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iOS 14: Everything you need to know

Apple has just announced iOS 14. It brings in ground-breaking features and technologies as anticipated. Everything from the Home Screen to Messages have been revamped in this new version of iOS.

Home Screen, User Interface & Siri : 

  1. Widgets: iOS 14 introduces support for Widgets on the Home Screen of your iPhone. You can pick your size and place it wherever you want. There’s also a new widget called “Smart Stack” which will be curated with your most used apps and time. You can swipe on the Smart Stack to change your Widget.
  2. App Library: iOS 14 introduces “App Library” which can be found after the last page of your Home Screen. It is sorted by various categories like Suggestions, Recently Added, Social, Entertainment, Creativity and Apple Arcade. This sorts all your apps into categories. For example, all the Apple Arcade Apps are categorized. You can also search your App in the App library in List View if you cannot find your App on the Home Screen.
  3. Picture in Picture: Apple has added support for Picture in Picture for iPhone on iOS 14. This means that if you’re watching a video or on a FaceTime call, you can just swipe up to go to your Home Screen, and continue using your iPhone while your content plays in Picture in Picture.
  4.  Calls: On iOS 13 or earlier, whenever a call was being received, it would take up the entire display for the incoming call interface and one could’nt bypass that screen unless either the caller or the receiver declined the call. But now, with iOS 14, whenever you receive an incoming call, only the top portion of your display is occupied, which indicates that you’ll be able to use your iPhone while the incoming call is ringing in the background without declining it.
  5. Siri: Siri has now become smarter, and can answer more complex questions. According to Apple, “Siri has over 20x more facts than just three years ago.” With iOS 14, Siri does not take up the entire display anymore, it is now just a small round button on the bottom of the iPhone display. You can now also send audio messages with Siri.

Messages & Memoji:

  1. Pinned Conversations: iOS 14 users can now pin upto 9 chats on the top of your Messages App.
  2. Group Photos: With iOS 14, you can add photos or Memojis to your Group Chats. Apple will also show profile pictures of the recent participants on group chats profile pictures, which will allow users to understand the active participants in the chat.
  3. Mentions & Inline Replies: iOS 14 allows users to mention people in the group chats, you just have to write the name of the group participant, and select the name on the list. This is extremely useful when there are a lot of group chats, and you can be notified only when you are mentioned. Users will also be able to reply to a message thread on the chat, which is a very convenient feature.
  4. Memoji: Apple has added 20 new hair and headwear styles to iOS 14 which will embrace one’s personalities, professions, and hobbies.

Home :

  1. User Interface: Apple has added a new Status bar on the Home App which shows the status of your prioritized HomeKit accessory.
  2. Automations: Whenever a HomeKit supported device is added to the Home App, iOS 14 on the iPhone will suggest convenient automations which could be used with that HomeKit accessory.
  3. Lighting: iOS 14 allows your iPhone to automatically adjust the color temperature of your lights throughout the day to enhance comfort & productivity by adjusting the lights to warmer colors during the day and by removing blue light during the night.
  4. Activity Zones: The new Home App on iOS 14 allows users to set Activiy Zones for the Home camera using AR. This means that you’ll be alerted if there’s any motion in the zone set in the Home App for your Security Camera. For example, if you have a security camera outside your house door, and the camera can also detect elements outside of your house, where people are walking. With this feature, you can eliminate that area, and just focus on one area for tracking movements.
  5. Face Recognition: iOS 14 adds support for Face Recognition, so if you have tagged a Face in your Photos App, the Home App will be able to detect it, and it will be all processed on your Apple devices and not on any Cloud service.

Maps: 

  1. Cycling: Maps will now show cycling direction using paths and lanes. Maps will also show you elevation, stairs, busy streets and steep passages while you are planning your trip.
  2. Electric vehicle routing: Maps will be now able to detect the vehicle charge (for electric cars) and will automatically add charging stations in your direction.

  3. Guides: Apple now offers Guides for trusted places where one can eat, shop and explore.

Translate:

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Apple has introduced a Translate App with support for 11 languages – English, Mandarin Chinese, French, German, Spanish, Italian,Japanese, Korean, Arabic, Portuguese and Russian. This app features several modes:

  1. Conversation Mode: You need to turn your iPhone to landscape to enable this mode, and the two languages will be splitted.
  2. On-Device Mode: You can download languages to your iPhone and translate text later offline
  3. Attention Mode: Text will be enlarged in landscape mode on your iPhone.

Safari:

  1. Translation: When a website can be translated, a new Translate option appears in the Text option. This feature is only supported in The U.S. and Canada and supports seven languages – English, Spanish, Chinese, French, German, Russian, and Brazilian Portuguese.
  2. Performance: Safari has been updated on iOS 14 to be the world’s fastest mobile browser. According to Apple, “With a blazing‑fast JavaScript engine, Safari delivers up to 2x faster JavaScript performance than Chrome on Android.”
  3. Password Monitoring: Safari will notify iOS 14 users if the password they are using is not secure enough. According to Apple, “Safari securely monitors your saved passwords to ensure that they have not been compromised in a data breach. To do this, Safari uses strong cryptographic techniques to regularly check derivations of your passwords against a list of breached passwords in a secure and private way that doesn’t reveal your password information — even to Apple.”
  4. Privacy Report: You can now check privacy on a website by tapping on the Privacy Report Button.

CarPlay & Car Key:

  1. Users can now add a virtual Car Key of a supported car to the Wallet App on your iPhone. Apple announced that the new 2021 BMW 5 series will be among the first cars to be supported. You can also share your Car Key with your Friends and Family through iMessage. You’ll get two options: a) Unlock and Drive where it gives the iMessage recipient full access to the car, b) Restricted Driving where it gives the iMessage recipient limited/restricted access to the car. Along with iOS 14, this feature will also be added on iOS 13.6.
  2. Power Reserve: CarKey will work for upto 5 hours after your battery is over.
  3. CarPlay: You can now add Wallpapers to your CarPlay interface and CarPlay now has new App Types including parking, electric vehicle charging, and quick food ordering.

AirPods:

  1. Spatial Audio: Apple has added support for Spatial Audio for the AirPods Pro with Dynamic Head Tracking and it uses Sound Channels in the correct place to give you a surround experience and will adjust even if you move or tilt your device or head.
  2. Automatic Switching: Apple has also added Automatic Switching for the AirPods Pro, AirPods (2nd generation), Powerbeats, Powerbeats Pro, and the Beats Solo Pro with iOS 14. When you finish your work on your iPhone and start using your iPad, AirPods will automatically switch to the iPad.
  3. Headphone Accomodations: iOS 14 introduces Headphone Accomodations which allows users to select the sound effect they prefer. According to Apple, “Headphone Accommodations amplifies soft sounds and can tune for your individual hearing, to help music, phone calls, and more sound crisp and clear. It is supported on Works with AirPods Pro, AirPods (2nd generation), EarPods, Powerbeats, Powerbeats Pro, and Beats Solo Pro.

App Clips:

App Clips allows you to use an app quickly without it being downloaded. Suppose you have to pay with Apple Pay at the parking station or quickly Sign in with Apple, but you do not have the app, you can easily use the App Clip for that app to make your transaction.

Privacy:

Ofcourse, Apple has integrated all these amazing features by taking Privacy in Mind, and they have added a few Privacy Features:

  1. Recording indicator: Whenever an app is using the Camera or Microphone, an orange dot is displayed on the top right of the iPhone to indicate that they are being used. This is really handy, especially in these times, where people are using various Video Calling Apps.
  2. Approximate location: You can opt to share your Approximate location rather than sharing your exact location to some apps

iOS 14 is supported on all iPhones running iOS 13, which includes the following:

  • iPhone 6s
  • iPhone 6s Plus
  • iPhone 7
  • iPhone 7 Plus
  • iPhone 8
  • iPhone 8 Plus
  • iPhone X
  • iPhone Xs
  • iPhone Xs Max
  • iPhone XR
  • iPhone 11
  • iPhone 11 Pro
  • iPhone 11 Pro Max
  • iPhone SE (1st generation)
  • iPhone SE (2nd generation)
  • iPod touch (7th generation)

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