Apple previewed the iOS 14 at the WWDC20, introducing the biggest update ever to Home Screen pages with redesigned widgets and the App Library as well as new powerful features and stronger privacy, among other improvements.
Home Screen pages in iOS 14 can display widgets that are customized for different activities. The new widgets present information at a glance and can be pinned in different sizes on any Home Screen page. Users can also create a Smart Stack of widgets: the right widget will surface based on time, location, and activity.
At the end of the Home Screen pages is the App Library. App Library is a new space that automatically organizes all of a user's apps and intelligently surfaces apps that may be helpful in the moment based on current activity.
Incoming FaceTime and phone calls and Siri interactions adopt the all-new compact design shared with iPadOS 14. The compact design helps users focus on the work at hand with a pop-up banner / window.
With Picture-in-Picture, iPhone users can watch a video or take a FaceTime call while using another app.
iOS 14 introduces a new way to discover and use apps via App Clips. App Clips are associated with a particular product or business, and load at the appropriate time to complete a specific task. They can be easily discovered and accessed by scanning the new App Clip code or QR codes, through NFC tags, or shared in Messages.
Maps now makes it easy to navigate and explore in greener ways. The new cycling directions take into account elevation, how busy a street is, and whether there are stairs along the route.
EV routing adds charging stops along planned routes based on current vehicle charge and charger types.
Guides provide a curated list of interesting places to visit in a city.
iOS 14, like the iPadOS 14, requires all apps to obtain user permission before tracking. Users can also upgrade existing accounts to Sign in with Apple for easier and more secure management of their information.
Additionally, users can choose to their approximate location with apps rather than precise locations. Greater control over the apps' permissions to the microphone and camera are included as well.
A host of other apps have also received updates with enriched features and improved user experience.
The iOS 14 will be available as a free software update for iPhone 6s and later. The public beta will be available to iOS users in July 2020.
iOS 14 is released on 16 September 2020.