iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 are publicly available today. Apple launched the new iPhone software at the World Wide Developers Conference in June 2020 and since then it was improved in every developers’ update. Now, the users with compatible iPhone models can update their smartphones to the latest version via Settings app > General > Software Update.
Apple’s senior vice president of Software Engineering, Craig Federighi said,
“Together with iPhone, iOS is central to how we navigate our lives and stay connected, and we are making it even more powerful and easier to use in iOS 14, with the biggest update ever to the Home Screen. We are thrilled to see the incredible ways developers are taking advantage of widgets and App Clips to create new experiences that we think customers are going to love.”
New Features in iOS 14 and iPadOS 14
The new iPhone software offers many new features and redesigns the existing ones to improve user experience. Here is the list of everything new in iOS 14.
iOS 14 allows users can add more animated and personalized widgets on their Home Screen pages. Placed among the apps’, the new widgets provide users with information upon unlocking the iPhone.
The smart stack of widgets features automatically updates user’s widgets based on time, location, and activity.
“For example, users might see the News widget in the morning, Calendar events during the day, and their Fitness summary in the evening. Home Screen pages can be customized to show apps and widgets for work, entertainment, sports, and other areas of interest.”
The latest software version supports the Picture-in-Picture feature so users do not have to pause a video or answer a FaceTime call while using another app. For example, users can watch a YouTube video while writing an email or sending a text message.
iOS 14 has made the Siri interface compact and more easily accessible. Like before, the Siri interface does not take up the whole screen, and now it is an aesthetically appealing circular icon that appears on the bottom of the screen when commanded. Users can interact with Siri while using other apps.
In addition, the new smarter Siri uses information across the internet to answer complex queries. Keyboard dictation is used when dictating messages, notes, email, and more to the voice assistant.
This feature is a new and innovative tool to allow users to easily and quickly access the apps they need for need at the moment. Users can discover and access the apps in a number of ways: scan an App Clip code or NFC tags, QR codes, and share in Messages or from Safari.
“An App Clip is a small part of an app that is designed to be discovered the moment it is needed. App Clips are associated with a particular product or business, and load within seconds to complete a specific task, such as ordering takeout or filling up the car with gas.”
New Messages Features
Now users can do the following in the Messages app:
- Pin conversations on top of the Messages interface
- New mentions and inline replies features allow users to start individual threads in a group conversation on iMessage
- Set an image or emoji as a display picture for group chats
- New hairstyles, headwear, face-covering, and other inclusive customization options are added for Memoji in Messages
Updated Maps app
New cycling directions, electric vehicle routing, and curated Guides are added to the Maps app for easier navigation.
- Cycling directions show elevation, the traffic condition of the street, and if there are stairs on a route.
- Electric vehicle routing displays charging stops on the route according to the vehicle’s charge and charger type
- Guides offer a curated list of places to visit for more personalized dining, entertainment, and exploration experiences
New Privacy Features
iOS 14 offers new features to protect users data and online activities:
- Share approximate location instead of precise location
- Notified when an app is using the microphone and camera of the smartphone
- Upgrade to accounts to ‘Sign in with Apple’.
- Developers will self-report privacy practices on their apps’ product pages on the App Store.
- In 2021, all apps will have to get users’ permission to track their online activity
Improvements in AirPods Listening Experience
Both AirPods and AirPods Pro offer new capabilities in iOS 14:
- AirPods Pro offers a theater-like experience with spatial audio and dynamic head tracking for an immersive experience
- Automatic and seamless device switching for AirPods and Airpods
- The new ‘Headphones accommodations’ accessibility feature amplifies soft sounds and automatically tunes the audio to play clearer and crisper sound for music, movies, podcasts, and more.
The Translate app
This app allows users to translate conversation or content into 11 different languages. The app’s on-device mode enables users to use this feature offline in private voice and text translations.
Car Keys App
Car Keys is the digital tool to unlock and start compatible vehicles via an iPhone. “Car keys can be easily shared using Messages or disabled through iCloud if a device is lost, and are available today for compatible cars using NFC technology.”
Coming this fall, iOS 14 users will be able to sign up for the new services bundle, Apple One. This will allow users to subscribe to different Apple services for an attractive price.
iOS 14 has redesigned the following existing frequently used apps:
- The Home app offers new automation suggestions and expanded controls in Control Center, Adaptive Lighting, and Face Recognition for an easier and smarter home control experience. All information is end-to-end encrypted.
- The new Privacy Report feature on the Safari browser will help users by showing which cross-site trackers are blocked, the secure password monitoring allows users to detect breached passwords and offer built-in translation across the web.
- The Health app has a new sleep tracker, Noise app, a new health checklist, and support for new data types.
- The Weather app offers a new next-hour precipitation chart to show minute-by-minute precipitation during a rain forecast.
- The new Accessibility features are:
- Back tap is which allows special needs users to quickly gestures, tasks, and accessibility shortcuts, sign language detection in Group FaceTime”.
- Sound Recognition notifies users of the surrounding sounds like when a fire alarm goes off or a doorbell rings.
- Now VoiceOver automatically “recognizes what is displayed visually onscreen so more apps and web experiences are accessible to more people.”
Click here to read the complete press release on iOS 14.
- Apple announces new eighth-generation 10.2-inch iPad with improved performance for $329
- iPad Air 2020 announced: power button fingerprint sensor, new color options, and more
- Apple Watch SE announced with Series 6 like design and essential features
- Apple Watch Series 6 announced: new colors, faster performance, Family Setup & more