Submitted by Frank Macey on
WWDC kicked off today with a virtual keynote presentation to developers all over the world. Apple showed off the highlights of iOS 14, which is expected to release this fall. Probably the most visible and significant update comes to the home screen, with adjustable widgets delivering data in real-time.
Widgets are fully customizable, with different sizes for each widget delivering different levels of information on the home screen. They can be placed anywhere, displacing app icons in the process. The gallery makes browsing widgets and selecting the right size for an individual widget easy. Once added it can be placed on the home screen.
A special widget called the Smart Stack operates similarly to Siri's app suggestions, bringing information from multiple widgets to the fore. You can swipe on the Smart Stack to choose which data to show at any given time. The Smart Stack also uses algorithms to determine which data might be the most useful to the iPhone owner at different times of the day.
App LibraryBesides widgets, the iOS 14 home screen includes the App Library. The iPhone will automatically organize apps into curated folders, providing an alternative way to browse and select apps. Categories such as Recently Added, Suggestions, and other labels are automatically generated. Related apps are placed in the same folder, with the App Library appearing at the end of your own home screen pages.
The iPhone gets picture-in-picture support with iOS 14. This means users can continue to watch a video or communicate via FaceTime call while using another app. Current versions of iOS pause an ongoing FaceTime call when an app is opened, while video doesn't always play on in the background.
Messages and More
Newest iPhone FAQs
The Messages app gets more features, allowing iPhone owners to pin conversations to the top of a message list, set group photos, and view mentions. Apple has also added to its extensive Memoji options, for further customization of personal avatars.
Maps gains cycling directions, which recommends routes based on bike lanes, bike paths, elevation, and bike-friendly roads. Curated Guides of interesting places to visit, restaurants, and popular attractions within a city are also coming to Apple Maps, to help visitors get around a new place.
iOS 14 will add enhanced privacy features and control options, with more transparency into how apps use personal data from your device. The Home app, Siri, AirPods, Find My, Health, Accessibility, and Safari all have significant updates and new features. Read more about iOS 14 in Apple's official press release. Apple Developer Program members can download the iOS 14 preview starting today.