iOS 14 Announced! Here’s everything you need to know…


Apple CEO, Tim Cook kicked off WWDC 2020 keynote by speaking to the audience via a live stream. He began the keynote by talking about the Black Lives Matter movement and Apple’s initiatives to support the movement. 

The first feature he announced for iOS was App Library. This is essentially a folder system for iOS that allows you to organise apps in neat folders. This can be accessed by swiping right and reaching the last screen. You can also hide certain app pages. App Library allows you to quickly search for apps too, via a search bar at the top. 

The next feature Fannounced was widgets for iOS 14.These widgets are better organised than before and you can even add these to the home screen. This dramatically changes the way your iOS home screen looks, something that has been pretty much the same since iOS was first launched. You can also add a Smart Stack widget that automatically shows you relevant widgets.

The next important feature was Picture in Picture for iPhone. When you open a video and minimise the app, the video continues playing in a small window on the iPhone. This feature was exclusive to the iPad earlier. You can swipe to the side and audio continues playing on the side.

Apple also announced a new design for Siri and a new app called Translate that supports completely offline translation for languages. It has a conversation mode in landscape that makes it easy to see translations.

The next big feature announced was updates to Messages. The main feature is the ability to pin messages in the stock messaging apps. There are also lots of new Memoji customisation options including a mask for your Memoji. iOS 14 also finally adds inline replies to iMessage. You can reply to individual messages, mention specific people, get notified only when you are mentioned, and a new group message icon.

You now have guides in Apple Maps, and cycling directions in iOS 14. Another nifty feature is EV routing, which will help you avoid range anxiety in electric cars by picking the best path and helping you find charging stations, Apple said.

Next up was CarPlay, which is Apple’s platform for in-car entertainment. Another feature is allowing you to use your iPhone as a car key. This will work with a BMW car launching next month, and this feature will work on iOS 13 devices too. This feature relies on the U1 ultra wideband chip.

The next major feature announcement for iOS 14 was about the App Store. When you don’t have an app you need, you can use a feature called App Clips to quickly run an app without installing it. These app clips will only stay on your iPhone as long as you need them. App Clips are easier for businesses that have an iPhone, and these can be created by developers even if they don’t have an iPhone apps. 

Federighi then spoke about iPadOS 14. This has a new feature called Sidebar that makes better use of the available screen space with a macOS like sidebar where you will find options for quick access. There is a toolbar at the top for calendar that gives you additional options. In general the theme is to make better use of the iPad’s large screen.

There’s a new Siri button that appears at the bottom right to allow you to complete actions that you need like adding reminders quickly. Incoming calls on iPad or iPhone will not take over the entire screen — they will show up at the top in a small window that is easy to dismiss. There is improved search on iPadOS, which allows you to search within apps, or the Web. This is much like Spotlight on the Mac.

Apple Pencil up next. Apple says iPadOS 14 will have better support for Apple Pencil via handwriting support. You can use the Scribble feature to convert handwriting to text. You can also select handwriting like you would select text. Note-taking is going to get simpler on iPadOS 14. You can writing directly into text fields to convert handwriting to text.

AirPods now have a new feature called automatic switching, which allows you to switch between multiple Apple devices instantly. If you get a call on your iPhone while watching a video on Mac, AirPods can auto switch to the iPhone and back once your call is done. AirPods Pro is getting spatial audio for more immersive sound. Spatial audio works with 5.1, 7.1, and Dolby Atmos audio.

The next important development is around watchOS 7. We’re getting support for multiple complications that lets you add different widgets from the same app in your watch face. There’s a fresh Chronograph watch face too. You can also share Watch Faces now with your friends, get it curated from the App Store, or via websites or social media. You can now track dance workouts, the activity app has been redesigned and is called Fitness. Apple Watch is also getting support for sleep tracking and a new feature called Wind Down, that helps you get to bed at a set time. You can set up a set of shortcuts to run during this time, be it meditation or the morning alarm. Apple Watch tracks your sleep using a machine learning model, and automatic detection for hand washing. It tells you if you have washed your hands for 20 seconds, which is the recommended time to thoroughly wash your hands.

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