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IOS 14 PREVIEW: RELEASE DATE, BETA FEATURES AND COMPATIBLE DEVICES

Sean Mcdonald

Apple unveiled the first look of the IOS 14 at the WWDC 2020 keynote, which brings us one step closer to the much awaited software update. An official release date hasn’t been divulged yet, but in all likeliness and based on previous trends we can expect it somewhere around September. Developers will not have to wait long though as the developer beta version will be launched in July. A public beta version will also be released soon after for those individuals willing to use software that isn’t final and could have bugs and issues

All iPhones from the 6s (2015 onwards) and running IOS 13 will get the software update. Here is a list of the models that will receive the update:

  • iPhone 6S, iPhone 6S Plus and iPhone SE (first generation)
  • iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus
  • iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone X
  • iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max and iPhone XR
  • iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max
  • iPhone SE (second generation)

There are some hefty changes that Apple as announced will come with the update which has left users waiting in anticipation. Here are the major changes that IOS 14 will bring to the table.

WIDGETS AND HOMESCREEN

IPhones will be getting proper widget that will most likely be customizable on the Today View as well as the Home screen. These widgets can be found in the widget gallery although it is unknown which apps will receive them. They seem far more attractive and data rich than the previous versions.

APP LIBRARY

IOS 14 adds a new App Library view for organizing all of your apps. Apps are automatically organized in the App Library, and you don’t have to keep all of the icons on your actual home screen which allows you to hide apps in the app library. There is also a new list view that sorts automatically based on usage and more. The App Library will appear at the end of the Home Screen.

APP CLIPS

App clips is a massive newcomer in the software arsenal of Apple. It basically allows users the opportunity to use certain features of an app without downloading the actual app along with the data heavy files that come with it. These are accessible via cards that pop up at the bottom of the screen a well as through message referrals and NFC tags. They come in handy if you need to use an app quickly and if you like the app you can later download the full version.

SIRI AND TRANSLATE

Siri is getting a major redesign and will no longer take up the entire screen instead appearing as notification on top of the screen, which to be honest should have been done much earlier. A new translate app in IOS 14 is designed for conversations and works completely offline. All you have to do is tap on the microphone icon and the app will translate to your chosen language. There will be 11 languages supported at launch. Various other, behind the scenes advancements are being done to make Siri more efficient than ever.

MESSAGING

Users can now pin messages and choose who they want at the top of their chat list. Other improvements include 20 new hair and headwear styles for Memoji that allows you to better customize your character. There are also face coverings for those who want the 2020 look.

Groups are getting improvements too, including inline replies for specific messages as well as @mentions.

Another part of the new update includes a better picture-in-picture functionality. It should allow you to keep watching video or attend Facetime calls at the same time as using other apps.

PRIVACY

Privacy has always been a priority for Apple and this has been furthered with IOS 14 wherein all apps will need to take permission before tracking you. Users will also get full transparency in apps use of microphone and camera.

Something that wasn’t mentioned in the presentation was that Apple is bringing the option to select default browser and email app with the new IOS 14. You will now be free to ditch Safari and the native Mail app and select alternatives which will open links and compose messages. Another is the back tap feature to avail accessibility tools and shortcuts which can be activated in the settings.

Several of these features are quite common in android smartphones and android users have been able to experience this functionality for some time now. But it is a first for Apple and it seems they are taking a step forward and have heard the suggestion for a more customizable and efficient software.

Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president of Software Engineering quoted “iOS 14 transforms the most iconic elements of the iPhone experience, starting with the biggest update we’ve ever made to the Home Screen, with beautifully redesigned widgets on the Home Screen, the App Library that automatically organizes all of your apps, and App Clips that are fast and easy to discover, iPhone becomes even more powerful and easier to use.”

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