By Tracey Dowdy
Apple’s September 16th release of iOS 14 is one of Apple’s biggest iOS updates yet. The update features Home screen design changes, updates for its existing apps, new features, improvements to Siri, plus a host of tweaks that include – finally – Widgets to streamline and customize your home screen.
Here are some of iOS 14’s best and already most popular features.
Custom Widget Stacks – Apple has finally added widgets for your Home Screen in iOS 14 – something Android users have had for years. Users can pull them right out of Today Center and onto your main iPhone display. iOS 14 also features Widget Stacks, so you can create one widget space on the Home Screen that houses multiple widgets you can swipe between.
Improvements to Siri – Siri just got smarter and can answer even more questions, and users can now use Siri to send audio messages.
Picture in Picture – iOS’ new Picture in Picture mode allows users to watch videos or talk on FaceTime without exiting another app. Your FaceTime call or a video will continue playing in small window users can resize or drag to any corner of the iPhone’s screen.
Approximate Location Sharing – Plenty of apps want to know your location, whether or not it’s relevant to the functionality of the app or not. In iOS 14, users have a new privacy option that lets us use location-based features while hiding our exact location.
On-Device Dictation – In iOS 14, dictation improves over time as you use your device with all of that learning done directly through your phone’s hardware rather than through Apple’s servers. Plus, all processing is now done offline, so when you dictate a text message, note, or email to your iPhone, it stays on your device.
Redesigned Apple Music – “For You” in Apple Music is now “Listen Now,” offering better than ever suggestions for what you might like to listen to. Search now provides recommendations based on genre and mood, and your playlists now feature animated artwork. And, to further improve your listening experience, Apple Music now includes Continue Playing that will seamlessly transition from one song to the next with music in a similar style, so there’s no dead air.
App Library – App Library allows users to find any downloaded apps in the App Library. It lets you eliminate Home Screen pages and hide apps providing users with a much more organized iPhone interface.
Tracey Dowdy is a freelance writer based just outside Washington DC. After years working for non-profits and charities, she now freelances, edits, and researches on subjects ranging from family and education to history and trends in technology. Follow Tracey on Twitter.