Apple on Monday unveiled iOS 14, the next generation operating system for iPhone at its first ever virtual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC). The iOS 14 features the “biggest update” to the home screen which now hosts widgets and App Library, a space for all of the user's apps automatically organized into “one simple, easy-to-navigate view.” The company has also updated several other elements of the OS including Messages where users can now pin conversations to the top of their messages list. Maps also gets a notable update as the company has made it simple to navigate with new cycling directions, electric vehicle routing and curated guides.
Home screen Receives Significant Update
The widgets enable users to quickly glance at an information and Apple permits users on iOS 14 to pin the widgets of any size onto the home screen. Further, Apple said that the users can create Smart Stack of widgets that displays widgets based on time and location.
The App Library automatically organizes users' apps into groups and lists. The company said that users can choose the number of home screen pages to display and also hide pages for rapid access to the App Library.
Apple has also made interface changes to the incoming Facetime and phone calls which now appear as a pop-up than occupy the entire page as in the previous versions. The company has also refreshed the interface of the Siri interactions with Apple enabling a “compact design” to provide a seamless experience to users.
With iOS 14, Apple is also introducing App Clips that provides users with a small part of the app experience without the need for users to install a complete app. The company said that App Clips enables users to pay for a coffee or pay a parking meter “within seconds” and that users can discover and access App Clips through NFC or QR codes.
“With beautifully redesigned widgets on the Home Screen, the App Library that automatically organizes all of your apps, and App Clips that are fast and easy to discover, iPhone becomes even more powerful and easier to use,” Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior VP of Software Engineering, said in the release.
Apple Delivers Enhanced Privacy Features with iOS 14
Meanwhile, the Messages would also receive new inclusive and diverse Memoji options with new accessories including head wear and face coverings.
Apple is also said to be working with leading automobile manufacturers to elevate the electric vehicle routing experience. The electric vehicle routing adds charging stops along the user’s planned route based on the user’s vehicle charge and charger types.
With the enhanced privacy features on iOS 14, Apple requires apps to request the permission of a user before tracking. Additionally, users can upgrade their app accounts to sign-in with Apple and offer to provide an approximate location with app developers than precise location while granting app access.
The iOS 14 will also feature a built-in translate app that provides quick translations to voice and text in 11 different languages. The company said that English, Mandarin Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Spanish, German, French, Italian, Russian, Brazilian Portuguese, and Arabic are supported languages at launch.
Apple also said that the Safari browser will include a Privacy Report that offers a summary of cross-site trackers that have been blocked by the browser. Additionally, Safari would also include a password monitoring feature that is set to alert the user when a saved password is involved in a data breach.
The iOS 14 is set to be available later in the year with Apple scheduled to roll out the OS to iPhone 6s and later. However, a developer preview of iOS 14 is already available to members of Apple Developer Program beginning Monday. Further, a public beta of iOS 14 is scheduled to be available to users in July.