iOS 14 is a lot more like Android than it’s ever been before and that’s actually a good thing. So let’s go ahead take a closer look at the iOS 14 features.
iOS 14 Release date
iOS 14 was announced at WWDC on 22 June, 2020, but Apple didn’t say when it would launch officially. Based on previous years, however, we can expect Apple to release iOS 14 to the supported devices between 14 and 18 September 2020.
Here are the past 5 iOS release dates:
- iOS 13: Thursday 19 September 2019
- iOS 12: Monday 17 September 2018
- iOS 11: Wednesday 20 September 2017
- iOS 10: Tuesday 13 September 2016
- iOS 9: Wednesday 16 September 2015
This rollout is normally tied in with theupcoming iPhone launches, falling one or two weeks after the new handsets are announced. There are rumours that the iPhone 12 will be delayed until October or later, and because of this we may have to wait a bit longer for iOS 14 too.
iOS 14 Features
iOS 14 App drawer
iOS 14 now has an app drawer. Apple is calling it app library. It’s located at the extreme right hand of the home screen. we have a search bar up top and below that we have all app drawers in neat little groups.
Next to it is recently added apps, this is where all the newly downloaded apps pop up and you know that we have utility, creativity, entertainment, games, social and all that stuff for assorted. As usual though we can always find these apps by using global search.
Now everyone has those apps that we don’t often use. In previous iOS versions the best way to keep them out of sight was to drag them into a folder and check them into a different home screen with iOS 14.
You can simply hide home screens, that’s a way more elegant solution. Now there’s a lot more to homescreen customization here, beginning with widgets they do behave a bit differently than they are Android counterparts.
For example there’s no way to resize them and we can place them just anywhere we want. I think a widget though is pretty straightforward.
- Long click on an empty space or an app icon
- Press the plus button to the top right
- And finally set the widget in place.
There are a few constraints though like widgets can only go to the left or right of a home screen and there can’t be a widget on the right with no map icons on the left.
Now where Apple has added some extra functionality to their widgets is through smart stacks. This basically is to move agents start on top of each other. We can swipe down to view all the information or that iOS dynamically change the widget depending on the circumstances.
Want to create your own smart stack? It’s very simple.
Take two similar sized widgets and put them on top of each other creates a smart stack. We then go on to edit widgets and add more widgets to the stack. As for now we only have widgets from Apple stock apps with the promise of more coming soon.
After that, we now have a list of features aimed at improving multitasking.
iOS 14 Picture in Picture Mode
The controls and support for PIP mode has been expanded. So hitting on the PIP button on a video will bring it into a small window. So now, when you’re watching a video and you go back to the home screen, the video will keep playing and show up in picture in picture mode.
You can now move it around the screen, and switch between apps while watching the video. And if you don’t want it to block the screen, you can flick it aside where it reduces to the narrow shape pull tab and audio will keep playing. This seems like pop-up view option in Samsung’s One UI 2.0.
iOS 14: Phone call Pop-ups
iOS 14 do not take up the whole screen, we can interact with phone calls through a tiny pop-up.
Here’s an interesting tip, Airpods cannot automatically detect which device is being used and switch between them. It even works for phone calls when going from the iPad to the iPhone.
The worst thing about Siri was that it took up the entire display, interrupting what you were doing, and that is finally gone. Now, a small Siri icon will show up at the bottom of the screen, which means apps will open up a lot quicker due to this change in the Siri engine.
It appears as a small ball at the bottom of the screen and there’s a pop up on the sky black interface at the top of the screen. When you ask Siri a question, like what’s the weather, the answer will pop up as a notification. It no longer takes the entire screen. Apple has also made it more intelligent with even more facts along with the ability to send audio messages.
The biggest complaint about AirPods is that it could never get it to switch between your Mac and your iPhone when you wanted it to, and Apple has finally addressed this by releasing a new auto switching feature which detects which device you’re using.
And if you have AirPods Pro, there’s a new spatial audio feature coming soon, which is basically like virtual surround sound. But Apple is going all out, by taking in sensor data from both your AirPods and the device you’re listening on to make sure the sound field stays fixed in the same spot when you move your head, making it feel a whole lot more realistic.
In iOS 14, you’ll be able to get cycling specific directions that will alert you to bike lanes and paths. The directions will let you know if you are traveling down quiet or busy roads. If you are riding an electric vehicle, Apple Maps will automatically enable an EV routing feature that tracks the current charge of the vehicle. Then Apple Maps will display charging stations along your route.
We also have a new Translate app now, it only supports 11 languages but more support should be coming soon and like Google Translate. We have voice input too.
Memoji is gotten a bunch of updates. Our memojis can now have masks on. Messages has gone through a major overhaul, we can pin conversations to the top group messages. We also get mentions, inline replies, etc.
Finally rounding off the app improvements, we can choose our default browser and mail apps on iOS 14. All these features (except memoji), everything is present in Android in some form or the other.
iOS 14 App Clips
Basically, it allows you to use an app without having to download it, like for example, using an electric scooter or paying for a parking meter without having to download the app at all.
Apple will do this by allowing developers to make a 10MB or smaller version of the app that covers a small portion of the app’s capabilities, like making a payment. And the best part is that it uses both your Apple ID and Apple Pay, so you don’t have to create a brand new account to use the app.
Also, you don’t have to put in your credit card info, it all happens automatically by authenticating with Touch or Face ID. App clips will be able to be launched from the web, maps, from within Messages, using an NFC tag, or scanning Apple’s own Clip Code which is similar to a QR code which is also supported.
If you decide to download the full app, you can find it in the new App Library which I’ll talk about in a minute. It’s in fact quite similar to Google’s instant apps.
My third favorite feature is the new Spotlight Search redesign. This also now has a compact design, just like on MacOS, and it’s also rebuilt from the ground up. So you can do everything from opening an app or finding a contact, or even searching for something within an app.
The feature I’m most excited for is being able to search for a website and being taken directly to the website instead of being taken to Google search first. So this will really help with productivity.
Privacy Features of iOS 14
So now let’s take a look at a couple of fresh new features that iOS 14 brings to the table and honestly I wish Android gets this one do. There will be a little green dot whenever any app is using the camera and a little orange dot whenever any app is using the microphone.
Camera and Microphone notifications
Next up hidden under accessibility settings, we have touch settings and scrolling down we get backed up. We can basically set two or three tabs on the back of the iPhone to perform certain actions like taking a screenshot, activating Siri, etc. It takes a couple of seconds so it’s not the fastest out there but it does work.
iOS 14 Supported Devices
Every single iPhone that currently runs iOS 13 is able to run iOS 14, so congrats all of you iPhone 6s users, you’re good for another year.
- iPhone 11
- iPhone 11 Pro
- iPhone 11 Pro Max
- iPhone XS
- iPhone XS Max
- iPhone XR
- iPhone X
- iPhone 8
- iPhone 8 Plus
- iPhone 7
- iPhone 7 Plus
- iPhone 6s
- iPhone 6s Plus
- iPhone SE (1st generation)
- iPhone SE (2nd generation)
- iPod touch (7th generation)
So that’s about it for the major new features in iOS 14. Do let me know what is your favorite feature.