A detailed review of iOS 14: widgets, new dialer, and other changes




At WWDC 2020, Apple announced new operating systems, among which was iOS 14. It's time for a full review of all the innovations!





Which devices have received the update?


iOS 14 is available for installation on all those devices that support iOS 13. There are not many changes in the new version, so even the old iPhone 6s will still receive an update. Most likely, next year he will no longer receive iOS 15, but this is still a long way off.

The new iPadOS 14 is also available for download, but that's a topic for a separate article.

Major changes in iOS 14


Like last year, I was afraid to install the first beta and I do not advise anyone to do this - the system is very crude, many applications do not work, and all this together will prevent you from enjoying the new functions.

I installed the seventh beta and started using it. Surprisingly, it turned out to be very stable, and in general, it seems that this year you can install the update right away — there is a minimum of bugs. On the iPhone 11, I did not notice any special increase in performance and speed, but the iPhone 7 became a little more cheerful.

I will not delay — let's move on to the chips.

Desktop widgets


Perhaps the biggest change in iOS 14 is the home screen widgets. And this is not only a major change in iOS 14 — it's a major change to the home screen as a whole since the release of the very first iPhoneOS. It was always possible to place only icons and folders on the desktop, and now widgets have been added to them.

The widgets are available in several sizes: 2×2, 4×2, and 4×4. It all depends on the developer and what widgets he has prepared. You can place widgets only in certain parts; you cannot separate one row of icons — only two. Likewise, with the most compact — only with fixation to the left or right edge, do not put in the middle.

2×2 widgets are stretched icons with additional information. There is no way to work with data, the widget acts exclusively as an application icon. That is, you cannot go to the event in the calendar by clicking, the main page opens, but from the 4 × 2 and 4 × 4 widgets — please. It's not entirely clear to me why they weren't allowed to use data from compact icons, but let's leave it on Apple's conscience. We are waiting for some iOS 14.3, where such an opportunity will appear.

The widget screen hasn't gone anywhere. There you can place both new types of widgets and old ones. Yes, this is a very big problem: new widgets have to wait, not all developers are in a hurry to submit them. The old ones cannot be placed on the main screen.

By the way, widgets can be combined in smart stacks, up to 10 widgets in one. It is convenient to categorize and quickly navigate by calendar or promotions. You can set the automatic change of widgets in the stack.





Application Library


Another major innovation is the Application Library. Basically, it is a menu with all your programs that are automatically grouped into categories. You can also go to the list for a quick search.

Icons can be hidden from the desktop and they will be available only in the “Application Library”. It is convenient that unnecessary desktops can also be hidden and left, for example, only the main one with a couple of widgets and frequently launched applications, and all the rest can be searched through the “Library”.

Compact dialer


Everyone was waiting for this, and it happened: a compact dialer in the form of a notification. I receive few calls, I answer almost all calls immediately, but I don't play games, and displaying a call on the whole screen does not enrage me, so for me, it has become one of those chips that I can safely do without.

But my experience is my experience, and many users will be delighted with the new call display format.

Picture-in-picture mode



But I appreciated this feature in full. Finally, on a large screen, you can watch a video in a small window and do business further. Works with all videos that run through a standard player and support in third-party apps is up to the developer.

With a YouTube Premium subscription, a couple of times when the application was minimized, the video was displayed in a small window, but this does not have a pattern. Most likely, the chip will appear later and, logically, only for subscribers with a Premium account.

Picture-in-picture mode is also available for video calls, there is support for FaceTime.

Spotlight and Siri


The search has also been updated. I tried to hide social networks from the main screen and launch them only through Spotlight or the “Application Library” — enjoy it. Firstly, now you don't need to reach for the icon to launch programs but just click on “Go”. Spotlight has improved a lot: now quick navigation is available to files and sites, which greatly speeds up the interaction with the device.

Internet searches, tips, top results, and other things began to work more quickly, one feels that Apple has seriously worked on the search. If earlier it was easier for me to open a browser or “Notes” for quick search, now I am accustoming myself to use Spotlight.

As for the Siri voice assistant, the assistant received a compact interface. Siri also feels better to work, especially to recognize spoken in two languages at the same time.

Now Siri can be asked to translate a specific word or a whole phrase. More than 65 language pairs are supported, among which there is the most popular version for the CIS from English to Russian.

AirPods


The world's most popular wireless headphones have received spatial audio support, that is, the effect of surround sound and the presence in the cinema. The gyroscope and accelerometer in each earbud track head movements and adjusts the sound to simulate a surrounding scene.

There was also a headphone sound setting. You can choose prepared presets, or you can customize it by comparing the sound before and after.

Also, the headphones have learned to automatically switch between devices of the same account: for example, you watch a movie on the iPad and you get a call on the iPhone — the headphones will understand this and you will not have to switch anything. Also, there were notifications about the low battery level of the headphones.





Updating standard applications


Many small, but important innovations. The main thing is the updated design code, which can be traced in all standard programs.

"Messages"
The function of pinning chats, adding photos for groups has appeared, you can mention users in a conversation and follow the chain of responses.

"Notes"
As I said, we have updated the design, including all standard programs. Fresh, beautiful, but many will get used to it. In "Notes" we improved the action menu, adding several quick access points, updated pinned notes (the list can be collapsed and expanded), added "Top results" in search, and improved recognition of documents and shapes when drawing.

Safari
Increased performance, which affected page launch speed. We also worked on security. There is also a website privacy report, which shows information about all cross-tracking incidents, blocked smart protection features from data collection in Safari.

But if Safari is not to your liking - rejoice, the standard application can be replaced with a third-party one, just like the mail client. The only thing a developer needs to add is that Chrome already supports it.

"Cards"
The standard Maps application has got support for bicycle routes, city guides, routes for electric vehicles with charging station marks, and also learned to display toll entry zones and cameras on the roads.

"House"
When activating a HomeKit-enabled device, a new window for adding a device will be displayed, exactly the same as when activating AirPods. Scenarios will immediately be offered where the device can be integrated.

The display of the home status has changed, all your gadgets will be displayed in the control center.

Adaptive lighting has appeared for lamps: the color temperature will change depending on the time of day. It didn't work with my lamps - apparently, an update from the manufacturer is needed. We also added face recognition through cameras and the ability to specify zones of activity and "dead zones".

"Interpreter"
A new application that will replace most of the Google translator. Why? It is integrated into the system. You can ask for the translation of the Siri phrase, or you can translate the copied text. Voice input is also available.





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TAGS: APPLE, iOS 14

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