iOS 14 closer look: Home screen widgets, App Library, Clips and all the top features coming to iPhone

By: |
June 23, 2020 2:32 AM

iOS 14 will also allow iPhone users to use third party browsers and email apps over the usual defaults -- that’s huge!

iOS 14A developer preview of iOS 14 is rolling out today and public beta is expected in July.

If you have an iPhone 6S and above, you should definitely be excited. Apple has announced iOS 14 (at WWDC 2020) and with it we’re seeing definite signs of change in the way Cupertino likes to do things. Apple, a company known for its closely guarded ecosystem(s), seems ready to open up finally, giving iPhone users some much needed flexibility in software, like their Android counterparts. As such, iOS 14 may mark the biggest shift in strategy for Apple in a long, long time.

This starts with the home screen. Thanks to iOS 14, the iPhone can now support widgets. Apple is even going ahead and making it easier to pick and drop widgets to the home screen through features like widget gallery and smart stack, both of which are designed to curate relevant widgets for you. Like Android, widgets in iOS 14 will also come in different sizes. There’s also a new App Library view in iOS 14 that automatically organizes all your apps into categories and lists. This is also updated depending on app usage. Similar to Android’s app drawer approach, App Library will also (finally) allow iPhone users to hide apps from their home screen.

iOS 14 will also bring floating windows (that occupy less space) for phone calls (including FaceTime) and Siri. Plus, there’s an all-new picture in picture view for videos that you can also resize at will, a feature that has been part of Android for sometime now. All this is part of Apple’s new Compact UI that’s seemingly been designed for effortless multitasking.

Another feature that’s straight out of Google’s textbook is Clips. Apple describes Clips as a small part of an app that’s discoverable at the moment you need it and is focused on a specific task, which basically means that you can try it out without installing the full app. This is similar to Android’s instant apps. Apple is going a step further by adding Apple Pay and Sign in with Apple to Clips so iPhone users can subscribe and sign up for these apps directly, and in case they like the experience, they can go ahead and install the full app.

And, if all this wasn’t enough, iOS 14 will also allow iPhone users to use third party browsers and email apps over the usual defaults — that’s huge!

There are a lot of other features of course, including pinned conversations and @mentions in group chats in iMessage, face covering in Memoji (that’s actually quite relevant today), a new translate app, smarter home controls with adaptive lighting, Car Keys, and a dedicated sleep mode. Also, Safari will now warn you in case your password has leaked in a data breach, similar to Chrome. Not to mention, Apple is adding even more privacy and security to the iPhone with iOS 14 including the ability to share your approximate location with apps.

A developer preview of iOS 14 is rolling out today and public beta is expected in July. A broader rollout usually happens around September, though we’ll know more about this closer to launch.

Also Read Apple is switching to custom ARM processors for the Mac, first wave of computers will ship later this year

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