Apple on June 22 at the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference, launches iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 with what it calls the “biggest update ever to Home Screen pages”.
The new launches by Apple came with redesigned and repurposed widgets and revamped FaceTime calls.
According to Apple’s senior vice president of Software Engineering, “iOS 14 transforms the most iconic elements of the iPhone experience, starting with the biggest update we’ve ever made to the Home Screen. With beautifully redesigned widgets on the Home Screen, the App Library that automatically organizes all of your apps, and App Clips that are fast and easy to discover, iPhone becomes even more powerful and easier to use.”
Lets take a look to the new features which Apple launches yesterday:
Revamped Home Screen
The new home screen brings support for Android-like widgets for the first time. Users can now drag widgets from Today’s view to the home screen, pin in different sizes and create a smart stack that uses the on-device intelligence to surface the right widget based on time, location, and activity.
By swiping all the way to the end of the app pages on an iPhone will open the new “App Library” similar to Android’s App drawer. This new space will organize all the applications on the device into one simple, easy-to-navigate view.
Like Android, users can now choose the number of home screen pages they want to display and easily hide pages for quick access to the App Library.
An App Clip is basically a small part or partial view of an application that lets users take advantage of some app features without needing to download the full app, which functions exactly like Android Instant Apps introduced years ago. These clips are associated with a particular product or business, and unlike the complete application, they can load within a few seconds to complete a specific task.
Updates Messages and Incoming Calls
Apple will now allow users to pin important conversations to the top. This can be done with a simple swipe to the right on any chat. As for the chats, a new inline reply feature has been added that can be used to reply to a specific message in a conversation.
Apple has also added an @mention feature with functionality similar to WhatsApp’s @mention. This means, even if a group chat is muted, if a user is mentioned, he/she will get a notification.
The incoming calls, with new space-saving measures, don’t occupy the entire screen. Phone calls either audio or video, will now show up in a small banner on the top of the display, exactly like Android.
Enhanced Privacy Features
Apple has introduced the most awaited privacy feature to both iOS and iPadOS. All apps will now be required to obtain user permission before tracking. The updated privacy protections will also limit developers’ access to photos selected by the user.
Moreover, 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 any app location access.
Other features introduced to the new OS include:
- The new Memoji with additional hairstyles, headwear, face coverings, and ages.
- A better health application with support for Sleep Tracking on Apple Watch, plus a Health Checklist for managing health and safety features.
- Additional info on severe weather events, a next-hour precipitation chart, and minute-by-minute precipitation readings when rain is forecast in the weather app.
- Digital car keys to let users unlock or start their car with an iPhone or Apple Watch.
- A new Translate app that provides text and voice translations to and from 11 languages.
- A smarted Siri that also sends audio messages.
iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 are currently available on Apple’s Developer Program members and will be available to beta users next month.
Both operating systems will be available later this year as a free software update, with iOS 14 available for iPhone 6s and onwards. As for iPads, iPadOS will be available for iPad Air 1 and onwards, iPad 5th generation and later, iPad mini 4 and later, and all the iPad Pro models.