Apple has finally announced iOS 14 at WWDC 2020 online event. At the event that occurs every year, Apple gives the first look at the latest version of its software for the iPhone. Similarly, this year too, although the event was online-only, Apple brought the first official look of the iOS 14 which will be launched later this year in the latest iPhone. Along with many new things that are added in the iOS 14 software, the biggest change it has brought to the iOS home screen in years: “Widgets“.
Well talking about the grid design, iPhone’s home screen has had a relatively inflexible grid of apps since the past 13 years. This was something we had seen since iOS 4 but thankfully, its changing this year. Apple in WWDC has shown to add a few new ways to view your content and make the home screen more useful in iOS 14. Now, we’ll discuss some of the new features that are added in the iOS 14 software for the upcoming iPhone.
iOS 14 Widgets
Home screen widgets are something that the iOS users were requesting for years to be added in iPhones. And thankfully, now in iOS 14, widgets have been added to the home screens of iPhone. Widgets can still be viewed in the Today view and they come in a variety of sizes. The iPhone and iPad had a dedicated screen for widgets for years. But last year, iPad users could pin a column of widgets to the home screen.
Now in iOS 14, widgets will be added to the main Home screen to be placed alongside your apps. To add widgets, there’s a new “widget gallery” in the iPhone. Through this gallery, users can easily add and customised widgets. Other than the widget gallery, there is also a “Smart Stack” widget in iOS 14. The Smart Stack widgets automatically show relevant apps based on the time of the day.
“App Library” Apart from Widgets in iOS 14
Other than the Widgets feature, Apple has also announced a new “App Library”. With the help of App Library, iPhone automatically organizes apps into groups and lists. Well talking about the new App Library view, Apple allows users to now hide apps on the main home screen. This feature is quite similar to Android’s app drawer. But something that is different from Android is that in iOS, there are some extra smart grouping features. This feature means that you can automatically pull out all your Apple Arcade games into one batch.
Another interesting feature that is being added in the Apple iOS 14 software is system-wide picture-in-picture to iOS videos. Similar to macOS and Android, videos will hover over the apps. The video can be adjusted in size. Also, it can be collapsed into the side of the display and the videos will continue to play in the background. It’ll also work in FaceTime calls, listening to songs etc too.
App Clip Feature
Announced in WWDC 2020, Apple is also releasing a new “App Clip” feature. App Clips are basically faster and card-based snippets of apps. It lets users access small parts of apps when they need them without requiring users to install the entire app. Examples that are given include accessing a parking app through an NFC tag or QR code. Or maybe a coffee store’s reward program. Such snippets don’t show up on the home screen and are gone once you’re done looking at them.
App Clips support sign in with Apple. It is because, with Apple, you don’t have to make new accounts. It can be accessed again through the new App Library, and also can work with Apple Pay. To use this feature, Apple is launching a new QR-code format that uses NFC and visual codes to access App Clips instantly.
Apple also announced a new Translate app in the WWDC unveiling event of iOS 14. This Translate app that will be built into iOS is quite similar to Google Translate. It’ll basically allow users to easily translate their content into other languages. Users will be able to text in or dictate messages and translate them into 11 other languages. The languages are:
Siri is also getting a few changes as well. It previously used to take over the full home screen. But now, in iOS 14, it’ll show up as a small, well, widget when you use it. In the latest iOS, Siri can also deliver results at the top of the screen. with a small usual notification, style drops down from the top of the screen. Another massive change in Siri is that you can send voice messages instead of just text. Also, the dictation features of Siri now transcribe right on the device rather than the cloud. This shows that quickly it can turn your voice into a text in just no time. Siri will also use the new Translate app being launched in iOS 14 as well.
Messaging in iOS 14
As we all know, Messaging is one of the most iOS apps and this year with the iOS 14, we get to see a major change with group texts. One key change that has come in Messaging app is that now you can pin your most favourite conversation at the very top of the list. Talking about the major changes in group texts, Apple now is adding inline replies. This lets you see a specific thread of conversation instead of one long scroll of messages. In iOS 14, you can also send a direct message to ping someone specifically in that group.
You can also set notifications in the Group text so that you get notified only when your name is specifically mentioned. Groups in Messages app can also get their own icon, which can be an image or emoji. Apple’s custom emoji, “Memoji” is also getting an update with 20 new hairstyles and head. Also, you will get new face coverings and more age options with the Memoji update.
Other Features in iOS 14
There are a whole lot of other features too that will be introduced in the iOS 14. Apple Maps are getting new, getting support for cycling in some cities around the world. There will also be a new EV Routing feature in the iOS 14. It will track the current charge of you vehicle, weather and factor in elevation.
The Home app is also getting some striking new features. It includes support from “Adaptive Lighting” which lets you to adjust colour temperature of the compatible smart lights over the time of the day. And iOS 14 also brings Facial Recognition for HomeKit security cameras. Other than that, Safari on iOS 14 will notify you in case of a data breach, similar to Chrome. Also there’s a new “Sleep mode” and a new Game Center design coming in iOS 14.
Apple didn’t give a confirmed date on when the iOS 14 will launch. Most probably, we’ll see it this fall alongside new iPhones. Though we all know that the iPhones will come later this year due to COVID-19. Till then, all we can do is wait for this amazing new iOS to hit the iPhone screens!
Via: The Verge