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iOS 14 Promotes Widgets to Home Screen - [mobile]
05:45 PM EDT - Jun,22 2020 - post a comment

Apple has revealed iOS 14, which brings a number of new features to the OS for Apple's iPhones:

  • Widgets: Apple has promoted Widgets to the main home screen. Just as Android has always allowed, you can now mix re-sizable widgets in with your app icons. A special widget called Smart Stack collects several widgets into one rectangle that lets you scroll through multiple widgets while taking up minimal home screen space.
  • App Clips: A new kind of micro-app designed to let you complete a single transaction using a rich app interface, without installing a full app. App Clips are limited to 10 MB so they download quickly. App Clips can be launched from a Maps listing, a message, a QR code, or a new type of physical sticker that includes an NFC tag and a visual code similar to QR codes. App Clips can leverage Sign in with Apple and Apple Pay so users don't need to spend time creating a new account. App Clips can be used to order take-out or delivery, rent a scooter, pay for parking, and more. To help small businesses to take advantage of App Clips, Apple will work with larger services like Yelp to help them create App Clips for individual business listings.
  • App Library: A new screen past the right-most home screen with auto-generated folders of apps, including Suggestions, Recently Added, Arcade, Social, etc. To make it easier to access, you can now hide infrequently-used home screens.
  • Picture in Picture: Video apps can now display playing video in a floating window over other apps. (Android has supported this since 2017.)
  • Translate app: Apple now has its own dedicated app for language translation. In landscape orientation, it switches to a Conversation Mode, for seamless two-way conversation with someone while both people look at the display. It auto-detects the language for each phrase spoken. The app supports English, Mandarin Chinese, French, German, Spanish, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Arabic, Portuguese, and Russian.
Apple has also updated Siri so it's no longer a full-screen experience every time it's activated. A small animation pops up at the bottom of the screen while it's listening, and many results pop up in a small box at the top, like a notification. Apple has also updated Maps to finally add directions for cycling, including elevation info. At launch, this feature is available in New York City, Los Angeles, San Francisco Bay Area, Shanghai, and Beijing. Maps also now has dedicated features for electric cars. It can track your battery status and estimate range, as well as direct you to charging stations compatible with your specific car. At launch, it's compatible with BMW and Ford EVs. Finally, CarPlay now supports various wallpaper options, and supports new types of apps, including parking, EV charging, and fast food ordering. Apple is also adding a new indicator in the status bar to show when apps access your camera and/or microphone. Apple said iOS 14 will launch for consumers "this fall".

Update: Apple has released a full list of new features in iOS 14, which includes many not mentioned in today's WWDC keynote presentation. One notable new feature is a setting that will let users choose which app launches when a user clicks on a web link or email address. For example, in iOS 13, clicking on an email address always launches Apple's Mail app. In iOS 14, you will be able to set this to Gmail instead.

iOS 14 is compatible with these devices: iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, iPhone 11 Pro Max, iPhone Xs, iPhone Xs Max, iPhone XR, iPhone X, iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone SE (1st generation), iPhone SE (2nd generation), iPod touch (7th generation).

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