At today’s “Time Flies” event, Apple announced the upcoming release of iOS 14. This latest update brings tons of new features, and was first announced at WWDC 2020. Several of us have been running the developer and public betas of iOS 14, and we’re anxious to see all of you able to take advantage of the innovations and new options for privacy, Home Screen customization, and app defaults. Tomorrow, September 16, you’ll be able to download iOS and iPadOS 14 via Software Update in the Settings app.
Customizing Your iPhone or iPad with the App Library and Widgets
Gone are the days when each app you purchase has to sit on one of your Home Screens. With iOS 14’s App Library, you can remove software from your Home Screens but retain the data. Just swipe to the App Library, and you’ll see all of your available apps in handy categories.
You can also now place widgets on your Home Screens, so they’re available on more than just your Today view. You can just drag them right onto your preferred Home Screen, pinning them in different sizes. iOS 14 also includes a new smart stack widget, which will show you information from apps most relevant to you at particular times of the day.
Watching Videos While You Work
With the new Picture in Picture mode, your videos don’t have to end just because you need to work in another app. Both FaceTime video calls and videos from supported apps move into a small window. You can move the window around to different corners of your screen and resize it.
A good selection of video apps already work with Picture in Picture, and more will surely follow.
Major Improvements to Messages in iOS 14
You can now pin those important messages to the top of the app. That way, your favorite people don’t get lost in the bustle of your daily text message communications. Inline replies allow you to direct a response to a specific message in a conversation, something that’s very useful in group chats.
Speaking of group chats, the new @mention feature allows you to mute a group chat, sending you a notification when you are specifically mentioned. You can customize your group chats with an image or emoji, and each person has their own icon at the top of a conversation to make it clear who was last texting.
Apple has also introduced a new Translate app in iOS 14, allowing you to quickly and easily converse with people even when you don’t speak the same language. The app includes the ability to limit your translation to on-device usage, helping protect your privacy when you translate.
Apple Doubles Down on Privacy in iOS 14
New privacy protections in iOS 14 make it easier to protect what you share with app developers and others. New options limit access to photos and precise location data, and apps now have to get your permission before tracking you across websites. Also, when an app is using your device’s camera or microphone, icons on the Home Screen alert you to that.
In further privacy protection, a new section of each product page on the App Store gives you a summary of privacy practices before you download an app. Access to the clipboard is now better protected. You’ll get notifications to let you know when an app is reading the text stored there.