Today Apple released iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 to the public after months and weeks of beta testing. iOS 14 more than any other iOS release since iOS 7 focuses on the front end-user experience. iOS 13 included dark mode alongside stock app updates, iOS 12 focused on performance bug fixes alongside neat native features.
iOS 14 combines the best of both worlds, offering users a more stable experience while also giving them plenty to enjoy. Upon updating, the biggest change you’ll notice is widgets. Widgets were first introduced in iOS 8 as a way for users to get information at a glance. Since however, they’ve remained manly untouched and have remained visually out of place.
On iOS 14, widgets have been completely redesigned. They are now more dynamic, come in different sizes, and best of all can be placed on the homescreen. Widgets used to be restricted to the notification center or the Today view. Now, you can place widgets of different sizes right on your homescreen. Apple has also introduced “Smart Stacks,” a stack of widgets that will switch between different widgets depending on the time of data, location, or activity.
Smart Stacks can be configured with whatever widget you want, native or 3rd party. iOS and iPadOS take the heavy lifting of learning what widget you may want to see at what time, requiring no interaction by developers. In the 2nd biggest redesigned to the homescreen is App Library. Typical iPhone users have multiple homescreen pages and only use the first two on a daily basis. The other pages remain untouched and simply clutter your device.
With App Library, a brand new space at the most extreme right of your home screen iOS 14 will automatically categorize your apps into different folders. The first folder you’ll see is Suggestions which will show you different apps that you may want to use at the time using Siri intelligence. The 2nd is Recently Added which will show you apps that you’ve recently downloaded from the App Store.
New widgets present timely information at a glance and can be added in different sizes on any Home Screen page. Users can choose a Smart Stack of widgets, which uses on-device intelligence to surface the right widget based on time, location, and activity. For example, users might see the News widget in the morning, Calendar events during the day, and their Fitness summary in the evening. Home Screen pages can be customized to show apps and widgets for work, entertainment, sports, and other areas of interest.
At the end of the Home Screen pages is the App Library, a new space that automatically organizes all of a user’s apps into one simple, easy-to-navigate view, and intelligently surfaces apps that are helpful in the moment. Users can also hide Home Screen pages for quicker access to the App Library.Apple
iOS 14 doesn’t stop there. Brand new app previews called App Clips allow users to use NFC tags or QR codes to get a small light-weight preview of an app. App Clips won’t load the entire app but instead a specific task like ordering a coffee or filling up a car with gas. It doesn’t require users to download anything and works within seconds.
iOS and iPadOS 14 include a number of others change from Messages such as in-line replies, pinned conversations, group customizations and so much more. Maps now include EV routing and cycling, a number of new private options such as a microphone, camera, and clipboard access notifications, and a brand new Translate app.