Apple rolled out its much-awaited iOS 14 update yesterday. iOS 14 beta was announced in June at Apple's Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC), and while this rollout surprised many, the excitement stayed intact. The update will be available on all iPhones till the iPhone 6s, including iPhone SE (both generations). However, the availability of some features may differ.
While there are plenty of features to be excited about in this version, the one that has everyone pumped is the privacy and security changes. With iOS 14, Apple is putting security and privacy at the center, and we have every reason to rejoice. In the history of iOS, Apple now allows users to organize their home screens for the first time ever.
As mentioned earlier, with plenty of features to look forward to, here are some of our favorites and what has emerged as some popular ones:
One of the most exciting changes in iOS 14 is the widget upgrade. Like Android, iOS now allows you to customize your home screen and add widgets per your preference. You can add whatever widget you want and essential things in a day, such as to-do lists, commutes, activities, events, etc. The widgets' entire look and feel have been redesigned to provide more utility. Another exciting change to widgets is that you can now change their size. As per your convenience and requirement, you can make a widget smaller or larger.
Thanks to the App Library, your home screen will look way more organized and cleaner. Usually, many apps fill the phone screens (especially for those that haven't been put in folders) and make the screen look cluttered. Now App Library auto arranges your apps into folders. This makes it easier to find apps that would otherwise be lost. You can also hide your home screen pages to get to the app library straightaway. Any new apps downloaded automatically go to the app library.
Compact Phone and Facetime calls
You know when you get a call on your iPhone, the screen turns black for the call to show? Not anymore! Apple has introduced compact phone calls feature with this version that does not take up your entire screen space but only the top like a banner. This allows you to take or reject a call without losing track of whatever else you are doing on your screen. Similarly, for Facetime calls, instead of taking up your entire screen when you get a call, it will not show as a banner on the top; you can swipe up to reject the call or swipe down to accept it.
Picture in Picture
This nifty feature that has been available on the iPad for a while now is finally on iPhone. This allows you to continue watching a video or continue your FaceTime call by simultaneously allowing you to use another app.
Apple has now released its translation app, allowing you to type, speak, and translate from one language to another. This is a built-in app for iOS 14 and will now make it easy, mainly because you will not need another 3rd party translation app.
Apple has released many changes to the messages app, mentions being one of them. This allows you to 'mention' people, especially in a group chat you mainly refer to. Now you customize settings in a way where you will receive notifications from a group only when you're mentioned.
You can now pin (up to 9 pins) your favorite conversations on the top of your messages, making reaching them more accessible.
The first major update with maps is the inclusion of cycling directions, which has been a constant with Google Maps. However, this feature is still in beta mode and may not be available for all locations. Maps will let you know when a speed camera or traffic light approaches your route.
Maps have also introduced 'guides' that recommend places to visit, shop, explore, etc., in a city. Although available for limited cities, it should extend to other places soon.
Siri is now smarter (than before!)
According to Apple, 'Siri has dramatically expanded knowledge with 20x more facts than just three years ago., thereby making Siri smarter as compared to before. It also has a more compact UI enabling you to refer to information and launch into your task more efficiently. Also, instead of taking up the entire screen, if you call for Siri, it now launches in the center bottom of your screen.
Apple has introduced a 'back-tap' feature in this update that is quite exciting. With the back-tap feature, you can define several actions when you tap two or three times on your iPhone. These features include home, screenshot, app switcher, lock screen, or Siri shortcut.
One of the most significant updates with this version is how your phone protects your data. With iOS 14, apps must take your permission before they track you. You can quickly check which app you have permitted in your settings and change it per your preferences. You can also give limited access to your photo library compared to earlier, wherein an app had access to your entire library. You can now also see a summary of the privacy practices of any app on the product page in the app store before you download it.
Additionally, iOS 14 will show a recording indicator whenever an app can access the mic, camera, or both.
While the launch of the new iPhone was delayed, Apple did launch a new Apple Watch and iPad, along with a few other things, at their recent launch event. However, As always, an iOS update is an exciting announcement. While these are some of our favorite features in this version, it is essential to remember that the update comes with a lot more, and we cannot wait to find more as we go along.
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