We’ve been waiting and speculating and anticipating, and now it’s finally here. Last night saw the keynote for Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC), with many exciting reveals and updates. One such reveal was iOS 14, and I think I speak for all of us when I say that it met all the expectations I had and then some. But if you weren’t able to watch the keynote event, we’ve got your back! From iOS14 release date to new features and all the rumours that were confirmed, here’s everything you need to know about Apple’s big upcoming upgrade.
A New Look
The new update brings a lot more personalisation to your iPhone with new iOS 14 widgets, an App Library, compact calls that won’t take over your screen, and a new feature called Picture in Picture.
We’ll now have more options for widgets and will be able to freely move them around the iOS 14 home screen to personalise it according to our needs. One of the widgets Apple introduced in yesterday’s event is the Smart Stack, which is basically a stack of multiple swipeable widgets in one and even intelligently curates them according to the time of the day.
The App Library does what many of us tried to do with the App folders on our iPhones, only way better. No more need to spend hours organising your apps according to some complex would-be algorithm. The App Library automatically sorts your apps into various categories, putting your most-used apps in an easy-to-navigate view.
We’ll now finally be able to use our iPhones even while getting a call, as incoming calls will only appear in a banner on the top of your screen—similar to notifications. What’s more, Apple’s introducing “Picture in Picture” which will, at long last, allow us to play videos on a minimised screen even as we move around different apps without having to give up watching the video.
New iMessage Features
If you’ve been following us for a while, you’ll already know how excited we were about some of the rumours that were going around about iMessages recently. Well, turns out the reality’s even better! New iMessage features include:
- Pinned Convos: For the chats you keep going back to, you can now pin them to your iMessages screen so you can quickly get to them. They also display incoming messages in real-time, a super cool addition that’s both useful and lets you keep track of all your conversations.
- Group Photos: You can now customise group chats with group photos or Memojis! Finally! Plus, with or without the group photo, your chats will now display the chat members on the top of the screen, with the most active participants in bigger bubbles than the rest.
- Mentions, Finally: Yes, you can now directly mention whoever your message is meant to and send them a ping, so that important messages don’t get lost in the chaos of a group chat. Plus, you can sneakily turn on your pings for only mentions.
- Inline replies: Another feature coming to iMessage is inline replies. If you’ve used Slack before, you’ll know this. You can now create threads of conversations under a message to keep track of all the multiple conversations happening in one chaotic group chat. Let’s just hope this doesn’t add to the chaos instead…
Besides these, Apple also introduced new Memoji stickers and personalisation options, including a particularly relevant face mask one.
It’s about time Siri got a new look, and we’re loving what we see! At long last, we can now stop frantically memorising information that we need to ask Siri because now the AI assistant won’t take over the whole screen while trying to be helpful. Besides that, we can now send audio messages directly through Siri and even use speech-to-text.
An All-New Translate App
This is perhaps one of the features I’m anticipating the most in the coming update. Apple’s introducing its own Translate app with 11 different languages: Arabic, Chinese, English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish.
The app is made for facilitating conversations across languages, and can be used completely offline by downloading the available languages. It has a microphone option, where you can translate simply by speaking in your preferred language and translating directly into your desired language.
It also comes in landscape view, which helps in carrying out conversations side-by-side and easily grabbing attention by enlarging translated text.
More Privacy Features
Apple has always been a champion for user privacy, despite the issues that keep cropping up now and again. With iOS 14, they’re giving us even more ways to control and recognise how we’re engaging on the internet and giving websites access to our data.
They’ve introduced new privacy panels to the App Store, which give us a brief look into the privacy practices and permissions required for any app before we download them. They’ve also added a recording indicator to let us know when an app is using our camera or microphone.
Plus, you can now choose to share only your approximate location rather than the exact one to protect your privacy even more, among other privacy updates.
And these are only some of the new iOS 14 features! Others include App Clips that let you use a particular feature of an app without having to fully download it, Maps updates with a new bicycle mode, new Home app automations and features to protect and automate your home, CarKey, Safari translations, and so much more.
You can see a full list of all the new iOS 14 features here. The iOS 14 release date is far still, with the official release somewhere around September and October. And I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait to finally get my hands on this upgrade.
Still, while you’re waiting, check out the iOS 14 supported devices and see if you’ll be getting this new update coming fall.
All images courtesy: Apple