Apple Unveils iOS 14
By Banu Athuraliya
Apple announced the latest version of iOS, which is iOS 14 at their annual 2020 Apple Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC 2020). iOS 14 comes with a lot of features that users have been requesting for years. This year Apple held WWDC as an online only event however it turned out to be a well-produced show that made some important announcements.
Immediately after the WWDC 2020 Keynote, I installed the iOS 14 Beta on to one of my iPhones and started exploring. So far I love the changes and I think most people will appreciate the changes coming to their iPhones in the near future. The public version of iOS 14 will be released later somewhere in September. If you want to see what’s new with iOS 14 in a video as well as a recap on WWDC 2020 and all the announcements, you can watch my video at www.youtube.com/androdollar.
So, what exactly are the cool features and improvements on iOS 14? Let’s check out the best few.
The most requested feature for years that Android fans have loved is finally coming to iOS. The plain iOS home screen with icons will be no more thanks to various widgets you can now add on iOS 14. These widgets look beautiful and are rich in data. They will be available in different sizes too, so that’s great.
Think of the App Library like the app drawer on Android devices. You can find all your applications here sorted in to intelligently curated libraries but you have quick access and the best part is you get to search and easily find applications.
With Picture-In-Picture mode officially coming to iOS, this adds a good layer of multitasking on the iPhone. Videos will automatically go in to Picture-In-Picture mode and the coolest part is the audio will keep playing even when you push a video out of the screen to get some other work done. Picture-In-Picture will not only work in videos but also in facetime calls and hopefully third-party apps will also integrate this soon.
With iOS 14, Siri is getting another design refresh. Now Siri is taking up less space in what Apple calls a “Compact Design”. I personally like the new design of the redesigned Siri. Siri is also now smarter and will be able to answer more complex questions. Siri can also send an audio message now which is cool.
Apple has added its own Translation app on to iOS and with iOS 14 this application will be pre-installed on all devices. At launch it will only support a few languages but surely this list will grow as more users start using it. I can’t wait to see Sinhala translations support on this.
Messages got some important changes that will be useful for people who constantly use messages or iMessage. Users now have the option to pin messages and inline replies are now coming to group chats. Group chats also get some other important changes. Memoji is also getting better with iOS 14 and there are a few more options this time around.
Apple Maps also got some important updates and the coolest one here is the support for Cycling. However support for this is limited at the start, but it will slowly grow as the map grows.
Apple showcased something called ‘App Clips’ which makes it easy for you to find the right app at the right time. It gives you access to a smaller size app which is easy to use to get a specific task done. The user can use sign in with Apple for a seamless experience and check out with Apple Pay if a payment is needed. With more vendors utilising App Clips, you might not need to have 200+ apps on your device.
Along with the changes coming to iOS, Apple also added some improvements to iPad OS which will come for the iPad, and also announced cool features like Sleep tracking for the Apple Watch with WatchOS 7. However, the most important announcement of them all at WWDC 2020 was the move for Apple to move to Apple Silicon for its future mac line up and Apple’s latest OS for the Mac, called macOS Big Sur gets a version number bump to 11 from X we all have been familiar with for years. I go over all these changes in my videos at www.youtube.com/androdollar, check them out if you want more information and a preview of all the other announcements from Apple at WWDC 2020.