App Library is a new Home Screen feature that’s like an enhanced version of Android’s app drawer. App Library automatically organises apps, and users can hide entire categories of apps they hardly use. Searching for the app you need would only require you to recall its category, but its search feature also has predictive suggestions based on what you’d use next.
Apple also had a rethink on how Widgets can be more meaningful on the Home Screen. Widgets can now come in different sizes, and they can be placed directly onto the Home Screen, and arranged among your apps if you feel they would be especially crucial to you, giving you more freedom in accessing information that’s more intuitive to you.
Another widget enhancement is Smart Stack, a feature that shows multiple widgets as a scrolling menu that automatically changes throughout the day.
iOS 14 will also introduce a previously iPad-only feature to the iPhone operating system. Picture-inpicture mode will finally let users continue to playback video in a windowed overlay while working or interacting with other apps at the same time.
POWERED UP SIRI
Voice command assistant Siri is getting a redesign too, becoming a futuristic icon at the bottom of the display, making her more compact and less intrusive. When you’re in another app, you can now seamlessly give voice commands to Siri without leaving your app or what you were doing before.
Siri is also expanding the number of languages it can understand, allowing for translation between different languages in conversations. It does so with an all-new Translate app, capable of translating on-the-go, going from audio to text, and back to audio, enabling real-time spoken conversations. It also has side-by-side windows showing both languages for easy reference. Translate initially supports up to 11 languages, with more to be added over time.
PINNED MESSAGES AND INLINE REPLIES
Messages have gotten a slight rework with Pinned Messages to help people prioritise conversations. Memojis also got new several new additions, with three new expressions, more age options, and 20 new headwear or hairstyles. Group Conversations will also get inline replies, making it easier to follow chaotic conversations. Also coming to Group are @-mentions to tag specific folks for replies. Group conversations can now get a group photo for identity, and it shows users that have been recently active in said group chats.that automatically changes throughout the day.
Apple Maps will get a detail and accuracy update, on top of more features, starting with the UK, Ireland, and Canada. A new trick in Apple Maps called Guides helps users find great places for food, visiting, and other recommendations by third-party providers.
The navigation feature in Apple Maps now includes green transport alternatives such as Cycling, and it contains details like elevation and whether the routes are along quiet or busy roads.
EV Routing is another handy function for electric vehicle users. It identifies suitable routes that are not only energy-efficient but also charts a path that has compatible electric car chargers based on your electric vehicle’s current battery charge.
NFC DIGITAL CAR KEYS IN CARPLAY
iOS 14 brings new wallpapers, and new app categories such as Parking and EV Charging and Food Ordering to CarPlay. But the most significant update in the new CarPlay is the digital car key that works through NFC. Starting with 2021 BMW 5 series vehicles, you will be able to use your iPhone to unlock your vehicle. Apple assures that the e-key is stored in the secure element component (U1 chip) of the iPhone and can be disabled via iCloud if your phone is misplaced or lost. Users can even quickly share these keys with folks sharing the vehicle.
This update will also make its way into iOS 13, and Apple said they are hard at work trying to make this an industry standard.
APP CLIP ON THE APP STORE
Over in the App Store, a new feature called App Clip quickly pulls up a mini version of the app you don’t have. It’s made to be super convenient for viewing and access an important part of an app you might not have at the moment (e.g. parking payment, getting reward points when paying for food, etc.).
App Clips are less than 10MB in size and are designed to work with Sign In With Apple and Apple Pay functions. It can work with both QR codes or Apple’s proprietary App Clip Code, which is Apple’s very own QR code for App Clip pop-ups.