Every New iPhone Feature Apple Revealed for iOS 14
Your home screen is changing, and your car keys may become optional. Here’s what you can expect in iOS 14.
The iPhone’s software is getting a facelift this year. At its virtual WWDC (Worldwide Developers Conference), Apple previewed the many upgrades coming to your iPhone in the next version of its mobile operating system, iOS 14. Notably, your home screen could look very different in the future, and the iPhone could become your new set of car keys in a few years’ time.
We’ve collected all the top upgrades you’ll find in iOS 14 when it debuts later this fall, and some small changes too.
For years, the iPhone home screen has been a grid of app icons that go on for pages and pages. That’s beginning to change. In iOS 14, you can hide pages of apps you don’t use often, and a scroll to the right will let you access your new App Library. It’s quite similar to the app drawer on Android phones, but instead of more icons in an endless vertical stream, apps are grouped into various categories like Social, Productivity, and Entertainment.
The top two categories (which look like big folders) are Suggested and Recent Apps. Suggested Apps uses machine learning to recommend apps you might want to use next, and Recent Apps shows apps you recently used or installed. There’s also a search bar at the top.
Until now, the iPhone’s widgets have been relegated to the Today View on the left of the main screen. Now, you can pull these widgets out and into your home screen (just like on Android) and get alternate sizes for them. This allows you to customize how your phone looks, and quickly access certain functions, like switching music tracks with your music app’s widget. To see all the widgets available with the apps you have installed, there’s a Widget Library. Developers can start making new home screen widgets for their respective apps.
One particular widget Apple called out is Smart Stack, which bundles together a variety of widgets into one oblong-shaped box. You can swipe through this widget to see the others, and the Smart Stack also automatically changes based on the time of day and your usual activity. For example, in the morning, Smart Stack might show you a morning news briefing. In the afternoon, it might switch to your calendar widget, and in the evening, it might show your fitness activity summary.
If you’re watching a movie on your iPhone but you need to switch to a messaging app to respond to someone, Apple’s new picture-in-picture mode means you don’t need to hit the pause button. Instead, you’ll see a floating screen over your home screen (or any other app). You can resize it, drag it around, and control video playback. You can even minimize it to the side of the screen but still have audio playing if you need your iPhone’s full screen for something else.
Siri Gets a Revamp
A new version of Siri won’t take up your whole screen when you just want to ask a question. Instead, Siri now looks like a small bubble at the bottom of the screen. Ask it for the weather, and you’ll see a pop-up notification at the top of the screen with the answer. It’s a little smarter, too. It can access information from across the web (to some degree), and can also now send audio messages for you in the Messages app.
A Translate App
Apple’s moving in on Google, offering a new Translate app. At the moment, it supports 11 languages, and an on-device mode keeps text and voice translations private. If you turn your iPhone into landscape view, the app will turn on Conversation mode, which offers a side-by-side view that makes it easy for both parties to see the translation.
Your Messages app is getting a slew of updates. First, you can now pin important conversations to the very top of the app. These will appear as big circles, different from the other threads in the app, and you can pin up to nine threads. For group messages, you’ll see bubble images of everyone in a group at the top of the screen, and people who have been more active than others will appear slightly bigger (you can also set a group photo). In group chats, you can reply inline to specific messages and view this as a separate thread. You can also type someone’s name to “mention” someone, similar to using the @ function on other messaging apps like Facebook Messenger or Slack. With the latter feature, you can have conversations only send a notification if you have been mentioned.
There are new Memoji designs to choose from, including 20 new hair and headwear styles, more face coverings, and age options. There are three new Memoji stickers too: a hug, a fistbump, and blush.
Maps & CarPlay Updates
The redesigned Apple Maps that Apple introduced last year will be coming to three new countries in 2020: the UK, Ireland, and Canada. Apple says it’s working with trusted brands to offer integrated travel guides into Apple Maps, which will include recommendations for places around you. Perhaps even more helpful, Maps will now tell you when you are approaching a speed or red-light camera.
Cycling navigation is also coming to Maps. It will take into account elevation, so you’ll know if you’ll be dealing with a lot of hills. Unfortunately, it will only be available in New York, Los Angeles, the San Francisco Bay Area, Shanghai, and Beijing to start. More cities are on the way in the coming months. You can ask Siri for cycling directions.
If you have an electric car, you’ll be happy to learn that Apple is adding EV routing into Maps. It takes into account temperature, weather, elevation, and other information to automatically add charging stations to your route if you’ll need to juice up soon. It’s working on deep integration with car manufacturers like BMW and Ford, so it will know exactly which stations will support your car.
If your car supports Apple’s CarPlay service, you will soon be able to tap your phone to the door of the car to unlock it via NFC technology, just like paying with Apple Pay. If you lose your iPhone, you can turn off keys remotely via iCloud. You can even “share” your car keys via iMessage, and set restricted driver profiles, which can limit things like acceleration, top speed, and more. The first car to support this feature will be the 2021 BMW 5 Series, and it will likely take a number of years for a good portion of vehicles to support it.
Apple wants to make it easier for you to find and use new apps based on what you are doing and where you are. This comes in the form of App Clips, which are bite-sized versions (10-megabytes or less) of apps that you can use for one-off instances. For example, if you’re browsing Panera’s menu in Safari or looking up the closest restaurants near you in Maps, an App Clip might pop up from the bottom of your screen. It’s a lightweight version of the Panera app you can use to check the menu and place an order for pick up. It relies on Apple Pay and Apple’s sign-in instead of requiring you to make a Panera account if you don’t have one.
Another example is using an App Clip to pay for a parking meter or to rent a scooter. These App Clips can be found by tappable NFC tags, or QR codes around you. If you need to find the App Clip again, you can see them in the new App Library, so you can download the full app later if you want. It’s very similar to Android Instant Apps, which Google introduced a few years ago.
Other Small Changes
Those are some of the major iOS 14 upgrades. Here are some smaller tidbits. If you want to read every single update, check out Apple’s iOS 14 preview website.
- You can change the default email and web browser apps. So you can replace Apple’s Mail app with Gmail, for example.
- Universal Search now won’t interrupt whatever you’re doing; and you can use it to search for anything: you can search for installed apps, find contacts, search within apps, and complete web searches.
- You can search for emojis with the keyboard.
- You’ll be able to port your existing account with an app to “Sign in With Apple.”
- The keyboard’s dictation feature now uses the same engine as the one used for Siri, meaning your dictations will be more accurate. It’s also running on-device, so it works offline.
- When you get a call, the notification will be a banner at the top instead of taking up the whole screen.
- You can share your approximate location with apps instead of your precise location.
- You’ll now see a pop-up notification when an app wants to track you across apps and websites owned by other companies. You can ask the app not to track you, or allow it. This means it will reduce the amount of data collected by the app.
- Similarly, new cards in the App Store will show what kind of data apps might collect before you install an app. It’s meant to act just like the nutrition label on food packaging.
- You can share App Store subscriptions with your whole family.
- There is a camera recording indicator in the status bar.
- For camera upgrades, the camera can now shoot photos up to 90 percent faster, at up to four frames per second. QuickTake video is now available on the iPhone XR and XS. And you can quickly toggle the video resolution and frame rate in video mode. If you have an iPhone 11 or 11 Pro, Night mode now offers up a guidance indicator to make sure you stay steady during capture, and you can also cancel a Night mode shot midway instead of waiting until the end.
- The Health app now lets you add how much sleep you want to get every night. A Wind Down mode prepares your phone for bedtime and wake-up, so you can schedule things like playing soothing sounds. It automatically turns on Do Not Disturb and Sleep Mode. The latter will dim your phone screen, show the date, time, and next alarm.
- You can add captions to photos and videos in the Photos app.
- You can assign reminders to people you share lists with, and they will get a reminder.
When Can You Get iOS 14?
Apple will offer a public beta of iOS 14 in July, and the official update will arrive in the fall, usually around the time Apple launches new iPhones in September. Any phone that supported iOS 13 will be eligible for the update, including the iPhone 6S, the first-generation iPhone SE, and anything newer.
Read the original article over at Wired.com.