Apple yesterday announced iOS 14 and right after the keynote ended, the company was quick to release the first developer beta of the OS as well. iOS 14 does not bring any radical new changes, though it does overhaul the entire home screen experience in a big way. While we have already covered all the new iOS 14 features, but in this article, we will look at some of the best features of iOS 14.
Do not write off iOS 14 thinking it is a minor update though. The small improvements and changes that Apple has announced will go a long way in improving the overall experience of using your iPhone. Below is a look at some of the top iOS 14 features that are going to have an even bigger impact in daily use.
The Best iOS 14 Features
1. Widgets on Home Screen
The redesigned home screen experience is perhaps the highlight of the iOS 14 update. After years, Apple has finally given the home screen on iOS a major revamp greatly improving its usability. So, how exactly is Apple doing that? By adding widgets support on the home screen. This means you can now have widgets not just on the Today screen of your iPhone but on the home screen as well. One can have multiple widgets on a home screen and the widgets are resizable as well.
You can also create a Smart Stack of widgets which basically allows you to stack widgets on top of each other. You can switch between widgets by swiping up/down on them. They will also change depending on the time of the day. This way, you can have multiple widgets on your home screen while they will still occupy the space for only one.
2. App Library
You can do away with the home screen pages and switch entirely to a list-based app view called App Library. The feature will automatically categorize your apps and put them in relevant groups. Using App Library, you can cut down on the number of home screen pages and still quickly access the apps you want in a couple of taps.
3. App Clips
To avoid having to install an app for every little task, Apple is debuting a feature called App Clips with iOS 14. This will allow users to open a selected part of an app on their device without having to install it. App Clips are under 10MB in size to ensure that they open quickly. They also have ‘Sign in With Apple’ and Apple Pay integration so you can quickly pay for your coffee or parking without having to install the app first.
4. Picture in Picture
Taking a cue from iPadOS, Apple is finally getting around to adding Picture in Picture support in iOS. This is a big deal as you can now continue your FaceTime or WhatsApp video call while browsing the web or using any other app. Similarly, you can also use PiP in apps like Netflix.
Picture in Picture might not sound like a big deal, but it will go a long way in greatly improving the overall experience of doing video calls or streaming videos on your iPhone as you will no longer have to stop anything else that you are doing.
5. Compact Siri UI
Siri is not only getting smarter in iOS 14, but it is also getting a usability improvement in the form of a new compact UI. This will ensure that the digital assistant does not take up the entire display of your iPhone whenever it is triggered. You can now also use Siri to send audio messages to your friends.
6. Compact Call Notification
Another one of those finally features. With iOS 14, Apple is finally adding a compact incoming call banner notification. This will ensure that incoming calls, including VoIP calls on WhatsApp or Skype, do not end up taking your entire screen and prevent you from doing your ongoing task.
7. Improved Safari
There’s also a new Privacy Report feature so you can know about the cross-site trackers and other aspects of a website. Lastly, there’s password monitoring so Safari will warn you if the password you are using has been compromised in a data breach.
8. Apple Maps Improvements
The Apple Maps app is getting improved in iOS 14 to help make it easier to find places to explore. Apple editors have worked with brands and partners to create Guides for places around the world to explore, eat, and shop. Guides are updated periodically and you can also save them for future reference. Additionally, the Apple Maps app is getting support for cycling directions as well as routing for charging stations while on a trip.
9. Translate App
The new Translate app offers a quick and natural translation of voice and text among 11 different languages. On-device mode allows users to experience the features of the app offline for private voice and text translation. You can also save your translations in the Favorites tab for easy and quick access later on. There is also an Attention mode available in landscape mode that makes it easier to read the content and get someone’s attention.
10. Messages App
In the new Messages app in iOS, you can pin up to nine conversations so that they always appear at the top for quick and easy access. You can now also set a group photo for a group conversation by adding a photo, emoji, or a Memoji. Other notable improvements to the Messages app in iOS 14 include support for @mentions and inline replies to help make conversations easier to follow.
Memoji is also getting improved and now features new age options, face masks, 20+ new hair and headwear styles, and more.