Apple’s iOS 14 changes how you can customize your smartphone’s Home Screen by introducing App Clips and an enhanced Messages widget.
The Big Reveal
Apple has just previewed iOS 14, which will mark the biggest update ever to the system’s Home Screen pages, with fresh-looking widgets and a newly-created App Libray, a new way of tapping into the App Store, practical improvements to Messages and more.
The new widgets display information compactly and efficiently and can be re-sized and dragged around any Home Screen page.
Users can also stack up widgets with the Smart Stack function, which will arrange widgets according to on-device intelligence that takes into account timing, location, and activity.
Home screen pages can display widgets optimized for entertainment, travel, sports, and other fields of interest.
At the end of the Home Screen tabs are the App Library, a new place that organizes apps into an intuitive, easy-to-navigate view, and surfaces apps that the smartphone thinks are useful for the moment in a quick manner.
Users can limit the number of Home Screen pages that are displayed and hide pages for quick access to the App Library.
FaceTime And Picture-in-Picture
Incoming phone calls, Siri interactions, and FaceTime took a new look that permits the users to remain in the app they are using, so there is no unwanted interruption.
There’s support for picture-in-picture viewing modes, so you’ll make a FaceTime call or watch a clip while using another app.
Craig Federighi, Apple’s Software Engineering Senior Vice President, said:
“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,” he added.
App Clips are smaller parts of app experiences that are meant to be viewed when the timing is right.
App Clips are assigned to a specific product or business, and load in seconds to complete a certain task, like renting a scooter, filling a parking meter, or purchasing coffee.
They can be easily discovered and used by scanning their designated Apple App Clip code, or via QR codes, NFC tags, or by sharing them via Messages or Safari.
Messages are critical to communicating with family and friends, and the new iOS version takes it to the next level. You can now pin conversations on top of your messages list, for easier and quicker access. You can also assign a group photo, an image, or emoji.
New emoji options have been added, so they are now more diverse and inclusive than ever.
Maps were also updated, and it now makes it easier to navigate and explore with cycling directions and updated Guides.
Cycling directions are now adjusted according to elevation, how busy a zone is, and whether there are stairs along the way or not.
There are now more privacy options to choose from, so that you can decide just how much of your data is private.
Siri was updated – It’s now better at finding the information you need and displaying it more efficiently.
AirPods can now switch between Apple devices automatically.
Digital car keys can now be shared with messages.
Brian Dan is just getting his feet wet as a tech reporter but has already had his work featured in many major publications including Tech Spot and Tech Crunch. In regards to academics, Brian earned a degree in business from Fordham University. Brian has a passion for emerging technology and covers upcoming products and breakthroughs in science and tech.