Every year Apple introduces a significant new software update for the iPhone. For 2020, that update is tagged iOS 14.
Now you can download iOS 14 on your other iPhones using Settings> General> Software Update.
In this feature, we’ll dive into what your iPhone can do with the new software.
Before now, widgets were solely accessible from the Today screen. However, with new iOS 14, the new widgets feature will provide appropriate info at a glimpse, in addition, you can pin these widgets to any page on the home screen in varying dimensions. Yes, it is like widgets on Android (and indeed live tiles on Windows Phone).
Just long-press on the home screen to see the new options as if you were going to move or remove apps. A new + icon in the upper left allows you to add widgets depending on what is installed.
You can opt to navigate over more options for every single widget (diverse sizes) or simply move the widgets to the home screen, also, you can drag to the Today screen. Existing icons will scroll, which means it will take a bit of work to tidy up the home screen.
Also, there’s a featured called a Smart Stack; this allows you to create a widget stack that can optionally use device intelligence to offer the suitable widget based on time, activity and location. You can slide your finger across the Smart Stack to see different widgets; this works very well, although it will not be intuitive for new users.
The app library is a new screen that sits at the bottom of the home screen pages. It automatically classifies and arranges all your apps into folders, such as Recently Added, Social etc. It shows you the apps that might be useful at that particular time. You can choose how many home screen pages to show and hide full pages for quick access to the app library.
Again, this creates new options for you, but if you’re used to searching your apps anyway using Spotlight search, it doesn’t add anything new. We found that our preferred layout was to have two essential app home screens, followed by the app library screen. To get to the Edit Pages screen, touch and hold the screen like you’re going to trash an app icon, then tap the row of dots above the dock.
An application clip is a small part of an application (less than 10MB) associated with a particular product or business and designed to be downloaded instantly as soon as needed. App clips need to load in seconds to finish a certain task, like buying a chocolate, which displays as a card at the bottom of your device screen; this is not a full app download.
App clips can be swiftly revealed and opened by skimming a new Apple-designed app clip code, alternatively through NFC tags and QR codes and shared in Messages or Safari.
App clips are automatically erased from your iPhone after 30 days.
Messages allow you to pin conversations to the top of your message list, as WhatsApp already can. Online mentions and replies are also being introduced in group threads. There is also a new Memoji options and the option to set a group photo using an image or emoji. Users will be able to mute a group conversation but receive notifications when their name is also directly mentioned.
Siri Improved but Minimalized
Siri has been redesigned in iOS 14, so it now appears on the page you’re instead of opening a whole new screen. You’re also getting several new features, including better translation functionality (thanks to the Translate app) and knowledge expansion. Also, you can record and send an audio message via Siri.
New Translation App
There is a new translation app that offers voice and text translation in 11 different languages. The application will work offline for private voice and text translation using Apple’s neural engine, and putting your iPhone in landscape mode launches talk mode, which automatically detects which languages are spoken.
Maps will get cycling directions in iOS 14, including selected EV routes and guides. Bicycle directions will take into account elevation, street traffic, and stairs on the route. These new features weren’t working when we tested them in beta.
The EV routing feature will add charging stops along a planned route based on the current vehicle charge and charger types, while the guides provide a curated list of cool locations to visit in a metropolis.
The Digital car keys which arrive with the new iOS 14, will allow users to use an iPhone or Apple wearable to unlock and turn on a car’s ignition. They use NFC, and you can share your digital car keys via Messaging so someone else can drive your car, for example. You will also be able to disable them through iCloud if a device is lost. We haven’t been able to test this yet, but we hope we can do it soon. However, the car keys will only be compatible with specific devices.
Default Third-Party Apps
Apple will allow users to set third-party apps as their default apps over Apple’s apps on iOS 14. You will be able to set Chrome or Gmail as your default browser and email app, respectively; for example, when you tap a link or an address, the email will always open automatically in those applications.
The new iOS 14 comes with Picture-in-Picture support; this allow users to watch a video or initiate a FaceTime call while using another app.
New Fitness App
The Activity app is being redesigned for iOS 14, as you can see here, and a new name: Fitness. Rings, workouts, and trends are displayed on a single page, offering easier access to information, and there’s also support for new workouts added, including Dance.
The Health app now has sections for managing sleep and a new Health Checklist, a centralized place to manage health and safety features like SOS Emergency, Medical ID, ECG, and Fall Detection. Also, improvements have been made for new data types in ECG, medical records, mobility and symptoms.
With the new iOS 14, all apps will require user authorization before tracking users. Also, App Store product pages will show reviews of developer-described confidentiality practices, related to a food label.
Users will also be able to update existing accounts to sign in with Apple, choose to share their approximate location instead of their precise location by granting access to an app’s location, and gain more transparency in using the microphone and camera app.
In the new iOS 14, Safari provides a Privacy Report to allow users view the cross-site trackers that have been blocked, including password monitoring, to assist users identify saved passwords that may have been entangled in a data breach. Built-in translation for full web pages is also being added, a feature Chrome already offers.
The Home app also gets new automation tips and expanded controls in the Control Center with iOS 14 and new features like Adaptive Lighting for compatible lights and On-Device Face Recognition for compatible cameras.
Adaptive lighting will see smart lights automatically adjust the color temperature throughout the day, while on-device facial recognition will identify friends and family using the information you already have.
Weather app and widget get next hour precipitation graphs in iOS 14, presenting minute-by-minute precipitation when rain is in the forecast.
Those with a pair of wireless headphones from Apple will see that they get the ability to seamlessly switch between Apple devices with automatic device switching in iOS 14.
The Find My app now support finding third-party items and accessories, through the new Find My network accessories service. It means that users will be able to use the Find My app to locate other items and Apple devices and any contacts they share locations.
Accessibility features in iOS 14 include headphone adaptations, which will amplify soft sounds and tune audio to help make music, movies, phone calls, and podcasts sound clearer and clearer. Also, in the new software, there is the sign language detection in Group, making the individual signing further noticeable in a video call.
Additionally, VoiceOver, a screen reader for the blind community, will automatically recognize what is visually displayed on the screen.