WWDC is one of the Apple’s main event which happens every year addressing the features that are packed up for world wide developers and consumers. This year ain’t different than previous but rather a well pre-edited show due to COVID-19. The show covers updates on iOS, ipadOS, watchOS, tvOS and macOS but today we are focusing only on the highlight features that are available in iOS 14. Craig Federighi, the senior Vice President of Apple covered the show during this process and if you closely observe most of these features are not new, some of them seem familiar with Android but there are few subtle updates that are new. So, let’s jump in.
1. App Library:
Together with iPhone iOS is central part in making a better ecosystem and the new release iOS this year named iOS-14. This year Apple spent time rethinking some of the most iconic elements of the experience in iPhone. Now it all started with a carefully considered Home Screen that has stood in test of time. Of course, over the years, they’ve kept the fundamentals largely on same but carefully added features like folders for organising apps, widgets for quick information and personalised experiences. Well that brings to this year, they’ve done something called App Library. It’s a new space at the end of your home pages that automatically organises all your apps in simple navigate view providing a search option that sorts all your apps in A-Z. On the upper left of App Library, you get suggestions to apps that you likely to use next and on the right, you find the recently added giving you access to recently downloaded from App Store
This year Apple added the feature, to add widgets to your home screen. To start they’ve introduced different sizes, to choose one that best fits your needs. Apple says these new widgets accommodate more information to the user with variety of alternating sizes. To make them more accessible, you can drag them from today’s view onto your home screen and can have smart stack within your range and scroll for the widgets your are looking for. Moreover this smart stack will predict your next use-case and show the right widget.
3. Picture in Picture:
Now you can access apps in your iPhone while watch a video or talking on a FaceTime call. When you swipe to go home, the video automatically goes into picture in Picture and you can access different apps while you still able to watch the video without any context switching. You can drag the picture to another part of the screen or hide it on side while you still be able to hear the audio and can bring it back if you want to watch it again.
As much as Siri has advanced over the years, the visual interface for interacting with it has remained largely unchanged. When you use Siri, your iPhone switches to full screen UI, obscuring your current context but this year they redesigned the UI to a small circular icon. Apple says that Siri now has 20x more facts than three years ago. Previously Siri can has the ability to send messages but this year it has been upgraded to send even voice messages.
5. A New App Called Translate:
On the new update Apple created a new app to support with translation, your conversations between languages keeping your data private. They support many new language pairs. With the machine learning and neural engine, you can translate your text and voice to any combinations of these below 11 languages.
iMessage is one of the most loved feature of Apple ecosystem. You can keep your most important conversations on top by pinning them to your list with an animation when you receive a message. This year they added more Memoji stickers with mask, hug, a fist bump and a blush. On the group messages, they’ve added an inline feature to reply on the same message thread and pointing to particular person on the entire conversation group.
7. Apple Maps:
The new Apple Maps has finished rolling out across the US earlier this year with greater details for roads, pedestrian paths, landcover and more. In the coming days, the maps will be rolled out to more countries including UK, Ireland and Canada. With iOS 14 a new cycling feature is added allowing users to bike along lanes, paths and roads. For the environmentally conscious drivers, they also introduced EV routing, where the maps automatically gets the range left in your car and suggest EV stations for charge in your path. For this they tied up with BMW and Ford and many more in near future.
8. Apple CarPlay:
With the new update, you can change the wallpapers of your screen and new categories of apps support are being added, which includes Parking, EV Charging and Food ordering. Finally my personal favourite future this year Apple added is digital version of car keys. Now you can leave your car keys at home and unlock your car just with an iPhone and the very first car to support this will be new 2021 BMW 5 Series. It just uses NFC and you just need to tap the unlock and place the phone on the charging pad to start the engine. But this goes beyond just one less thing you have to keep in your pocket. Digital key have security benefits, if it goes missing, you can turn off your key remotely via iCloud. If you want to share your car keys with your friend, you don’t need multiple keys, you can just share the key details through iMessage and give access permissions on how many days can that key works to drive. This feature will also be available for iOS 13 as well.
9. App Clip:
An App Clip is a small part of an app, it’s fast and easy to discover. So you can quickly get what you need right when you need it. Everything about App Clip is designed for speed, it uses Apple Pay and take sing-in advantage of Apple. Apple has designed new App Clip bar code specific to it, if you see one, you know that App Clip can be used there. For the developers to create App Clip, the size of app must be less than 10MB in size to accommodate speed in launching it.