At the Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC), Apple previewed the upcoming iOS 14 software update and it is packed with new features. Here is an overview of the new iOS 14 features:
All New Widgets
Apple has completely redesigned its widgets with more beautiful rich data. At launch, you will see new designs for the Weather, Clock, Calendar, News, Notes, Maps, Fitness, Photos, Reminders, Stocks, Music, Podcasts, Tips, Batteries, Screen Time, Files, Siri Suggestions, Shortcuts, and App Suggestions widgets.
The widgets are designed in small, medium, and large sizes so that you can pick the right information density that you prefer. And there is a widget gallery to see the top widgets based on what users are installing and using the most. You can create stacks of up to 10 widgets in order to make most of the space on the Home Screen by dragging one widget on top of another and swiping through them.
With the Widget gallery, you can select the Smart Stack — which is a set of widgets you can swipe through that uses AI to show the right widget based on the time, location, and activity.
With the Widget gallery, you can select the Smart Stack — which is a set of widgets you can swipe through that uses AI to show the right widget based on the time, location, and activity. Widgets can be created by developers by tapping into a new API that enables them to take advantage of the redesigned widgets, including the ability to put them on the Home Screen.
There is a new App Library that automatically organizes all of your apps into one simple and easy-to-navigate view. The apps are sorted by category and your most-used apps are surfaced towards the front. And you can use the search bar at the top of the App Library for quickly finding the app that you are looking for. You can also hide pages for a more streamlined Home Screen.
Upon receiving a call, you will notice a banner appear instead of it taking over the whole screen. This way you will not be interrupted with what you were doing. You can swipe up to dismiss the call or swipe down to access extended phone features as well.
Apple is also adding a similar function for FaceTime calls. And Apple is also deploying a developer API so other apps like Skype can take advantage of this feature.
Siri Is Now Compact
Siri has a whole new compact design so you can refer to information onscreen and easily launch into your next task. When you launch a new request, Siri will appear at the bottom of the screen.
And when Siri has a result to show, it appears at the top of the screen like a notification. The results were updated to give you the information you need in a compact layout.
Plus Siri has over 20x more facts that it did 3 years ago. You can use Siri to help you find answers to a broader set of questions by using information from across the web. And you can send audio messages with Siri.
Search has been improved on iOS 14 with a compact design that can be used for finding and launching apps, contacts, files, and quick knowledge information such as weather and maps to getting answers to common questions about people or places.
Picture In Picture
With the new Picture in Picture feature, you can keep watching videos or continue your FaceTime call while using another app. And you can resize the Picture in Picture window by pinching the video to make it bigger or smaller. Picture in Picture windows can be moved into any corner of the screen by dragging it.
Better Controls In Messages
iOS 14 is going to have new ways to stay connected to the conversations that matter to you the most and you can keep tracking of group conversations easier.
With Messages, you can pin up to 9 of your most important conversations to the top of your conversation list so you can get to them easier.
Group Conversation Photos
With Group Photos, you can give your group conversation a visual identity by adding a photo, a Memoji, or an emoji
When you type a name in a message, your name will be highlighted. And you can also receive notifications when you are mentioned.
When you reply directly to a specific message in a group conversation, you can view replies in the full conversation or as their own thread.
New Memoji Customizations
Now you can customize your Memoji with 7 new hairstyles, including man buns, top knots, and side parts. And you can showcase your favorite hobbies or professions with 16 new headwear styles such as nurse caps, cyclist helmets, and swim caps.
There are also new Memoji stickers. The three new Memoji stickers allow you to send a hug, a fist bump, or a blush to your friends.
And there are six new age options so you can customize your Memoji to indicate whether you have a baby-face or you are in your golden years. There are revamped facial and muscle structures that make Memoji and Memoji stickers even more expressive.
Plus Apple added new face coverings for your Memoji. The face masks have different colors to match your look.
Apple Maps Improvements
Apple Maps has been updated so you can discover new places to go and find environmentally friendly ways to travel.
You can now use Apple Maps to get cycling directions using bike lanes, paths, and roads. And you can also see elevation, busy streets, stairs, and steep passages while planning your trip.
Electric Vehicle Routing
Apple Maps is able to track your current vehicle charge and factor in elevation to automatically add charging stops along the way. And Maps knows which type of charger works for your car in order to route you to compatible stations.
The Apple Maps team has partnered with trusted brands and partners to offer Guides on places to eat, shop, and explore. The Guides automatically update when new places are added so you always have the latest recommendations.
With iOS 14, conversations across languages should feel natural and easy and should have the ability to remain private. The all-new Translate app was designed for conversations across 11 different languages.
Through Translate, conversations have become easier by design. You can turn your phone to landscape and tap the single microphone button to say something and have it translated.
The automatic language detection transcribes the original and translated text on the appropriate sides of the screen, followed by translated audio. And the Translate tool also uses advanced on-device machine learning and the powerful Apple Neural Engine to enable natural-sounding conversations.
You can enable a fully offline experience for Translate. And use all the app features for downloaded languages and keep your translations private without needing to turn off your phone’s internet connection.
You can save translations in the Favorites tab for easy access later. And you can also view your recent history and save phrases you just translated.
You can enlarge translated text in landscape view, which makes it easier to read and more effective to gain someone’s attention.
Home App Changes
The Home app now helps you manage your smart home more intelligently. Plus Apple has made it easier to fully take advantage of HomeKit accessories.
The adaptive lighting feature allows you to set your lights to change color temperature throughout the day. And supported lighting accessories can now automatically adjust color temperature throughout the day to maximize comfort and productivity.
With iOS 14, the Home app suggests useful automations so you can put it right to work when you add a new HomeKit accessory
There is a new visual status in the Home app that prioritizes the accessories that need your attention the most and allows you to easily control them.
You can define Activity Zones that focus on the most important areas that your camera sees so you can be alerted only when there’s motion in the zone you set.
Now smart video cameras and doorbells can identify people you’ve tagged in the Photos app. You can easily tag people and choose to be notified based on the person.
Safari on iOS 14 is more responsive and capable. Plus there are new ways to protect your privacy.
Safari will be able to translate websites in seven different languages. And when you come to a website that Safari can translate, an icon appears.
Apple Safari on iOS 14 will be able to warn you if a password you’re using is not secure.
You can tap the Privacy Report button to better understand how websites treat your privacy.
Apple CarPlay And Car Keys
Apple is adding the ability to unlock and start your car with the iPhone.
Car Keys In Wallet
With certain vehicles, you will be able to unlock and start your car with your iPhone
Share And Manage Keys
You can share keys with friends or family. And you can customize controls and create restricted profiles, perfect for new drivers. Plus you can revoke and share keys temporarily as well.
CarPlay Wallpapers And New App Types
Apple CarPlay has a new set of wallpapers that look much better. And CarPlay also supports new app types such as parking, electric vehicle charging, and quick food ordering.
Updates To AirPods
iOS 14 is adding a few new tricks to Apple AirPods.
The AirPods Pro device will gain spatial audio features. Specifically, you will be able to enjoy a theater‑like experience wherever you are. The spatial audio feature uses dynamic head tracking to put surround sound channels in exactly the right place even as you turn your head or move your device.
There are new battery notifications that let you know when you need to charge your AirPods.
Now you will be able to seamlessly move between devices without manually switching your AirPods. For example, if you finish a phone call on your iPhone and pick up your iPad to watch a movie, the AirPods automatically switch over.
You can adjust your AirPods audio to account for hearing differences. The Headphone Accommodations feature amplifies soft sounds and can tune for your individual hearing, to help music, phone calls, and more sound crisp and clear.
Audio Sharing for Apple TV
You can connect two sets of AirPods to your Apple TV 4K so you can enjoy movies and shows with someone else without disturbing others.
App Clips are small parts of an app that are discoverable at the moment you need it. When you tap on an NFC tag with your iPhone, it can launch a related App Clip such as renting a scooter or paying for parking.
Since App Clips are small in file size, they open very quickly. And after you access an App Clip, a card appears. Tapping “Open” immediately launches the App Clip.
You can also login quickly with apps that use Sign in with Apple and it makes transactions safer by using Apple Pay.
Apple believes that privacy is a fundamental human right and it is at the core of what the company does. With iOS 14, Apple is giving you more control over the data you share and more transparency into how it’s used.
Privacy Information On The App Store
Now you can now get information on the App Store to help you understand the privacy practices of every app before you download it.
There is an indicator that appears at the top of your screen whenever an app is using your microphone or camera. And in the Control Center, you can see if an app has used them recently.
Full List Of Features
You can see the full list of Apple iOS 14 features on Apple.com.
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