iOS 14 Features: New Home Screen, Interface Improvements, & More
As we approach the fall season, we also approach the latest version of iOS (not to mention a few new iPhones). Announced by Apple in June, iOS 14 marks one of Apple’s biggest updates to date. Changes include a major overhaul to the home screen, interface improvements, and Siri finally gets a little smarter.
Home Screen Uncluttered
Apple rarely makes changes to the home screen. In 2011, we were presented with the ability to add folders. Some of us went from 10 pages of apps to 3 or 4. Honestly, that only happened if you took the time to organize your apps. iOS 14 revolutionizes the entire home screen.
iOS 14 adds the ability to remove apps from the home screen completely without deleting them. Instead, your apps will remain in the new App Library. Yes, Android users, it’s a little similar to the App Drawer. However, the App Library does a lot more on its own to keep you organized.
The App Library automatically group apps into large folders. These folders will automatically organize themselves into categories like Social, Entertainment, and Productivity. The most recently used apps in each appear first for easy recognition. This concept should reduce the number of home screen pages and help you find what you need quickly.
Widgets aren’t new to iOS, but in previous versions, you could only add them to the Today screen. Not only have the widgets been redesigned, but you can also drag them straight onto your home screen. Keep the current weather and the stock market easily visible every time you open your phone. A new widget, called the Smart Stack, will attempt to learn your habits and show you the widget you’re likely looking for at specific times of the day.
Of all iOS apps, we likely all use Messages the most. We’re finally getting some new features here as well. First, you can keep up to nine conversations pinned to the top of the list. Keep those important conversations easily accessible. Second, group conversations should start making a lot more sense. You’ll be able to reply to messages in-line. This means your response will show up in context and should help eliminate some of those confusing moments.
No More Screen Hijacking
Calls in previous iOS versions took over your entire screen. Now, any call (phone, FaceTime, or VoIP) will display as a simple banner. Also, Picture-in-Picture allows videos and FaceTime calls to display in a small window while you’re doing something else. You’ll be able to move and resize this window to any corner of your screen. Additionally, iOS 14 reduces Siri’s presence to a little animated orb at the bottom of the screen.
Speaking of Siri
Siri is about to get smarter. Siri will be able to answer a larger range of questions and send audio messages. Siri’s biggest improvement comes in translation for seven different languages. Rotating your device to landscape makes the translation easier to read. Best of all, translation capabilities don’t require an internet connection to work when offline mode is enabled. Even in places with no signal, you’ll be able to communicate easily with others in a different language. Also, anything you translate remains private on your device and isn’t transferred to Apple.
We’ve only highlighted a few of iOS 14’s new features. iOS 14 also includes App Clips, faster Camera speed, better Maps, improved Memoji, higher-resolution FaceTime calls, and much more. Apple displays more information about these new features on their website. Apple hasn’t announced the official release date for iOS 14 yet. Traditionally, new iOS versions are released mid-September, so expect to hear something soon!
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