Apple’s “Time Flies” event just revealed new versions of the Apple Watch and iPad, but we don’t expect the new phone until next month. Fortunately, iOS 14 is officially launched this week, so you don’t have to wait for a new phone to upgrade.
When will iOS 14 be released?
The official developer beta for iOS 14 started on June 23, and ordinary people were able to sign up for the public beta the following month. The official version for iPhone 6s models and higher will be available tomorrow, September 17th.
Here are some of the features you’ll love about iOS 14.
Manage the way too many apps you have installed on your iPhone
iOS 14 now has a brand new section at the bottom of the sides of your home screen that goes a long way towards this. amount easier to organize your many apps. This app library gives you automatically curated categories that highlight your top apps (but can be expanded to see everything), as well as suggestions for apps your device is using thinks You want to use above others and a special category for your recently used apps.
Better yet, you can now hide App pages too, so you can finally reduce your iPhone to just two pages (or so) of apps you dearly want to see – and everything else you can put on your new App Library page. Oh, and the App Library also has a search bar that also shows your apps in AZ order when you tap on them.
Say hello to small, medium, or large widgets
Ah, widgets. It seems like every major OS designer has looked into good ol ‘widgets, and they’re now making their triumphant debut on iOS. However, I love the implementation for two reasons. First of all, you can change the size of widgets More Data for what matters most to you in your Today view.
More importantly, you can drag widgets from Today right onto your iPhone’s pages. So, if you really, really want to be able to measure up to your favorite music player the moment you unlock your iPhone, it’s there. And if you’d rather get a scrolling news feed or the weather or whatever, these are there too.
Apple has also introduced a new “Smart Stack” that resembles a universal widget. It will select what you think is most relevant to you at a given time, and you can swipe right through various widgets on it if you want to see something else.
Distract yourself multitasking with picture-in-picture
I can never leave you, Netflix / Hulu / Quibi / wherever you watch videos. And now, on iOS 14, I don’t have to. You can now keep watching whatever you are were You can move your video from the app to a new picture-in-picture box. You can resize the box by pinching it and moving it anywhere on your iPhone’s screen. It stays pinned on your display while you switch between other apps – perfect if you’re trying to reply to your chatty friends while watching your favorite show. You can even swipe out your video and keep listening to your audio in case you temporarily need your full ad for another app.
Siri won’t eat up your whole damn screen anymore
Virtual assistants are all well and good, but I don’t need a huge black screen and a “What can I help you with?” whenever I try to conjure up apples. The company seems to agree, as Siri now only eats up a tiny portion of the bottom half of your iPhone’s screen when you ask him for help. In addition, Siri now processes dictations directly on your device – a little more data protection for those affected so that what they say is live somewhere on a server.
This “compactness” also applies to your telephone calls! Goodbye, giant Reply or Decline screen; Hello slim notification that pops up from the corner of your screen.
Siri will also power a brand new one Translate App that supports 11 different languages (for now), works offline and allows you to run a “conversation mode” in landscape mode when you try to talk to someone else.
Keep track of your extensive message conversations
As part of the Apple update to the Messages app, you can now pin your most important message conversations to the app – useful if you have more friends than me. (They do.) In these chats, you can respond inline to anything someone says, and if you put in someone’s name within the group, you can meet them with a “mention”. This is important because you can also mute particularly chatty conversations, except for those moments when someone is calling you by name.
In other words, messaging has basically become my default Slack setup. And that’s great.
You can assign unique images to conversations – again for better management – and an icon-driven list of all participants in this conversation, with each person’s icon sorted by the number of times they have participated (larger = more chatty), is displayed at the top.
Oh, and since it’s Apple, you get even more Memoji now: more hair and headwear styles, the ever-important COVID-19 face covers, new age options, and new actinos to hug, punch, and blush.
Apple Maps is better for bikers and battery-conscious EV drivers
Among the many improvements the company is making to Apple Maps, the app now includes special, automatically updated guides that show you what to do wherever you are (or want to). If, like me, you’re getting all sorts of fears trying to plan the best trip to a brand new place, these should help you start with a few must-dos.
If you’d rather drive there than drive, the updated version of Apple Maps now has a special option for driving directions. You can see which routes are quieter or busier (and choose accordingly), and Apple Maps warns you if you need to carry your bike anywhere on that route or really suck your ass on a vertical incline. Indeed, now that the app shows As you increase the elevation gain as you travel, you can decide, “No, the streets of San Francisco are not for me” before you even put on your helmet.
If you’re a proud owner of a fancy electric vehicle, Apple Maps now takes into account the estimated range of your car and suggests charging stops along your route – with chargers compatible with your car – whenever you want to go anywhere. Goodbye, fear of range. Now all you have to do is think about how many people might pack a charging station and turn your short road trip into a one day affair.
Unlock your next car with your phone
Apple talked a little about CarPlay during their keynote, but the minor updates to the app experience pale in comparison to the feature everyone saw coming: digital car keys. If you have a car that supports this feature – spoilers: they don’t, as the 2021 BMW 5 Series is likely to be the first to support it – you can just use your NFC to unlock your car and start it. iPhone activated within range.
More importantly, you must be able to do so assign a car key for anyone you want – any other iPhone owner. And you can limit their ability to access your car in a variety of fun ways that your kids are sure to love. Apple plans to support digital car keys in iOS 13 and iOS 14 which is great! All that’s missing is… the multitude of cars and / or a fancy way to incorporate this setup into your aging, over 7 year old gas eater.
Get the essentials of an app with app clips
because ServicesApple is also debuting App Clips. These are small, fast-paced app experiences, less than 10MB in size, that appear whenever you need to use an app that you may not have downloaded on your iPhone. An app clip can be accessed in a number of ways including NFC tags, QR codes, web links, links in messages, links from cards, etc. They won’t clutter your home screen, but you can make purchases (if you’re using Apple Pay) and quickly sign in (if you use Sign In with Apple) to learn the essentials of an app. And then when you need the full app, downloading it is as easy as a few taps.
Basically, app clips help you complete the most basic of tasks – like renting one of those pesky scooters that littered the sidewalks – without searching the app store, waiting for a full app to download over 4G, and trying to remember your credentials (or create new ones). And hey, this might even help you reduce the number of apps you have installed from 8 pages to … six (until you take advantage of the organizational improvements on the home screen mentioned above).
Data protection, nutrition labels and the App Store
I’m surprised at how much Apple curates what developers can display on an App Store product page for their apps, but Apple now requires all apps to report their data collection practices themselves. A short list of the data a developer collects, as well as the data they share with other companies, is displayed right on each app’s product page (if you scroll down a little to find it). While this won’t necessarily stop app developers from knowing anything and everything about each and every one of their users – and many users probably won’t notice this change either – every little bit helps when it comes to privacy.
That’s the metaphor Apple used to announce the addition. You should know what’s in your food; You should also know what’s in your apps (as much as Apple or the developers are willing to share).
This article has been updated with the latest information.