iOS 14, the newest version of the iOS operating system, has finally been announced at the 2020 Worldwide Developers Conference. Here are all the new features announced by Apple.
iOS 14 is bringing a big change to the iOS home screen with widgets. Currently, widgets can be viewed in the Today view and they come in a variety of sizes. But, with iOS 14, widgets can be added to the Home screen right alongside your apps. To add widgets to the Home screen, there is a new “widget gallery” where users can select widgets and drag and drop them onto the Home screen. There’s also a “Smart Stack” widget that shows the widgets of different apps and users can swipe between all of them. Smart Stack will also show relevant apps based on the time of day.
Apple also announced a new way to view your apps, the “App Library” view will automatically organize your apps into groups and lists. With this feature, users can now hide apps from their home screen.
Siri has been redesigned in iOS 14. Instead of taking up the whole screen with it’s UI, there is just a small animated Siri visual at the bottom of the screen now. In addition to the redesign, Siri can now send audio messages. Previously it could only send dictated messages.
Picture in picture
Apple is adding picture-in-picture to iOS videos. Much like on the iPadOS, videos will hover over apps, users can adjust the size of the video, and the audio will continue playing in the background if users swipe the video into the side of the display.
Messages is getting a ton of new features with iOS 14. Users can pin important conversations and contact to the top of the Messages app to be able to access a conversation easier. Users can also mention individuals in group chats to ping certain people. Threaded conversations are also being added to group chat.
There are also three new Memoji stickers in this update: A hug, blushing face, and a fist bump. Apple is also adding new Memoji accessories, professions, and different age options.
Maps will now offer better navigation and more accurate information for travel, curated guides to give users recommendations for places to visit. There is also a new EV routing feature in Maps, to route electrical car owners to their suited stations.
Apple is also adding cycling support to Maps to give users the option of reducing their carbon footprint. The Cycling option will take elevated and flat terrain into account and will show bike lanes to users. This feature will be available in NYC, LA, San Francisco’s Bay Area, Shanghai, and Beijing.
New App: Translate
Apple has announced a new Translate app that will work natively in iOS. This app will allow users to translate between 11 different languages: English, Mandarin Chinese, French German, Spanish, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Arabic, Russian, and Portuguese. Translate will be able to work offline. While in landscape, users will be able to use Conversation Mode, which will make live communication much easier.
CarPlay is available in 80% of new car models around the world now. With iOS 14, CarPlay is getting new wallpaper options and new app categories: parking apps, take out apps and, EV chargers.
With iOS 14, Apple is also adding support for NFC car keys. The 2021 BMW 5 Series is going to be the first model to support this feature. NFC passes can be shared with other iOS users via iMessage. The car key feature will also be coming to iOS 13.
The last major feature that comes with iOS 14 is App Clips. App Clips are a small part of an app that can be used when needed. They can be accessed by scanning a QR code or NFC tags of new Apple-designed App Clip code. They can also be shared in Messages or from Safari. App Clips can be used if you need an app for paying your parking meter, as an example. Users do not need to download a full app to do this, they can simply use a part of the app they need.
It is expected that the new version of iOS 14 will be released in the fall. A developer beta will be released later today.