At its Keynote tonight, Apple presented iOS 14. It was a special keynote without an audience. In addition to iOS, we saw updates to iPadOS, watchOS, tvOS, and macOS.
Despite being different operating systems for several years now, iOS and iPadOS have many similarities. For example, both operating systems come with widgets that you can now put on the Home Screen. According to Apple, iOS 14 has more changes than ever before. Let's list a few.
Apple is now introducing the App Library to make the home screen a little more convenient. It automatically categorizes apps for you into groups. You'll find the App Library at the end of your pages. It contains a search bar, suggestions and a section 'recently used'.
Good news for widget lovers. The Apple Watch widgets are coming to the iPhone. You can drag and drop widgets from the Today View to the home screen. To discover new widgets there is a Widget Gallery. You can also stack widgets. These Smart Stack can change widgets throughout the day. So you can show the weather in the morning, view the calendar during the day and watch TV in the evening.
Picture in Picture Video
From now on, you can show video in a pop-up window so you can keep using your app. You can resize this Picture-in-Picture window thanks to pinch-to-zoom and move it where you want. You can even place it outside the screen without the audio stopping.
Maps now gets more accurate information for places. The new maps with more detailed information is also coming to the United Kingdom, Ireland and Canada. There's also support for bicycles. iOS tells you where to ride your bike safely and how much difference in altitude your route has. It currently only works in a few US and Chinese cities. Owners of an electric car can use EV routing. Apple Maps calculates the best place to recharge on the go. It even takes into account the type of plug your car uses.
CarPlay will get wallpapers and some new categories including 'parking' and 'easy charging'. Apple also wants to revolutionize your car keys. Your iPhone needs to replace them all together. If you lose your iPhone, you can disable your keys. You can also share keys by giving someone else access from your iPhone. The first car that works with it is the 2021 BMW 5 series. Apple uses the U1 chip that some iPhone already have.
Siri gets a visual makeover and becomes a lot more compact. Instead of a full view, only an icon is visible at the bottom. If you request information, it will be presented as a notification at the top. This way you can stay in your workflow by staying in the app you were working in.
A new app in iOS 14 is Translate. It works offline thanks to Device Machine Learning and therefore does not consume any data. If you turn your iPhone to landscape, Translate switches to Conversation mode and displays the source and target language at the same time. Translate currently works with 11 languages including English, Chinese Mandarin, French, German and Italian.
Messages gets a major upgrade that mainly focuses on 'Conversations', 'Memojis' and 'Groups'. You can now 'pin' your most favorite people so they always appear at the top. To make group conversations a lot less disturbing, you can set notifications for mentions, make inline replies and create personalized icons for groups. Finally, Memojis get 20 new hairstyles, ageing and you can add face masks. There will also be some new memoji stickers.
Apps won't have to be downloaded from the App Store anymore. Apple introduces App Clips with iOS 14. Scan a sort of QR code or hold your iPhone near an NFC sticker and the according App Clip opens without installing. These are small apps for e.g. restaurants or shared electric scooters.
The launch of iOS 14 is expected this fall. Like every year, Apple is releasing the latest version of iOS at the same time as the new iPhone. Expect a launch sometime in September.