Everything You Need To Know About Apple’s Latest Updates
Isadora Teich wrote this article
Back in June, Apple announced the upcoming release of its latest operating system, iOS 14.
It was finally released on September 16th to widespread excitement. This is, after all, one of Apple’s most dramatic updates yet!iOS 14 includes major new features, updates to existing apps, improvements to Siri, and a wide range of tweaks to streamline the iOS interface. Click To Tweet
Let’s take a look at everything new that Apple is bringing to the table with iOS 14!
Home Screen Redesign Focusing On Widgets
There are a lot of big changes to the home screen. For one, it will be able to support widgets for the first time. With it, you can drag widgets from the Today view directly onto the Home Screen.
Once there, they can be pinned in different sizes. Learn more about widgets, and the new and improved iOS 14 App Library here!
Then there is the Smart Stack feature.
This means that the iPhone can make use of on-device intelligence to select the correct widget based on factors such as time, activity, and location. Each home screen can display widgets customized based on user interests and needs.
There is now also a widgets gallery, where users can choose and customize new widgets. Moving forward with app development, widgets are about to become a much larger part of the picture.
You Can Use Apps While You Take Phone Calls And Watch Videos
Due to new space-saving measures, incoming phone calls and Siri requests on iOS 14 do not take up the whole screen, as they did on previous operating systems.
Phone calls, VOIP calls, and Facetime calls will show up in small banners on the display of the iPhone. When you choose to activate Siri, a small animated Siri icon will appear at the bottom of the screen. There is also the Picture and Picture mode, which grants users similar flexibility. You will be able to watch videos or Facetime other Apple users while still using other apps.
The video or Facetime call will play in a small window that can be resized and moved around the iPhone’s screen.
Siri Updates and App Clips
In a previous blog post, we talked all about App Clips, one of the most hyped-up aspects of the iOS 14 update.
In short, app clips allow you to access small parts of apps to get immediate use of the features you need, without having to sift through your library or even apps themselves. If you want a more in-depth look at exactly how this benefits users and how it will work, check out that blog post!
Another notable update is that Siri has been improved immensely. It will be smarter and have more capabilities. Siri will also be able to answer a wider range of questions, with a new host of information pulled from the internet. It will also be able to send audio messages on your behalf.
Updates to the Messages App
There are some exciting updates to the Messages app as well.
When you use the app, you will be able to pin important conversations so that they stay at the top where they can be accessed easily. You can pin any chat by right-swiping on it. There is also a brand new inline replies feature. This can be used to respond to a specific message in a conversation.
Group chats will be made easier with both inline replies and the new @mention feature. With this feature, you can choose to mute group chats, but still get notified when you are mentioned. Group chat photos are now customizable too. You can choose from images and emojis. Also, the icons for each person will now denote who spoke last in the chat.
In addition, there are fun new Memoji options. These include more headwear, face coverings, hairstyles, and ages. There are also some new Memoji stickers. Memojis have been upgraded in terms of expressiveness with revamped facial and muscle structure.
Practical App Updates
There have been some updates to the Health app as well.
Apple has added support for Sleep Tracking on the Apple Watch. There is also a Health Checklist that makes managing health and safety features easier. This includes features such as Fall Detection, Medical ID, and Emergency SOS.
The Weather app has more accurate timely information, due to features adopted from the Apple acquisition of Dark Sky. You can use it to find information on severe weather events, next-hour precipitation charts, and minute-by-minute readings during times when rain is forecast.
The Apple Maps app has comprehensive information for commuters and cyclists. Directions now take into account business, elevation, and the presence of stairs along routes. If you own an electronic vehicle, you have the option to chart routes with EV charging stops along the way.
There is also the Digital car keys feature.
This allows users to unlock or start their car via an iPhone or Apple Watch. Next year, they will also be able to do this via U1 chip. Car keys will be able to be shared through messages and even disabled via iCloud if a phone is lost.
As the world reopens and travel becomes more possible over the next year, these app updates will come in handy.
iOS 14 will feature curated guides to help users discover points of interest and restaurants in new cities. These guides have been created by company like Complex and Time Out Group.
There is also a new Apple-designed Translate app. It will enable users to translate text and voice between 11 different languages.
It has a conversation mode that speaks translations aloud so people can communicate directly across language barriers. It can even detect what languages are being spoken automatically.
The languages the app supports are Spanish, Arabic, Chinese, English, Korean, Japanese, Portuguese, French, German, Italian, and Russian.
Due to new privacy protections, developers have to get permission before accessing devices on a local network. You can also limit access to select photos and choose to provide apps with only approximate location data. Apps also need to get permission before tracking users website use.
New icons will also appear to alert users when an app is using the device’s mic or camera.
As far as Safari goes, there are also some privacy updates.
In Safari, Apple will provide privacy reports to users that shows you which website trackers are being blocked. Safari password monitoring will also be employed. This will let you know if any of your saved passwords have been involved in a data breach.
Services Bundle Called Apple One
Apple has announced its long-rumored services bundle, Apple One. It comes in three tiers with different services in each tier:
Individual – Apple Music, Apple TV+, Apple Arcade and iCloud storage, at $14.95 a month.
Family – The same services for up to five family members, at $19.95 a month.
Premier – The same services plus Apple News+ and Apple Fitness+, announced today, for $29.95 a month.
All-New Hardware to Be Excited For
While we’re still waiting for the latest iPhone to be announced (thanks to Covid19, production is about 1-2 months behind), there was still a number of exciting new devices added to the Apple product line for this 2020 Apple Event.
Apple Watch Series 6 & SE – The new Apple Watch Series 6 has 20% more processing power than its predecessor and will start at $399, with the SE ringing in at $279. These watches now have the ability to gauge the wearer’s blood oxygen level. Their arrival also coincides with the Apple Watch-synced Fitness+, a new service linking users with trainers and workout videos. Users will be able to see live stats from their Apple Watch on your iPad or iPhone. It also comes with Family Setup, allowing other younger, device-less members of the family to also use the Apple Watch. They do not, however, come with a charging cord.
8th Generation iPad – With a powerful A12 Bionic chip included even on the entry-level model, this upgrade packs more value into the most popular and affordable iPad. Starting at just $329, this iPad comes with a 10.2-inch Retina display, advanced cameras (including the LiDAR scanner), and all-day battery life. iOS 14 also grants iPad some incredible new abilities, like scribbling, new sidebars and overall improved organization.
And while it’s not available yet, Apple’s also teased the arrival of the all-new iPad Air starting at $599, which will have the ability to edit 4K video, and essentially be the creator’s on-to-go studio.
This Apple Event was a refreshing change a pace from usual events, where the latest iPhone takes center stage. It’s nice to see other members of Apple’s product line get this ‘glow up’, and all the attention for a change.
Are You Excited About iOS 14?
There is a wide range of big and small updates across a number of apps, functions, and services.
Apple’s even launching new subscription offers for users via the App Store — making reaching customers that much more attainable for small businesses and app developers everywhere.
Have you already made the switch?
Talk to me.
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