At WWDC 2020, Apple announced iOS 14 with some major usability improvements, enhanced system app, widgets on the home screen, a vastly improved Safari, and more.
Below is a look at all the important iOS 14 features announced by Apple at its keynote.
New Home Screen
The addition of widgets on the Home screen is a big one that will make a lot of people excited about the next version of iOS. The Today view has also been completely redesigned with new widgets. The widgets can also be placed on the home screen for improved information density.
There is a new App Library feature that will automatically organize and sort all your apps into various categories. This will help reduce the app pages and one can also hide the pages they don’t need. The feature will also use on-device suggestions to give app suggestions based on your usage.
Taking a cue from iPadOS, Apple is finally bringing Picture-in-Picture to iPhone. This means you can play videos in PiP while browsing the web, reading emails, and more. One can also adjust the PiP window size. One can also dock the PiP window to the side which will hide the video but the audio will keep playing.
Siri is getting a new UI as a part of iOS 14. It will no longer occupy the entire screen and it is now capable of recognizing your voice faster as well. Apple is also making Siri faster. The voice recognition feature will also take advantage of Neural engine on iPhones to make recognizing voices faster.
Apple is also debuting a new Translate app as a part of iOS 14 that will use on-device ML to translate text and languages right on your iPhone.
The Messages app is getting an improvement as a part of iOS 14 as well. Apple will now let you pin a conversation in the Messages app so it sits right at the top. The Memoji feature is also getting improved and you can customize it as per your profession, age, face masks, and more.
To make group conversations easier, Apple is adding @mentions support in the app. One can also customize the group image.
As a part of iOS 14, Apple is bringing new Apple Maps data to more countries including the U.K. The app itself in iOS 14 will make it easier to find great places using Guides which are automatically updated with new places. Apple Maps is also getting a new Cycling directions option and it will also take your elevation into account to ascertain your ride experience. In selected countries, Apple is adding an option in Apple Maps to find EV charging stations as well.
CarPlay is getting improved as a part of iOS 14 as well. It is gaining wallpaper support and it is also going to support new categories of apps like parking, charging, etc.
Digital Car Key
Apple is also enhancing CarPlay to add digital car key support. Basically, you can use CarPlay to automatically open and start your car instead of using the car key. You simply bring your iPhone near your car and it will unlock. One can also use iMessage to share their digital car keys with their friends or families. Apple is using the new U1 Wideband chip found inside its iPhone 11/Pro series for the new digital Car Key feature.
The feature will also make its way to iOS 13. The BWM 2021 will be the first car to support this feature. Apple is working on this standard with other carmakers and more companies should jump onboard it next year.
Apple is debuting mini apps called App Clips as a part of iOS 14. Apple says it is a “small part of an app” that is light and easy to use. It is primarily designed for quickly bringing a selected portion of an app to users without having to download it first. App Clips will feature Apple Pay integration and they will be suggested in the new App Library as well. One can trigger App Clips using QR codes, NFC, and more. Apple is also debuting App Clip codes so that users can know there is an App Clip available. App Clip apps will need to be less than 10MB in size to ensure they launch quickly.
Find My Gains Support for Third-Party Products
The updated Find My app in iOS 14 will support finding third-party products and accessories. Apple is debuting a new Find My Network accessory program for this.
New Incoming Call UI
The Incoming call UI is getting a revamp in iOS 14 making it more minimalistic and non-intrusive.
Change Default Email and Browser Apps
Apple is adding the ability to change the default email and browser apps in iOS 14 to third-party ones. This is the first time that the company is allowing users to change system apps to a third-party one.
Safari Privacy Report
Safari in iOS 14 will now offer a Privacy Report so one can easily see the cross-site trackers that have been blocked by the browser. It will also feature secure password monitoring to help users detect if there has been any password breach.
iOS 14 is scheduled for release in fall this year. It will be compatible with iPhones 6s and newer iPhones. Apple has already released the first beta of iOS 14 for developers and you can install it on your iPhone right now. There’s a method to install it on iPhones without a developer account as well.
What are your thoughts on iOS 14? What do you think about the new Home screen? Drop a comment and let us know!