In June 2020, Apple released a beta version of the new iOS 14, and now, we are one step closer to its release date. Apple WWDC 2020 showcased the updated operating system that’s full of new features. The new operating system update is likely to come later this year. But if you are a developer, you won’t have to wait much longer, because the iOS 14 beta version is available for download.
Release Date & Device Supported by iOS 14
The official release date is not confirmed yet, but if we look into the data of the past few years, it’s more likely to launch in September this year. Although you can use the public beta version, which would be available in July, you might experience potential software problems since it’s still under development.
If your phone is compatible with or running iOS 13, then it can also run iOS 14. The list of compatible devices is below:
- iPod Touch (7th generation)
- iPhone 6s, 6s Plus
- iPhone SE (2016)
- iPhone 7, 7 Plus
- iPhone 8, 8 Plus
- iPhone XR
- iPhone XS, XS Max
- iPhone 11, 11 Pro, 11 Pro Max
- iPhone SE (2020)
Features of iOS 14
Let’s take a close look at the features that will be rolling out with iOS 14:
Home Screen Widgets
Widgets are finally making their debut in iPhone with iOS 14. They will come in a variety of sizes, will be more data-rich, and can be displayed on home screens and Today view on your phone. There’ll be a widget gallery where you can find them. It is not yet clear which apps will get widgets, but, according to marketing sources, it would be Apple News, Calendar, Weather, Clock, etc..
Sometimes, you install an app and uninstall after using it for a while. At that time, you might have thought about not downloading the app but still have access to it. With iOS 14 App Clips, it will be possible now. It’s a new feature that will enable you to use an app without downloading hefty files.
It’s going to be light and fast, which you can access through a card that pops up at the bottom of the screen. But, you can only use particular features of such apps without downloading them from Apple App Store. Also, Apple is issuing NFC tags, which you might see in your day-to-day life. For example, suppose there’s an NFC tag on an electric scooter. Just tap that tag, and you can immediately use the app without downloading it. It’s similar to Android functionalities, but it’s the 1st time Apple is introducing in its operating system.
In case you like a particular app, then you can directly download the app via App Clip, without opening the App Store.
Apple Message App is getting new updates, which includes functionality to pin conversations. If you want a particular chat to stay on top of your messaging app, you can do so when iOS 14 will be available. The update also brings 20 new hair and headwear Memoji options to customize your meme character. If you want the 2020 look, Apple got it covered with face coverings styles.
Group conversations are getting improvements too. You can do inline replies for a particular message. With the @mention feature, even if you mute a group chat, you can still receive notifications when you mention a user name.
With picture-in-picture functionality, you can keep watching the video even if you are using other apps. For example, if you receive a message on your phone while you are watching a YouTube video or a TV show, you can instantly reply without pausing it.
No other operating system has strict privacy as Apple has. It’s always been about privacy, and with iOS 14, Apple is taking a big leap further. Now all apps would have to request your permission before they start tracking you. Also, it will be up to you whether you want to share your approximate location or exact location with the apps. This way, you get more transparency on the apps’ use of your phone’s camera and microphone.
App library is another feature that will come within iOS 14 to better organize your apps. The feature is already available in Android devices, and finally, Apple also decided to go for it. It automatically categories different apps based on their service type without you having to do it manually. This option will appear at the end of your home screen.
You can also hide apps that you don’t want to get displayed on the home screens. Instead, those apps will appear in the App Library. Also, the interface of the incoming phone calls will change. Instead of taking the whole screen, the notification will appear at the screen top. It will make it easier for iOS users to answer phone calls, or you can also ignore it. You don’t have to wait for the phone call to end without manually hanging up.
The redesigned voice assistant Siri will not take up the entire screen of your phone to answer your queries. Instead, it will appear at the top of your phone as a notification. It’ll make it easier for you to access Siri on your phone. Apple is working on other updates that will make Siri a more flexible and useful voice assistant. The translation feature in Siri is now more reliable and can send audio messages too.
In WWDC 2020, Apple outlined new improvements that will make Apple Maps more reliable to explore the world. With iOS 14, Guides will be available in the Maps containing editorial content about a place. It will work like a travel book from where you can access information about a place directly within the Maps app.
With Cyclists rejoice feature, you can search for cycle lanes or quieter roads. It will also tell whether it’s a steep incline or not. Right now, cycling features are only available for San Francisco, New York City, Los Angeles, and some cities in China. But after iOS 14 will go live, this option will be available for other cities around the world. If you own an electric vehicle, there’s an option to route with EV charging stops. It will give directions for charging stations based on your vehicle type.
What if you don’t have to carry your car keys to drive your car? Well, if your car is compatible, you’ll get digital keys to unlock and turn on your car via your iPhone. Currently, CarPlay functionality is specifically designed for the upcoming BMW 5 series, but it will eventually come for other brands and car models too. Apple hasn’t confirmed any manufacturer or models yet.
CarPlay enables you to set wallpapers and supports new app types for quick food ordering, parking, and electric vehicle charging.
Smart Home Controls
iOS 14 will give you more control over smart devices at your home with advanced smart home control features available in Control Center. The Home App will suggest automation suggestions to access smart devices at your house automatically.
Smart Home Controls will also have an adaptive lighting feature that allows HomeKit lights to adjust their color temperature. The on-device face recognition feature will enable video doorbells and cameras to tell homeowners exactly who is standing at the door (only if the user’s photo is saved in photos). For the first time, the HomeKit Secure Video cameras will now support Activity Zones.