Apple has released iOS 14 which is one of the most ambitious generational iOS upgrade in years, introducing Home screen design changes, major new features, updates for existing apps, Siri improvements, and packs loads of great secret features that streamline the iOS interface.
iOS 14 offers a radically different experience and it’s available to download on your iPhone now. Here we are running you through 10 standout additions you need to know about:
1. Homescreen Widgets
- In the widget gallery, you can select the Smart Stack, a set of widgets you can swipe through that uses on-device intelligence to surface the right widget at the right time based on factors like time, location, and activity.
- Widgets now come in small, medium, and large sizes so you can pick the amount of information that’s right for you.
- Many Apple widgets like Weather, Clock, Calendar, News, Maps, Fitness, Photos, Reminders, Stocks, Music, TV, Tips, Notes, Shortcuts, Battery, Screen Time, Files, Podcasts, and Siri Suggestions have been Redesigned. They can be placed directly on Homescreen.
- Developers can create their own widgets using a new API that lets them take advantage of the redesigned widgets, including the ability to put them on the Home Screen and show them at the right time.
2. App Library
- The App Library is a new space at the end of your Home Screen pages. It automatically organizes all of your apps into one simple, easy‑to‑navigate view.
- When you delete an app there is now a new option to add it to the App Library, which removes it from your home screen but retains it in iOS 14’s new App Library.
- Use the search bar at the top of the App Library to quickly find the app you’re looking for. When you tap Search, apps can be displayed alphabetically, making them easy to scroll through and find.
- The App Library automatically organizes all your apps into different categories such as Social, Productivity, and Entertainment. Categories intelligently reorders itself based on app use.
- The Suggestions category uses on-device intelligence to show apps you’re likely to be looking for based on factors like time of day, location, or activity.
- The most relevant results, including apps, contacts, knowledge, Maps points of interest, and websites, are shown right at the top, making it easier to find what you need.
- Just type a few characters and you can quickly launch apps and websites by tapping Go.
- Search suggestions show more relevant results as soon as you start typing, if you search with company name it can show even products of the company in search results.
- Searching the web is now easier than ever. Start typing and see relevant websites and web search suggestions displayed at the top, making it easy to quickly launch Safari for a full web search.
- Start a search in apps like Mail, Messages, and Files
4. Compact design
- Incoming Phone and FaceTime calls appear as a banner at the top of the screen
- Siri has a compact design that allows you to refer to information onscreen and seamlessly launch into your next task. As you start a request, Siri pops up at the bottom of the screen. When Siri has a result for you, it appears at the top of the screen like a notification.
- Picture in Picture enables watching a video or making a FaceTime call while you use another app
- You can resize the Picture in Picture window by pinching the video to make it bigger or smaller.
- Minimize the video window by moving it offscreen, giving you full access to an app while continuing to listen to the audio.
- Pinned conversations lets you keep your favorite message threads to the top of your conversation list so you can always access them. Recent messages, Tapbacks, and typing indicators animate in above the pin. And if you have pinned a group conversation, you’ll see three recent participants circle around the pin when they send a message
- You can have up to nine pinned conversations that sync across Messages in iOS, iPadOS, and macOS.
- Mentions let you direct a message to an individual in a group conversation
- Inline replies let you reply to a specific message and see all related messages in their own view to easily keep track of a thread.
- Group photos can be customized for a shared group look using a photo, Memoji, or emoji that is shared with all members of the group.
6. App Clips
- An App Clip is a small part of an app that developers can create that’s focused on a specific task, and is discoverable at the moment you need it. App clips are small by design and can be used in a few seconds.
- App Clip can be discovered by tapping NFC tags or scanning QR codes, or from Messages, Maps, and Safari.
- You can find Recently used App Clips in App Library’s Recently Added category, and download the full version of the app if you want to keep it handy
- For locations that support App Clips, the place card in Maps includes a button to launch them
- Custom sleep schedules help you meet your sleep goals with bedtime reminders and wake-up alarms, which can improve your overall health. Set a goal for how long you want to sleep each night, and then create a daily schedule for bedtime and wake-up.
- Wind Down helps you create a pre-bedtime routine with apps and shortcuts, like listening to a relaxing playlist. You can set a custom time window before your scheduled bedtime for Wind Down to run. Turning on Wind Down also means that Sleep mode and Do Not Disturb will be enabled on your iPhone during the time window you select.
- Sleep mode minimizes distractions during Wind Down and Bedtime by turning on Do Not Disturb and simplifying your Lock screen. Sleep mode ends at your set wake-up time, or you can disable it in Control Center.
- Health Checklist helps you track and manage health and safety features in one place. it’s easier than ever to manage the health features that matter most to you.
- New Mobility category in the Health app, including metrics like walking speed, double support time, step length, and walking asymmetry
- Maps now routes cyclists along bike lanes, bike paths, and bike-friendly roads. Preview the elevation for your ride, check how busy a street is, and set routes to avoid steep inclines or stairs. Maps also offers custom cycling voice guidance and a rich experience on Apple Watch that makes it easy to navigate with a glance.
- Guides offers the best suggestions for places to eat, meet friends or explore, curated by a selection of trusted brands
- Easily plan trips with your electric vehicle. Maps automatically adds charging stops along your route and even account for charging time when calculating the ETA. Once you securely add your electric vehicle on your iPhone, Maps can keep track of things like the current charge and charger type to give you the best route for your vehicle.
- Refine Location enables highly accurate location and orientation when in urban areas with a poor GPS signal
- Enable a fully offline experience for Translate and keep your translations private without needing to turn off your phone’s internet connection.
- A split-screen design in conversation mode has a single microphone button that automatically detects which of the selected languages is being spoken and transcribes the original and translated text on the correct sides of the screen
- Attention mode shows translations in the larger text making it easier to read and more effective for getting someone’s attention.
- It uses advanced on-device intelligence to let you translate your voice from one language to another. Downloaded languages can be translated using voice even without an internet connection.
- Favorites tab lets you save translations in the for easy access later. You can also view your recent history and save phrases you just translated.
- You can see the definition of a word in a completed translation in the built-in dictionary by tapping on it.
- Translate currently supports translation between any combination of 11 languages: English (US & UK), Spanish (Spain), Chinese (Mandarin, Simplified), Japanese, Korean, Russian, German (Germany), French (France), Italian (Italy), Portuguese (Brazil), and Arabic.
- iOS displays an indicator whenever an app is using the mic or camera, both in the app and in Control Center.
- A new setting lets you choose to share your approximate location, rather than your precise location, with an app.
- You can choose to share only selected items with a developer who asks for access to your photos, or you can give access to your entire library.
- App and web developers can now offer the option for you to upgrade your existing accounts to Sign in with Apple
- Developers can offer the option to upgrade existing app accounts to Sign in with Apple so users can enjoy improved privacy, security, and ease of use without setting up a new account.
- Developers will be required to get your permission before tracking you. You can check apps you have given permission to track in Settings so you can change your preferences.