Apple iOS 14: the top new features coming to the iPhone

nanoguy

Posts: 486   +7
Staff member

  • Widgets used to be an afterthought in iOS, but starting with iOS 14 the company is changing course and making them a lot more data-rich and customizable. These can now have multiple sizes, and it looks like Apple has taken a page from the Android book and will allow them to live on the home screen, arranged into a Smart Stack. This is governed by an on-device AI that will surface widgets based on where you are, what you're doing, and the time.
  • Now there's a new "App Library" at the end of the home screen that auto-arranges your apps into a layout that should make them easier to find with a quick glance. The same AI that governs the widgets will also emphasize certain apps for quicker access based on your usage habits and sensing the context you're in.

  • It's no secret that Apple isn't fond of progressive web apps, but with iOS 14 it has added a new way for developers to encourage user adoption for their apps. The biggest problem in hooking users is the friction caused by having to install an app to try it, so users will be able to download App Clips to try essential features of an app on their iPhone without downloading it entirely. The best part is that you'll be able to link to App Clips on the web, in Messages and Maps, or via QR codes and NFC.

  • The iPad has had picture-in-picture functionality for a while now, which makes it easy to play videos or take a FaceTime call in a window while you're taking care of other things. Now this feature is landing on iPhone with iOS 14, and you'll also be able to move the video window around while using another app.
  • Privacy is another highlight of the latest iOS update, as Apple wants to push app developers to be more transparent about what data they collect on users, how it's used, and what gets shared with third parties for ad tracking or other purposes.

    The way it's implemented draws inspiration from food labels, as developers will need to display these details on the app's page in the App Store. iPhones running iOS 14 will display a hint in the status bar if your camera is recording, and you'll be able to opt for less precise location tracking and "upgrade" login credentials to Sign in with Apple.

  • Apple has resisted the idea of letting users set their own default email app or web browser, even though it's been one of the most requested features. With iOS 14, the company has finally caved in and will provide that option, but hasn't explained exactly how that will work and what app defaults can be changed.
  • Siri got some much needed attention, with a new view that no longer covers the entire screen but works as an animated overlay at the bottom of the screen. For privacy reasons all keyboard dictation will run on device.

  • There's a new Translate app in iOS 14 that supports dictation and works completely offline, allowing users to translate between 11 languages at launch, with more on the way.
  • Apple Maps has been updated to help users reduce their carbon footprint, which means better cycling directions, optimal routing for electric vehicles, and lots of different details like elevation, the need to climb stairs, and the level of traffic. The company has added new curated guides for places to visit along with a selection of hotels and restaurants, using recommendations from established services.
  • CarPlay is getting revamped with support for custom wallpapers and new apps for parking, EV charging stations, and food takeout. But more importantly, Apple has added support for NFC car keys with the CarKey API. This will also make it possible to share these credentials with another person via iMessage, with different level of access, such as opening the trunk, unlocking the car, or full driving access.

    This key will live in Wallet protected by Apple's Secure Enclave, and is also coming to iOS 13, with the BMW 2021 5-Series being the first to support it.

  • iMessage is also getting some upgrades, starting with the ability to pin conversations at the top of your messages list and inline replies to specific messages for busy group chats. Memoji are now more diverse with new hairstyles, hats, and face coverings.
  • With iOS 14, Apple is opening Find My functionality for third-party accessories, with support for the same end-to-end encryption used by Apple products. The draft specification is already available for manufacturers, who will have to apply to the Find My network accessory program.
  • AirPods will now be able to switch between your Apple devices automatically, following you from one device to the next. There's also a new spatial audio profile for AirPods Pro users that's supposed to make movies more enjoyable.
  • The Home app is getting support for face recognition for HomeKit-enabled security cameras and "Adaptive Lighting" for smart light bulbs.
  • Accessibility is also improved in iOS 14, with new sign language detection in Group FaceTime which makes the person that uses sign language more prominent in the call. VoiceOver is able to recognize what's on the screen and describe it for blind users, and there are numerous "Headphone Accommodations" to improve audio clarity for various contexts.

Current iPhone owners will also be glad to know iOS 14 will be available on older handsets, iPhone 6s or newer will get the upgrade.

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brucek

Posts: 388   +433
What is it with companies trying to reinvent the menu.

I didn't care for the windows 8+ start menu with "live tiles" and I think I'll enjoy a phone home screen that changes itself even less. Just let me pack as many options as reasonably fit in one screen and can be accessed with one click, and let me develop muscle memory as to what is where.

Taking up half my screen with what will ultimately be a useless widget (as ten years of previous widgets have shown over and over again) sounds bad, and auto-moving things out from underneath me sounds even worse.
 

Hexic

Posts: 708   +655
TechSpot Elite
What is it with companies trying to reinvent the menu.

I didn't care for the windows 8+ start menu with "live tiles" and I think I'll enjoy a phone home screen that changes itself even less. Just let me pack as many options as reasonably fit in one screen and can be accessed with one click, and let me develop muscle memory as to what is where.

Taking up half my screen with what will ultimately be a useless widget (as ten years of previous widgets have shown over and over again) sounds bad, and auto-moving things out from underneath me sounds even worse.
Well, specifically it's usually Apple reinventing Android's menu - with an approximate 2-9 year lag.

There isn't much innovation happening on iPhones, they just keep inching closer and closer to Android feature sets because that's the only thing to do.
 
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Shadowboxer

Posts: 627   +360
This is coming to iPhone 6S! That’s a 5 year old device. Just one of many ways that Apple and iOS is so much further ahead than Android. I mean you get one year of updates on Android if you’re lucky.

Also couldn’t care less about widgets, doesnt really interest me. I don’t have time to sit about tinkering with my dam phone.
 
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Nobina

Posts: 2,496   +2,088
This is coming to iPhone 6S! That’s a 5 year old device. Just one of many ways that Apple and iOS is so much further ahead than Android. I mean you get one year of updates on Android if you’re lucky.

Also couldn’t care less about widgets, doesnt really interest me. I don’t have time to sit about tinkering with my dam phone.
To me it's funny that old iPhones get support when Apple users tend to buy a new iPhone every year while Android doesn't offer support for long yet their users want exactly that. They should turn the tables around. And on Android you do get about 2 years of support but it all depends on the manufacturer.
 
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Burty117

Posts: 3,739   +1,601
This is coming to iPhone 6S! That’s a 5 year old device. Just one of many ways that Apple and iOS is so much further ahead than Android. I mean you get one year of updates on Android if you’re lucky.

Also couldn’t care less about widgets, doesnt really interest me. I don’t have time to sit about tinkering with my dam phone.
I haven't owned an Android phone that hasn't been supported for at least 3 years (Sony and OnePlus) and to top it off, what's the chances of 6S battery life issues after this update?
 

richalone442

Posts: 51   +33
Don't get me wrong, I absolutely hate android phones, they suck bad, but, it seems that Apple is trying to cram too much bullshit into the operating system, becoming too blotted with features that will never be used.
Can I opt out of this update?
 
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Hexic

Posts: 708   +655
TechSpot Elite
This is coming to iPhone 6S! That’s a 5 year old device. Just one of many ways that Apple and iOS is so much further ahead than Android. I mean you get one year of updates on Android if you’re lucky.

Also couldn’t care less about widgets, doesnt really interest me. I don’t have time to sit about tinkering with my dam phone.
Granted, widgets are a small feature addition - if you happen to actually utilize widgets in a way that fit your preferences, they're very useful. You'll tinker with your phone less because you have information readily available to you, thus reducing the time you waste opening a full app for one piece of information that would be displayed immediately to you instead.

Reminds me when Android received the wireless charging feature, and I had iOS guys laughing at the "gimmick" feature they claimed it to be. Funny how that worked out.

You truly can't appreciate a smartphone feature from a distance without using it yourself. That seems to be a common theme I see with iOS feature sets... And then 4 years later it's on every iDevice anyways.
 

Lew Zealand

Posts: 1,381   +1,353
TechSpot Elite
To me it's funny that old iPhones get support when Apple users tend to buy a new iPhone every year while Android doesn't offer support for long yet their users want exactly that. They should turn the tables around. And on Android you do get about 2 years of support but it all depends on the manufacturer.
LOL, got anything to back up that stereotype? Of course not. Here's some actual information:

4 year upgrade cycle for iPhones: https://9to5mac.com/2019/02/08/four-year-smartphone-upgrades/

And Apple supports them for 5+ years. Interesting coincidence, eh?
 

Shadowboxer

Posts: 627   +360
Granted, widgets are a small feature addition - if you happen to actually utilize widgets in a way that fit your preferences, they're very useful. You'll tinker with your phone less because you have information readily available to you, thus reducing the time you waste opening a full app for one piece of information that would be displayed immediately to you instead.

Reminds me when Android received the wireless charging feature, and I had iOS guys laughing at the "gimmick" feature they claimed it to be. Funny how that worked out.

You truly can't appreciate a smartphone feature from a distance without using it yourself. That seems to be a common theme I see with iOS feature sets... And then 4 years later it's on every iDevice anyways.
I’m not complaining about widgets. But I think it’s a nice to have rather than anything necessary. I don’t see myself using them, if I’ve got my phone open then how much harder is it to tap on an icon? I would have preferred more but smaller icons maybe but then I do have the largest of the iphones. My Apple Watch is for the “at a glance” type stuff and it’s very good but could definitely be better. Like if gmail allowed you to read full emails on the gmail Apple Watch app. That would be good. I guess at somepoint I should configure the mail client on my device..
 
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Shadowboxer

Posts: 627   +360
To me it's funny that old iPhones get support when Apple users tend to buy a new iPhone every year while Android doesn't offer support for long yet their users want exactly that. They should turn the tables around. And on Android you do get about 2 years of support but it all depends on the manufacturer.
That’s just a lie, “Apple users tend to buy a new phone every year” that’s the stereotype that Apple haters go around telling people. The same as “people only buy Apple for the logo” - another myth. I’m sure there are people that do. Just as much as people buy the latest galaxy phones every year. But that isn’t the average user at all.

I see loads of people rocking iPhone 6/6S etc including many of the elderly and my own mother! You see old iPhones around far more than you see old Android phones, when was the last time you saw someone using a galaxy s6? You know, a device that’s been out of support for 4 years yet was released only what a month prior to the iPhone 6S.

At this point, Android is being humiliated, dreadful security, no updates, lacklustre performance, I mean they can’t even do 4K HDR at 60hz video yet! Oh and all these advantages exist on Apples bargain basement £399 iPhone SE!
 

Hexic

Posts: 708   +655
TechSpot Elite
I’m not complaining about widgets. But I think it’s a nice to have rather than anything necessary. I don’t see myself using them, if I’ve got my phone open then how much harder is it to tap on an icon? I would have preferred more but smaller icons maybe but then I do have the largest of the iphones. My Apple Watch is for the “at a glance” type stuff and it’s very good but could definitely be better. Like if gmail allowed you to read full emails on the gmail Apple Watch app. That would be good. I guess at somepoint I should configure the mail client on my device..
On a somewhat unrelated note - are you happy with your Apple Watch? I am forced to use an iPhone via work, which I ultimately don't mind, it's great at what it's capable of doing. I've been debating on getting an Apple Watch, if it really lends to more ease of use overall.

I've been using my Samsung watch linked to my iPhone, and it does the job - but I've always been curious if the Apple Watch itself would lend a decent amount more ease of use.
 

Shadowboxer

Posts: 627   +360
On a somewhat unrelated note - are you happy with your Apple Watch? I am forced to use an iPhone via work, which I ultimately don't mind, it's great at what it's capable of doing. I've been debating on getting an Apple Watch, if it really lends toore ease of use overall.

I've been using my Samsung watch linked to my iPhone, and it does the job - but I've always been curious if the Apple Watch itself would lend a decent amount more ease of use.
I like my Apple Watch although it’s expensive compared to other smart watches. One particularly useful feature was being able to get maps open on my wrist whilst riding my hire motorbike in Thailand. I’ve never used the 4G on it but if you want to run and listen to music you can. Technically you could go for a run, change your mind, go to McDonald’s, pay for your McDonald’s with Apple Pay on your watch and completely miss out on exercise. The Apple Pay is very handy actually. And raising my hand to speak to Siri is quite useful to. Particularly when setting a timer...
 
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Burty117

Posts: 3,739   +1,601
Android is being humiliated, dreadful security, no updates, lacklustre performance, I mean they can’t even do 4K HDR at 60hz video yet! Oh and all these advantages exist on Apples bargain basement £399 iPhone SE!
Yeah, really useful on its small low Res screen.

Also, pretty certain Android did 4K HDR 60Hz video before iPhone, like way before, years before iPhone did. I mean, why put stuff like that down without at least a quick Google first?
 

p51d007

Posts: 2,417   +1,686
I never had anything against the iphone. Good phone, little pricey if you ask me, but my main problem is LACK of customization. I want my phone set up my way, with what icons, widgets etc on the home screen how I want. Not, how the manufacturer wants.
The "locked down" nature of Apple has it's advantages, but, I prefer the more unlocked nature of the Android ecosystem.
 
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Shadowboxer

Posts: 627   +360
Yeah, really useful on its small low Res screen.

Also, pretty certain Android did 4K HDR 60Hz video before iPhone, like way before, years before iPhone did. I mean, why put stuff like that down without at least a quick Google first?
No Android device can do 4K 60 HDR. Not even the S20 ultra. It’s because they don’t have the horsepower as to get HDR the camera needs to take two frames for everyone one frame. So you need a chip that can process 4K at 120fps and then sample that into 60hz. Android devices only recently just got 4K60.

Android devices can do 4K30 HDR, I think this is what has mislead you. Although they will all stutter if you zoom whilst recording.
 

Nobina

Posts: 2,496   +2,088
That’s just a lie, “Apple users tend to buy a new phone every year” that’s the stereotype that Apple haters go around telling people. The same as “people only buy Apple for the logo” - another myth. I’m sure there are people that do. Just as much as people buy the latest galaxy phones every year. But that isn’t the average user at all.

I see loads of people rocking iPhone 6/6S etc including many of the elderly and my own mother! You see old iPhones around far more than you see old Android phones, when was the last time you saw someone using a galaxy s6? You know, a device that’s been out of support for 4 years yet was released only what a month prior to the iPhone 6S.
I sold my S6 6 months ago. It was good aside from terrible battery life. I did have a security update at some point. Apple definetely does a much better job at supporting their devices.
At this point, Android is being humiliated, dreadful security, no updates, lacklustre performance, I mean they can’t even do 4K HDR at 60hz video yet! Oh and all these advantages exist on Apples bargain basement £399 iPhone SE!
This part screams of fanboism. Security is debatable, no updates is a lie, lackluster performance is a lie, 4K HDR 60Hz is some cherry picked feature nobody cares about, especially SE owners with "pretty good for what it is" but still deprecated 720p display. You must try harder.
 

Shadowboxer

Posts: 627   +360
I sold my S6 6 months ago. It was good aside from terrible battery life. I did have a security update at some point. Apple definetely does a much better job at supporting their devices.

This part screams of fanboism. Security is debatable, no updates is a lie, lackluster performance is a lie, 4K HDR 60Hz is some cherry picked feature nobody cares about, especially SE owners with "pretty good for what it is" but still deprecated 720p display. You must try harder.
Security isn’t debatable! Android has hundreds of vulnerabilities that they will tell you about themselves! If you are unaware of this I can provide you some links It’s far more vulnerable than say an Intel based PC which is amusing as many people here throw hate at Intel whenever they announce a new vuln has been plugged. I’m betting many of these people use Android lol.

As for 4K60HDR being cherry picked. Well I did pick it as a good example of where the fact that Android phones performance is a lot worse than iOS can actually be seen in real world. Watch some comparison footage of HDR vs non HDR mobile phone footage, there’s a huge difference! And is one of the many reasons why pretty much every reviewer tells you iPhones are way ahead of the competition when it comes to taking video.
 

Nobina

Posts: 2,496   +2,088
LOL, got anything to back up that stereotype? Of course not. Here's some actual information:

4 year upgrade cycle for iPhones: https://9to5mac.com/2019/02/08/four-year-smartphone-upgrades/

And Apple supports them for 5+ years. Interesting coincidence, eh?
In that article it says one of the reasons people don't upgrade is because Apple jumped the prices of their new iPhones. So the reason people don't upgrade their trusty ole iPhone 6 is.........because they can't afford the new one. Lol, I would say that's pretty bad.
 

Nobina

Posts: 2,496   +2,088
Security isn’t debatable! Android has hundreds of vulnerabilities that they will tell you about themselves! If you are unaware of this I can provide you some links It’s far more vulnerable than say an Intel based PC which is amusing as many people here throw hate at Intel whenever they announce a new vuln has been plugged. I’m betting many of these people use Android lol.

As for 4K60HDR being cherry picked. Well I did pick it as a good example of where the fact that Android phones performance is a lot worse than iOS can actually be seen in real world. Watch some comparison footage of HDR vs non HDR mobile phone footage, there’s a huge difference! And is one of the many reasons why pretty much every reviewer tells you iPhones are way ahead of the competition when it comes to taking video.
Nothing is completely secure. Both of the platforms have new vulnerabilities every now and then like when you send a text message to an iPhone and it crashes. Pretty dumb. Or when you set a picture as wallpaper and Android phone gets bricked. One platform can be considered more secure than the other one until somebody comes up with a new way to exploit it and it can happen any time. As for HDR I've seen the difference between an HDR and a non-HDR phone but plenty of Android phones have HDR.
 

Shadowboxer

Posts: 627   +360
Nothing is completely secure. Both of the platforms have new vulnerabilities every now and then like when you send a text message to an iPhone and it crashes. Pretty dumb. Or when you set a picture as wallpaper and Android phone gets bricked. One platform can be considered more secure than the other one until somebody comes up with a new way to exploit it and it can happen any time. As for HDR I've seen the difference between an HDR and a non-HDR phone but plenty of Android phones have HDR.
You’re right nothing is completely secure. But some things are definitely more secure than others. And iPhones are far far more secure than Android phones. This is a fact;


Plenty of Android phones do have HDR. But none of them have it at 4K 60fps. It’s just one example of a real world scenario where the iPhones superior performance gives it an edge that you might be able to use. The video encoding you do after if you’re making a short clip or whatever is also far quicker on the iPhone. I could just say “iPhone SOC’s have far superior performance” but I thought I would provide a real world use case for that performance to make it easier to understand. In operation iPhones are certainly faster and also load applications from disk far quicker than Android devices too. Although some Android devices have monstrous amounts of memory and are able to store more applications in dynamic ram than iPhones. Although you ought to see how the battery life can capitulate in such situations.

If you want to get technical I can explain it to you. Android cannot “page” it’s memory, so if you exceed active ram it will kill applications. iOS however is more like Windows and can offload active apps to a paging file on the disk. The algorithms behind this are hugely secret as they provide Apple with huge performance gains and save them lots of money on memory every year as they don’t need to be putting in 8/12/16GB of memory into a modern mobile phone just to get a seamless experience.