Apple today announced iOS 14 at WWDC, it brings a whole host of new features to the iPhone such as home screen widgets, new design for incoming phone calls, AirPods improvements, enchantments to the Messages app and more.
Widgets & Home screen
Widgets on the iPhone homes screen have long been a much asked for feature, users on Android have had this for years and Apple has acknowledged this. Widgets have been completely redesigned, with more information in a smaller space, taking cues from the Apple Watch.
Widgets still live in the Today view but can be dragged out into the home screen and placed anywhere, they come in different sizes to meet the content you need and even have a ‘Smart Stack’ mode which is a list of widgets from the apps you use most.
Widgets aren’t the only thing, a new ‘App Library’ has been added and is an automatic way of grouping apps into sections.
The Messages app on iPhone has gained a lot of new, wished for features. If you message a lot of people at once, it can be hard to find the thread again for that one special person, such as your spouse – so Apple is now adding the ability to pin messages threads, up to nine at a time.
Groups on iMessage haven’t always been the most advanced, compared to the likes of WhatsApp and now Apple is supporting inline replies, allowing you to directly reply to someones message and mentions. Mentions are especially useful for busy groups and you’ll only be told about the times you were mentioned in the message.
Also, it wouldn’t be an iOS update without an update to Memoji – so Apple has added 20 new styles for hair and headwear with iOS 14.
Apple has added a lot to Apple Maps this year, they have added cycling directions, optimised routes or electric cars and new guides for cities and locations.
With cycling directions, Apple will show you the best route for you when on a bike showing you what elevation you will encounter, if there are any stairs and even what roads or streets are most busy so you can avoid those. Apple will even tell you when are where and for how far you’ll need to carry your bike.
Apple will now show optimised routes for drivers with electric cars, giving you an optimised route with chargers and Maps can actually track the current charge level of your car and only take you to charging spots where your car will work.
Guides are new showcase pieces on what to do in certain cities and where to eat and shop. Apple has worked with partners around the world.
New Translate app
With iOS 14, Apple has a new default app for translating, it’ll help you in a conversation setting in landscape mode and also work offline and allow you to download languages.
Siri has been redesigned to be less intrusive on the screen with a new compact design and notification style pop ups.
Apple has made some nice improvements to the Home app in iOS 14, when you add a new accessory a pop up will suggest some automations to use, the Home app now has some prioritised shortcuts to devices that need attention.
Also, HomeKit cameras will now use face information from the Photos app to recognise who people are and activity zones can be created too.
CarPlay and Car keys
Apple CarPlay now has a selection of new wallpapers to use on your in car screen and new types of apps will be coming to CarPlay too, support for parking, electric vehicle charging, and quick food ordering.
Car keys is new and will also be coming to iOS 13.6 and allows you to keep a digital car key in the Wallet app to unlock and start your car. Bring your Apple Watch or iPhone near to the door to unlock the car. You can even share the key with a family member or friend via iMessage.
The first car to work with the new car keys feature is the new 2021 BMW 5 Series.
In iOS 14, Apple will now let you know with a notification when your AirPods are getting low on battery.
Also, at the moment when you want to move between devices, you have to initiate the switching over and now with macOS 11.0, iOS 14 and iPadOS 14, AirPods will automatically switch over depending on what is happening on that device.
- Apple is now allowing default apps to be set for the web browser and the email app in iOS 14.
- The weather app will now alert you about upcoming weather changes and it’ll let you know if it will get a lot warmer or wetter in the coming day.
- Game Center has been redesigned and will show up within apps and the App Store.
- Apple Arcade now has a ‘Contiunie Playing’ feature and syncs between Apple TV, iPad, Mac and iPhone
- Sign in with Apple will now support the upgrading of accounts, before you would have to delete an account and start again if you wanted to benefit from the security of Sign in with Apple.
What devices can iOS 14 run on?
The good news is that iOS 14 will be supporting the same devices as iOS 13, which means the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus from 2015 will be supported as will the iPhone SE first generation, which is based on the iPhone 6s. Apple dropped the iPhone 6 last year with iOS 13.
- iPhone 6s & Plus
- iPhone 7 & Plus
- iPhone 8 & Plus
- iPhone X
- iPhone XR
- iPhone Xs & Max
- iPhone 11
- iPhone 11 Pro & Max
- iPhone SE 1st generation
- iPhone SE 2nd generation
- iPod touch 7th generation