iOS 14 has arrived, and it speaks 11 languages.
This year has been an absolute rollercoaster so far filled with chaos from the start. The global pandemic has had us on the decline but things are looking up with Apple's latest software update.
They never seem to disappoint us and the latest slice of Apple's pie is no exception to that. The new update offers a variety of new features, including widgets on the Home screen and a funky new App Library to name just a couple.
Don’t worry if you haven’t had the chance to download and explore it yet, we’ve brought you all the juicy info on the best features iOS 14 has to offer.
This feature is something we all wish we had in school. iOS 14 brings an all-new application called Translate which is designed to be the best and easiest app for translating conversations.
The app offers quick and natural translations of voice and text across a whopping 11 languages!
There’s no place like home
iOS 14 is the first version of Apple’s operating system that supports adding widgets directly on your Home screen. You’ll have surely seen iPhone users recently sharing their home screen creations all over Twitter and Facebook.
This means that the familiar grid sequence of icons can finally be jazzed up and you can create a home screen that the Louvre would feel proud to display! You can include widgets for first-party Apple applications and third-party developers.
Built in iOS 14 widgets include some of your absolute favourites from photos and music to maps and fitness, you can decorate your home screen in a flash – after all there’s no place like home.
A library for more than just reading
The new iOS 14 update brings you an all-new App Library. But this isn’t like any other library you’ve seen before.. No, this feature organises all your apps into one simple, easy-to-navigate view.
So, how does this really benefit you? It means you can delete apps from your Home screen but keep them in your App Library for future use. So, those apps that you absolutely don’t use, but might need in the future have got their own little home.
This will be music to many people’s ears. Those random apps like Tips or Stocks that you don’t use but also don’t want to delete just in case your inner Wolf of Wall Street breaks free, can be sent away into hiding, instead of taking up room on your Home screen.
Every picture tells a story
This is one for all you multi-task lovers. Thanks to iOS 14, the new Picture-in-Picture feature is here! Some of you may be familiar with this feature from the iPadOS, but we know that this is a personal fave of many Apple users.
This feature lets you watch videos while navigating through other apps. So, when you’re at that juicy pinnacle moment in your favourite show and someone texts you with an urgent message, you can reply to your text without missing a minute of the action.
This feature also works with FaceTime calls – there’s no more paused screens! You can use your other apps and the video floats to the corner of your iPhone, making multi-tasking so much easier.
You always know just what to say…
We all know the stress of trying to find the perfect emoji to go with your message, but iOS 14 takes care of this. The new Emoji Search feature lets you type in the exact emoji that you’re looking for. You can open the Emoji picker from the keyboard and away you go!
A new and improved tour guide
Many of us would be lost without Apple Maps – literally, lost. This iOS update brings some exciting news for you avid maps users, with changes that will make getting around so much simpler.
With new cycling directions, electric vehicle routing and curated Guides, you can get to where you want to be, easier and faster.
YouTube like never before
We’re all suckers for a YouTube video, from funny animal compilations to the latest music videos to fitness workouts to cooking how-tos, we can’t get enough. With the new iOS 14 update, the YouTube app now supports 4K playback, for the first time ever.
To access the feature, simply load up the video you want to watch and click ‘More’ in the upper-right corner. Select ‘Quality’ and choose 2160p, it’s that simple!
Good things come in small packages
I’m sure everyone has experienced the pain of when they’re really into a great video on Facebook and they receive an incoming call that they don’t want to answer just yet (or ever), but it takes over the whole screen so we have to just sit and wait for it to stop ringing.
We know we’ll call them back after, maybe, but that 20-second waiting time to get back to your video can be agonising. With iOS 14, incoming phone calls will no longer take over the entire display. Instead a small incoming bar will appear at the top of your phone, giving you the power to accept or decline.
This goes for Siri too who has had a big glow-up in iOS 14 too. Activating Siri will no longer consume the entire screen, but instead produces a compact interface that sits right at the bottom of your screen. Sadly, you can’t yet interact with other apps while the Siri interface is on-screen – but hey, we can’t have everything!
Just a sneak peek will do
The new Apple Clips feature allows users to download part of an app at the time they need it, without having to download the full app.
With the current pandemic and table service being the thing for the future, this couldn’t have come at a better time with the pandemic.
You can download part of a restaurant app, order your food, and pay the bill without having to install the entire thing! Apple have said that App Clips can be discovered by scanning the new Apple-designed App clip or through NFC tags and QR codes.
Because this is a relatively new thing, it may be a while before third-party apps support App Clips – but it’s definitely going to be worth the wait!
Accessible to all
iOS 14 brings the very impressive Back Tap feature. This allows users to trigger Gestures, Shortcuts, and Accessibility controls, simply by tapping on the back of your iPhone. Super handy for getting things done when one of your hands is occupied with a cup of tea – or a glass of wine, depending on the day you’ve had!
As well as this, iOS 14 also offers amazing sign language detection in Group FaceTime. When users are on a call and someone starts to sign, the new update recognises these motions as sign language and switch the view to that member of the call.
The update also brings Sound Recognition, which uses on-device intelligence to let users know when the sound of a fire alarm or a doorbell is detected, making sure all users are kept safe and happy!
The VoiceOver feature has undergone a huge make-over and now recognises more interface items, even if they haven’t been properly labelled, and in third-party apps and content too! This improvement will enhance the experience of users with low or no vision.
iOS 14 brings upgrades to the descriptive chops which means that users get a richer analysis of a photo. For example, instead of saying “dog in a park” it may say something like “a happy brown dog playing in a park on a sunny day” giving users a more in depth analysis of what’s going on.
A little privacy, please
iOS 14 has some amazing new privacy features. One of our favourites is the one that lets users share their approximate location rather than their precise location when granting an app location access. It’s not like we think the app is spying on us, but it’s nice to think they don’t know exactly where we are.
The new status bar indicator lets you know when an app is using your microphone, so if you’re recording a voice note or using Siri, a little orange light will appear at the top of your screen. We’re hoping this puts an end to the fear that apps are listening to all our secrets.
I’ve got a text!
The Messages app has received some delightful upgrades, thanks to iOS 14. One of the biggest changes is the ability to pin threads and conversations to the top of the messages list, as well as groups. No more scrolling through messages, tirelessly seeking the group chat!
A new message feature we’re absolutely loving is the @ mentions in group chats. We’ve seen this in apps such as Facebook Messenger, but now we can call out our friends in the group chat – no more ignored messages. You can also set the group chat photo too, so you don’t have to get all your chats mixed up!
That’s a wrap
This update brings some amazing new features as well as improvements on the existing ones. You can get creative with your home screen, watch amazing quality YouTube videos, find the perfect emoji and so much more – all with one little update.
All you need to do, is go to your Settings > General > Software Update, and you’re on your way!