This year’s WWDC was definitely like never before. In light of the Coronavirus pandemic and large social gatherings still being banned, Apple took to online streaming to share the latest software updates for developers. But, in true Apple fashion, the all-online keynote gained as much attention as usual, especially thanks to the much-awaited iOS 14 announcements.
Major iOS updates are always trending topics of discussion when they’re announced, but this year was especially relevant because the changes point to an interesting direction where Apple is headed with their operating system.
Here are some of the most exciting updates that iPhone users can enjoy starting fall this year:
With the newest version of iOS, iPhone users will finally be able to add widgets to their home screens. This is definitely a feature that Apple took their time to implement and they did it in their own way. At least at first, users will only be able to choose from Apple’s first party widgets and won’t have the same degree of customization as in Android, but this is still the biggest change to the home screen that Apple has done in recent years.
The new App Library
Another “Android-inspired” feature, the new App Library displays apps smartly grouped in categories instead of on the home screen. In the keynote demo, for example, we saw them sorted into recently added, Apple arcade games, social networks, and suggestions based on your most used apps. Users will also finally be able to hide the apps they don’t want on their home screens instead of manually adding them to a folder.
A new look for Siri and calls
With this update, Siri will no longer take up the entire screen when you use it. Instead, you’ll only see a small button, making it less intrusive. Apple did the same for phone call interface; this way, when you receive a phone call, it will just show at a corner of the screen, so that you can answer it (or ignore it) and continue using your phone as usual.
Apart from the usual Memoji additions (including, unsurprisingly, being able to add a face mask), the Messages app has received some new Slack-like features, such as pinning your favorite conversations and using @mentions in groups so that you only receive notifications when someone tags you.
Do you want to watch videos while using other apps? Now you can. With the latest version of iOS, you can reply to messages without pausing your TV show or watch a video recipe while at the same time browsing the web for additional tips.
Maps got off to a bad start, but Apple made some great fixes over the years and it became pretty reliable. In the next update, Maps users will receive Guides, which will showcase the highlights of the city you’re in, like a mini travel guide. Apple also added recommended routes for cyclists and electric car users.
While these may be the most discussed features, they’re not the only additions we’ll see in new iOS version. Other interesting features include App Clips, CarPlay, smart home controls, and additions to Apple Health.