At Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference on June 22, the company unveiled their plans for the iPhone’s newest operating system, iOS 14. We don’t have an exact release date yet, but it’s due sometime this fall, and developers are already testing a beta version. iOS 14 packs a punch with a lot of new features, but here’s a rundown of the ones we’re especially looking forward to.
Tidy Up Your Home Screen
Tired of scrolling through pages of apps? With iOS 14, all of your apps will be automatically added to an App Library, where they’ll be sorted based on categories like Entertainment, Social and Apple Arcade. You can keep the apps you use most on your home screen and hide the rest to make it fast and easy to find your favorites.
iOS 14 also includes some updates for Widgets, which are a great way to see your calendar, weather reports, the latest headlines, or other information at a glance. You’ll be able to pin your favorite widgets to your home screen so they’ll be right there when you need them. If you’re concerned about too many widgets creating a cluttered look, iOS 14 has a solution: the Smart Stack, which combines your most-used widgets into one spot on your home screen. You just swipe up or down to view them.
Keep in Touch
iOS 14 introduces great new iMessage features that make keeping in touch with people a snap, including:
- Mentions—Need someone’s attention in a group chat? Just use the @ sign to highlight their name and make sure they see your message.
- Pinned conversations and contacts—Reach your favorite people right away.
- Inline replies—You’ll be able to reply to a message directly and create a threaded conversation within a group chat.
There’s also big news for Memoji fans: you’ll have over 20 new hairstyles and headwear options to choose from, as well as new ages and face coverings. (In a sign of the times, your Memoji will be able to wear a face mask, too.)
Communicate Across Language Barriers
iPhone users won’t have to rely on Google for quick translations anymore. iOS 14 comes with Translate, an app that will allow you to have conversations in 11 different languages. Just tap the microphone icon to record what you want to say and let the app handle the rest. Translate will even work offline to keep your conversations private.
Meet the New Siri
Like the iPhone home screen, Siri is getting a new look with iOS 14. Information from Siri will now appear in a window instead of taking up the entire screen, so you won’t have to pause what you’re doing. iPhone’s virtual assistant will also be more helpful than ever; according to Apple, Siri can now serve up over twenty times more facts compared to three years ago. The updated Siri will also allow you to record and send audio messages, for those of you looking for a new way to express yourself.
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