After months of anticipation, Apple is finally rolling out its iOS 14 update today.
Apple’s Craig Federighi announced the new system during Apple’s WWDC 2020 event back in June.
He said: “iOS 14 transforms the most iconic elements of the iPhone experience, starting with the biggest update we’ve ever made to the Home Screen. 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.”
The new system has several helpful updates, including picture-in-picture mode, a new home screen layout and Apple Maps updates.
Here’s a round up of all the new iOS 14 features that will be coming to your iPhone.
The first change is to the iPhone home screen, with the announcement of a new feature called App Library.
While most iPhone users currently have their apps spread across several pages, new space automatically arranges your apps on one page.
Apple explained: “The new App Library automatically organizes all of your apps into one simple, easy‑to‑navigate view. Apps are sorted by category and your most used apps are always just one tap away.”
Meanwhile, Widgets have also been updated, and now come in a range of sizes.
iPhone users can now tap on a widget and drag it around the home screen, creating a more customised home screen experience.
Apple said: “Widgets have been totally redesigned to give you more information at a glance — and now you can add them to your Home Screen. Choose from different sizes and arrange however you like.”
It’s a feature that users have been asking for for years, and now Apple has announced that Picture-in-picture mode is finally coming.
This allows you to watch videos in a small window, while still browsing on your smartphone, rather than having to pause your video and come back to it.
Apple said: “Now you can keep watching videos or continue your FaceTime call while you use another app.”
Apple’s smart assistant, Siri, has been given an update, with a more compact design, web answers and the ability to respond to audio messages.
Apple explained: “Siri is a vital way to get information and get things done. And thanks to a new compact design, you can take advantage of everything Siri can do without losing your context.”
The Messages app now lets you pin certain conversations at the top of your list – a feature that has been available on WhatsApp for years.
Apple said: “Pin up to nine of your most important conversations to the top of your conversation list so you can easily get to them.”
Memoji – Apple’s personalised emoji – also have 20 new facial expressions, as well as age options.
Users can now send their character hugging, fist bumping or even blushing.
Like WhatsApp, Apple has also introduced mentions, allowing you to ‘@‘ a friend in a group chat, sending a notification directly to them.
Apple said: “Type a name to direct a message to someone. When you are mentioned, your name is highlighted. You can even customise an active group so you only receive notifications when you are mentioned.”
Having rolled out in the US, Apple Maps’ latest update is coming to further countries this year – including the UK and Ireland.
New features include guides for specific areas, cycling routes and electric vehicle (EV) routing.
For electric car drivers, Maps will track your current charge, and automatically add charging stops along your journey.
Car Play – Apple’s in car app – now has new backgrounds, and a digital car key option.
Users can simply tap their iPhone to the car to unlock it, rather than having to use a physical key.
Apple explained: “Sharing keys with friends or family is easy. You can customize controls and create restricted profiles, perfect for new drivers. You can revoke and share keys temporarily, too.”
Rather than having to search through the App Store for a specific app, iPhone users can now use Apple’s App Clip feature.
By hovering their iPhone over a QR code or NFC, users can download an app quickly. The feature is also synced with Apple Pay, so you can even download paid apps.
Apple added: “Apps from the App Store have changed the way we do just about everything. Now there’s an even faster way to take advantage of them with App Clips. A small part of an app, an App Clip is discoverable the moment you need it and is focused on a specific task.”