iOS 14 new features

On the 22th June 2020, another episode of the WWDC series has been broadcast online. So I have written this article to present the iOS 14 newest highlight features.

iOS 14

App Library

Over the past years, many features have been added to iPhone Home Screen like folders (for organising apps) and widgets (for quick information). iOS 14 introduces a new way to organise the tons of apps that we have on our iPhones called App Library.
It’s a new space at the end of Home Screen pages that automatically organises all apps in one simple-easy-to-navigate view.

App Library Preview

App Library keeps track of installed applications and gives an overview about the most used ones to neglected ones, folding them into categories like (Social, Entertainment, Learning …)
iOS 14 proposes a “suggestions” category that predicts which apps you could use depending on your user behaviour.

Hide/Show Home Screen Pages

It’s also possible to reduce the big number of Home Screen pages to gain focus on only most used apps and make a shorter way to access App Library.

Widgets

Widgets are used to give users most important information regarding a specific app (Like today’s weather in Weather app).
iOS 14 introduces more beautifully designed and data-rich widgets with different sizes (S, M, L) depending on your needs.

New design for widgets

And from now on, widgets will be more easily accessible because they could be dragged anywhere in Home Screen.
There’s also a new feature called “Smart Stack” where many widgets could be displayed in just one stack and have the system pick the most accurate information depending on user’s usage of his/her smartphone.

Smart Stack of Widgets in Home Screen

“Picture in Picture” Video

This one of most wanted features on Apple systems that is available on Android platforms for years now.
From now on, a user could watch a video or make a Facetime video call while using another app without interrupting the on-going footage.
The video view could be dragged all over the screen, zoomed in and out and even be swiped to the side while audio keeps playing.

Picture in Picture Video

Siri update

Every time we use Siri, it covers all of the screen with opaque black background before doing what we ordered it to. This could be a little bit irritating.
Apple has designed Siri with a more compact appearance. So on iOS 14, when demanding Siri, we could still be using our current app without being disturbed while Siri icon appears at the bottom of the screen to execute commands.
And some requested information may appear as a notification to avoid distracting users from what they were focused on.

Siri new design

New features are related to Siri like optimising online researches, sending a voice message to a friend and translating some words or phrases. Which brings us to Apple Translate.

Apple Translate

Apple Translate App

Apple has designed for us a new application called “Translate” that could be a good use for translating conversations and could be used offline for better security.
For a first version, “Translate” is providing a rich combination of languages presented in the picture below.

Translate App Preview

Messages

Messages is Apple’s native app for communication and here are some highlights regarding updates about this app :
- pin an important conversation
- adding new choices to custom a Memoji and new Memoji stickers
- Inline replies (like most messaging apps, now one can reply to a specific message in a group conversation)
- Mention someone in a group conversation
- setting a group conversation photo

Inline Reply in Messages

Maps

Maps is Apple’s own application to help users navigate and explore the world. iOS 14 adds some new features to this app like :

  • Better navigation with more detailed maps (roads, pedestrian paths, land cover …)
  • More accurate information for places
  • Supporting more countries’ maps (like UK, Ireland and Canada)
  • Getting recommandations for useful places (like restaurants and bars …)

And also more environment-friendly features like :

  • Cycling mode : This mode has been added specifically for cyclers so they could get anywhere they wish via their bicycles (this mode features only some cities in USA and China ).
  • EV routing : Adding compatible charging points for electric vehicles into map depending on the taken route, car type, distance …
  • Adding congestion and green zones to maps to help drivers navigate better.
Congestion Zone on Apple Maps

CarPlay

CarPlay is an Apple standard that enables a car radio or head unit to be a display and a controller for an iOS device.
With iOS 14, CarPlay Offers :

  • New wallpaper option to match the car style
  • Adding support for new CarPlay Apps (like parking, EVCharging, quick food ordering …)
  • Digital Car Keys : iPhone could be used to unlock/lock your car and control it via NFC. It’s even possible to generate keys, share them to your contacts to allow them to use your car and disable them via iCloud. (The first car to support it is the 2021 BMW 5 series and also available on iOS 13)
A BMW Digital Car Key

App Clip

An App Clip is a small part of an app. It’s Lightweight, fast and easy to discover. It allows users to use an important part of an app without having to download it or open it like paying for a scooter or a fast food meal.

App Clips could be discovered via an App Clip Code embedded within :

  • A link in Safari
  • Shared Messages
  • Places in Maps
  • NFC tags like tags on parking meters
  • QR Codes

App Clips are featured with ApplePay to provide payments and Apple SignIn to provide secured log in without the need to use a specific app.

And that’s about it.
Stay tuned for updates concerning iPad 14, watchOS 7, Apple Silicon and macOS Big Sur.
For more details please watch the online WWDC2020

Cheers ! 🍻

Note : My article was based on WWDC2020 and screenshots were taken from Apple’s conference video. Feel free to share your opinions with me :)

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Iskander Fathallah

Fund of IT technologies, fan of football, photography and Aspirig to be a FilmMaker, acting as an Agilist and a Product Owner.