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iOS 14 Key Features: What You Need To Know

Released in September 2020, iOS 14 is one of the biggest updates to date. Some of the new features include home screen design changes, Siri improvements and other tweaks that seemingly streamlined the new iOS interface.

Here’s a list of key updates that come with iOS 14.

1. Redesigned Home Screen & Widgets

iOS 14 brings a redesigned home screen that supports widgets. For the first time, users are able to design and customise their home screens besides the mere dumping into folders. These widgets are also highly customisable with third-party apps. 

Smart Stack Feature

This system uses on-device intelligence to surface the correct widget based on time, location, and activity. Hence, rearranged and customised according to categories such as: work, travel, sports, etc. 

2. App Library

Swiping all the way to the end of your home screen an iPhone now opens the new App Library, which is an interface that shows all of the apps on your iPhone to see everything at one glance. Apps are organised into folder systems based on their usage and importance.

3. Space Savers Update

New space-saving measures mean you are able to multitask more efficiently. For instance, incoming phone calls now show up in a small banner on the iPhone's display, while activating Siri shows a small animated Siri icon at the bottom of the screen.

Picture in Picture Mode 

In this mode, users can watch videos or talk on FaceTime while also using other apps at the same time. Either which can be resized into a small window to sit at the edge of your screen.

4. Protection & Security

You might be relieved to know that this iOS 14 update comes with upgraded privacy protections!

  • Developers need to get permission before accessing devices on a local network, and there are new options for limiting access to select photos or providing apps with only approximate location data.
  • All apps are also required to get user permission before tracking them across websites, and new icons show up on the Home Screen when an app is using a camera or microphone. Keep yourself secure, keep yourself protected.

E.g. Indication that microphone (icon in orange) was last used by Shazam.

Safari Password Monitoring

This lets users know if a saved password has been involved in a data breach. It will come up as a pop-up notification in your phone and requests for a check almost immediately.

'Find My' Features

This app includes support for third-party products and accessories, so it can track down specific products or items. However, no such app or product is currently using this feature. It doesn’t mean that nobody will. It’s a matter of time before anyone rides on this wave to support your lifestyles.

5. Addition of App Clips

App Clips is a system that allows you to do some things without having to download full apps. If you are looking for an example, App Clips allow you do things like rent a scooter, purchase a second-hand bed, make a home-based reservation, without the need to download the app. Apple describes App Clips as just a "small part of an app experience" designed to be found in the moment it is needed. App Clips work through Apple-designed App Clip codes, NFC tags, or QR codes, and can also be shared in Messages or from Safari.

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