At the ongoing WWDC 2020 Apple introduced the most expected iOS 14, the next iteration of iOS with a lot of new features. The iOS 14 brings new ways to customize the Home Screen, discover and use apps with App Clip, updates to Messages, and more.
Widgets on the Home Screen
Widgets have been totally redesigned to give you more information at a glance and can be pinned in different sizes on any Home Screen page. You can also add a Smart Stack of widgets intelligently curated based on the apps you use most, and the right widget will show up automatically at the right time in your day. Home Screen pages can display widgets that are customized for work, travel, sports, entertainment, and other areas of interest.
App Library, a new space automatically organizes all of a user’s apps into one simple, easy-to-navigate view, and intelligently surfaces apps that may be helpful in the moment. Users can choose how many Home Screen pages to display and easily hide pages for quicker access to the App Library.
Compact Calls and Picture in Picture
Incoming FaceTime and phone calls and Siri interactions take on an all-new compact design that enables users to stay in the context of what they are doing. With Picture-in-Picture support, iPhone users can now watch a video or take a FaceTime call while using another app.
A small part of an app, an App Clip is discoverable the moment you need it and is focused on a specific task. App Clips are easy to discover and use right in the moments you need them. Like renting a bike, paying for parking, ordering food, and so much more. You can find App Clips from places in the real world through NFC tags and QR codes, and you can also launch them from Safari, Maps, and Messages. The places where you can launch App Clips are immediately recognizable, thanks to Apple‑designed App Clip codes. App Clip codes are uniquely paired to an App Clip. You can scan them with your camera or tap one using NFC.
- Pinned conversations: Pin up to nine of your most important conversations to the top of your conversation list, so you can easily get to them. With pinned conversations, you can see messages as they come in. In a pinned group conversation, you’ll see the recent participants animate around the pin when they send a message, so you know who is chatting and what they’re saying.
- Group photos: Give your group conversation a visual identity by adding a photo or Memoji, or choose an emoji.
- Mentions: Type a name to direct a message to someone. When you are mentioned, your name is highlighted. You can even customize an active group so you only receive notifications when you are mentioned.
- Inline replies: Reply directly to a specific message in a group conversation. You can view replies in the full conversation or as their own thread for a more focused view.
- New Memoji styles and stickers: Along with new age options and face coverings, choose from over 20 new hair and headwear styles to reflect your hobby, profession, and personality.
- Cycling directions : You can now use Maps to get cycling directions using bike lanes, paths, and roads. You can also see elevation, busy streets, stairs, and steep passages when planning your trip.
- Electric vehicle routing: Adds charging stops along a planned route based on current vehicle charge and charger types. Maps knows which type of charger works for your car, making sure to route you to compatible stations.
- Guides: Guides provide a curated list of interesting places to visit in a city, created by a selection of trusted resources. Guides are a great way to discover hot new restaurants, find popular attractions, and explore new recommendations from respected brands, including AllTrails, Complex, The Infatuation, Time Out Group, and The Washington Post, among others.
Enhanced Privacy Features for More Transparency and Control
All apps will now be required to obtain user permission before tracking. Later this year, App Store product pages will feature summaries of developers’ self-reported privacy practices, displayed in a simple, easy-to-understand format. In addition, users can upgrade existing accounts to Sign in with Apple, choose to share their approximate location with app developers rather than their precise location when granting an app location access, and get even more transparency into an app’s use of the microphone and camera.
- Compact design: Siri has a completely new look that lets you quickly get information or get things done while still focusing on what you’re doing.
- Greater knowledge: Siri has over 20x more facts than just three years ago.
- Web answers:Siri can now help you find answers to a broader set of questions by using information from across the web.
- Send audio messages: When you want to be more expressive in your messages, you can now easily send audio messages with Siri.
- Translate app is designed to be the best and easiest app for translating conversations, offering 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.
- The Home app makes smart home control even easier with new automation suggestions and expanded controls in Control Center for quicker access to accessories and scenes. Adaptive Lighting for compatible HomeKit-enabled lights automatically adjusts the color temperature throughout the day, and with on-device Face Recognition, compatible video doorbells and cameras can identify friends and family. The Home app and HomeKit are built to be private and secure, so all information about a user’s home accessories is end-to-end encrypted.
- AirPods gain the ability to seamlessly switch between Apple devices with automatic device switching. Spatial audio with dynamic head tracking brings a theater-like experience to AirPods Pro. By applying directional audio filters, and subtly adjusting the frequencies each ear receives, sounds can be placed virtually anywhere in a space to provide an immersive listening experience.
- Digital car keys give users a secure way to use iPhone or Apple Watch to unlock and start their car. Digital car keys can be easily shared using Messages, or disabled through iCloud if a device is lost, and are available starting this year through NFC.8 Apple also unveiled the next generation of digital car keys based on Ultra Wideband technology for spatial awareness delivered through the U1 chip, which will allow users to unlock future car models without removing their iPhone from their pocket or bag, and will become available next year.
- Find My will add support for finding third-party products and accessories with the new Find My network accessory program. This will allow customers to use the Find My app to locate other important items in their lives, in addition to their Apple devices. User privacy remains central to the Find My network with end-to-end encryption built in. A draft specification is available for accessory makers and product manufacturers starting today.
- Safari offers a Privacy Report so users can easily see which cross-site trackers have been blocked, secure password monitoring to help users detect saved passwords that may have been involved in a data breach, and built-in translation for entire webpages.
- Health has all-new experiences to manage sleep, better understand audio levels that may affect hearing health, and a new Health Checklist — a centralized place to manage health and safety features — includes Emergency SOS, Medical ID, ECG, Fall Detection, and more. Health also adds support for new data types for mobility, Health Records, symptoms, and ECG.
- The Weather app and widget keep users up to date on severe weather events and a new next-hour precipitation chart shows minute-by-minute precipitation when rain is in the forecast.
- Voice Memos gets new tools for organizing recordings. An all‑new Enhance Recording feature lets you improve the sound quality of your recordings with a single tap.
- Accessibility features include Headphone Accommodations, which amplifies soft sounds and tunes audio to help music, movies, phone calls, and podcasts sound crisper and clearer, and sign language detection in Group FaceTime, which makes the person signing more prominent in a video call. VoiceOver, the industry’s leading screen reader for the blind community, now automatically recognizes what is displayed visually onscreen so more apps and web experiences are accessible to more people.
- Improved shot-to-shot camera performance lets you shoot photos up to 90% faster, at up to 4 frames per second. Time to first shot is now up to 25% faster, and Portrait shot-to-shot is up to 15% faster. And with a new setting to prioritize faster shooting, Camera can intelligently modify how photos are processed so you can shoot even faster and never miss a shot.
Availability and eligible devices
iOS 14 will be available for iPhone 6s and later and iPod touch (7th generation) in the fall, which is around September. iOS 14 beta 1 for developers is already available and the public beta will be available next month.