Your iOS home screen is about to get a ton of customization options.
Apple revealed new features for the upcoming iOS 14 at the keynote for its first online-only Worldwide Developers Conference 2020: Expanding widgets, organizing apps, and a much-requested picture-in-picture feature.
The first new feature is the App Library, which focuses on organizing the apps on the iOS 14 home screen. The App Library, which may be accessed by swiping right on the home screen, will automatically place apps into curated categories, alongside Suggestions for what apps the user will likely need next, and Recently Added for new downloads.
You also now have more flexibility to hide pages of apps, letting you more quickly reach the new Library feature.
iOS 14 also comes with an updated way of using widgets, which can now be dragged into the iOS 14 home screen. You can also choose the size and style of the widget.
A Smart Stack feature places several widgets on a part of the home screen, with the displayed widget switching automatically to what the user needs. For example, news briefs may be shown in the morning, and the user’s activity level for the day in the evening.
Picture in Picture
Apple also revealed a picture-in-picture functionality for iOS 14, where videos may continue playing even while other apps are on screen. The videos can be resized or hidden, but the audio will keep playing in the background.
Apple’s digital assistant has been updated with a more compact design. When Siri is accessed, it no longer takes over the full screen, so users may continue with what they were doing on the iPhone while interacting with the assistant.
iOS 14 will come with the new Translate app, which will translate both text and voice between 11 different languages. The translations are processed locally, so the app will work even if the iPhone is offline.
Group chats in Messages will be redesigned with threaded replies to help keep track of conversations, as well as the option to only receive notifications when the user is mentioned. The top may show the participants’ profile pictures or an icon to differentiate from other group chats.
The iOS 14 update will also allow users to pin conversations at the top of Messages for easy access.
Apple Maps will start offering even more information, including guides, cycling directions, and routing for electric vehicles that will help with range anxiety by including stops for charging.
iOS 14 will introduce CarKey, a digital key for vehicles that may be shared via Messages and managed through iCloud. The feature will first arrive in the 2021 BMW 5 series, launching next month, and to more cars next year.
App Clips will allow users to access apps without having to download the full version. App Clips may be discovered through various channels such as Messages, Apple Maps, NFC tags, QR codes, or the new App Clips codes. Recently launched App Clips will also appear in the App Library.
- The best iOS 14 tips and tricks
- The most common iOS 14 problems and how to fix them
- The best iOS 13 tips and tricks
- What is Apple CarPlay?
- Android vs. iOS: Which smartphone platform is the best?