different languages. And with the on-device mode, you can use all the app features for private voice and text translation when you’re offline.
iOS 14 release date
Apple hasn’t shared the release date yet but have said that iOS 14 will be available to download this autumn.
If you’re hanging on to an older iPhone, you don’t have to worry about missing out. This update will be available on all iPhones from iPhone 6 onwards.