Apple’s next updated to the iOS and iPadOS platforms is already on the cards but we still have a few months left until the iOS 14 is officially released for the masses. However, the test version has just been leaked and it has given us quite a lot of information on what can be expected from this new iOS update. Still, there are some hidden features which we can’t say anything about as the updates to the iOS usually have hundreds of new features and tweaks and only a few of them have been revealed.
Apple’s focus is on quality and performance in the upcoming iOS 14 as there were quite a lot of bugs found in the older iOS 13, but they will still be introducing lots of amazing new features.
The Cupertino-based smartphone manufacturer has also come up with a different development process this time which changes the way testing used to be done in the past. There will be toggles in the test software for disabling any buggy features to allow internal testers at Apple to be selecting in enabling or disabling features which are currently under work. It will help them focus more on stuff that needs refining.
As a result, some features from the testing phase might not actually exist when the iOS 14 final release comes through. Apple might schedule their release for a later date.
What’s Coming In iOS 14?
Let’s run you through all the amazing features that will be coming along as Apple releases iOS 14. Here we have outlined them all for you.
The Apple Watch users can view all their installed apps in a list, and Apple plans to introduce a similar feature in the upcoming iOS 14 for iPhones.
mockups by iSpazio
In the list, iPhone users will be able to see all the apps they have installed on their smartphone and they’ll presumably be organized in alphabetical order. As it appears, the users will have the flexibility to apply viewing filters and see different app categories such as the apps used recently or the ones with any unread notifications.
mockups by 9to5mac
The Home Screen widget might also come to iOS 14 where the new widgets could be freely moved around similar to Home Screen app icons. As of now, we don’t have many details related to this feature but the iOS 14 code that we came across is suggestive of some distinct widget options compared to what we can see in notification center’s Today section as we swipe right.
New Apps & Tweaks
Here’s a look at the possible new applications and tweaks that will be introduced with the iOS 14.
We’re definitely going to see some fitness app from Apple that will work on iPhone, Apple TV, and Apple Watch, and will allow users to download different fitness videos to help them learn different workouts. Apple Watch can be used for tracking progress through various workout routines and it can be seen on Apple TV, iPhone, or iPad. The app is going to cover a range of different workouts including cycling, rowing, indoor running, core training, stretching, outdoor walking, yoga, dance, and stretching.
New Messages Features
iMessage is also being tested this time for various new features. On top of that, the new features will quite likely be released as part of the iOS 14.
mockup by @mentions
Apple is going to introduce a new mention system similar to Slack in its messaging app. It will let users tag their contacts with name such as @eric. This new feature will surely come in handy in the busy group chats allowing users to mute conversations while still receiving push notifications through direct mentions.
Another feature that is under works would allow iMessages to retract after they are being sent. The retraction will be visible to both the parties.
The new iMessage app might also include typing indicators to let users see who is typing a message in multi-person chats. Apple might also bring support for the /me command that is currently available in Mac only.
Another new feature that might be integrated in the iMessage app will allow users to mark messages as read or unread so that they can be able to distinguish messages which need their attention later.
Apple Watch users will get a Kids Mode with the release of watchOS 7 while a tweaked Activity app will be introduced in the iOS 14 for accommodating this new mode. Instead of tracking down active calories burned, this new app will track the movement time which is certainly a far healthier metric for kids.
Third-Party Applications As Default Apps
With the introduction of iOS 14, it is likely for Apple to allow the iPhone/iPad users to set third-party apps like mail, browsers, and music applications as default apps replacing the stock applications from Apple.
With this change, users will be able to use popular apps like Gmail and Google Chrome as their default applications and tapping some email address or link won’t open the apps from Apple. The users will also be able to use the music apps with HomePod in the bid to work with Siri assistant, something which was restricted to Apple Music only.
Apple faced a lot of criticism before making this move as they used to give their own apps an unfair advantage by not allowing third-party apps to be used as default apps. Remember, however, that Apple is still going through the planning phases with such changes and it is very much possible that they may not arrive as part of iOS 14 release.
Updated Augmented Reality App
It seems that Apple will be introducing a new, updated augmented reality application in this new iOS 14 release. The codename of this new app is Gobi and it is believed that it will let smartphone users to grab more information on everything around them using AR.
There might also be Starbucks and Apple Stores integrations in the updated AR app and that means users might be able to do stuff like holding up their iPhones in some Apple Store for getting information related to different products out there. It will use QR code tags to trigger the AR experiences. It is also possible that upcoming AirTags or iBeacons could be used as triggers.
Shot on iPhone Integration Into Photos App
It is quite likely that the Shot on iPhone photo challenges might be integrated into the Photos application in the upcoming iOS 14. As a result, the iPhone users will be able to submit the photo results and see their challenge results within the app.
Apple often calls for the Shot on iPhone images and hosts contests which offer cash rewards for the challenge winners.
Sleep Tracking in Health App
We have heard the rumors of a sleep tracking feature coming to next-generation Apple Watch and now it will be integrated into your iPhone’s Health app too. It will allow users to set their personalized sleeping goals. This new upgraded Health App will also give recommendations on how to improve your sleep.
The iOS 14 Find My app is going to bring a notification feature which will offer alerts whenever somebody does not arrive at a particular location as scheduled. It will help parents keep an eye on their kids and get alerted when they arrive at school. If they fail to reach school by a certain deadline, this will initiate an alert to the parents.
The iOS 13.4 also hinted towards a novel “CarKey” API that would let the iPhone users to lock, unlock and start their cars with NFC capabilities. There will also be access to sharing features for assigning the keys to your friends and family using the Messages application.
CarKey, which is likely to be part of the iOS 14, will enable the iPhone users to rely on their smartphones instead of their physical car keys. This feature might first be used with BMW vehicles as suggested by the code and images.
The updated CarPlay app in the iOS 14 is likely to extend support for custom wallpapers and will display them on your CarPlay interface. You’ll also see those wallpapers switching between dark and light mode depending on what time of the day it is.
Additional information might be provided by the new iOS 14 Apple Maps for some businesses like particular Genius bar services on offer at an Apple Store, locations offering discounts for kids, and movie theaters having IMAX showtimes.
A new feature is being worked on for the upcoming iOS and it is meant to allow third-party users to interact with specific content or experiences in the third-party applications without actually needing the apps to be installed. Apple has given the codename “Clips” to this new feature.
“Clips” will allow iPhone users to scan QR codes related to a certain app before being able to interact with the desired content from the app in question using a floating card on their iPhone screen. There will be options available on the card to download and install the apps’ full version from App Store. If the app is installed already, the users will be able to open content in that app too.
The testing of this new feature will be done with the apps like Yelp, DoorDash, OpenTable, PS4 Second Screen app from Sony, and YouTube.
The upcoming iOS 14 will have iCloud Keychain updated to include warnings every time you reuse a password. This will certainly encourage iPhone users to choose unique passwords for every login.
As it appears, Apple is also planning to bring a solution for saving 2-factor authentication passwords with which the iCloud Keychain will likely be allowed to create 2-factor authentication codes for ensuring that the users won’t need 2-factor authentication app.
Apple Pencil Updates
Apple is planning to bring a PencilKit feature into the new iOS 14 update. The feature will allow smartphone users to rely on Apple Pencil for handwriting text input in desired text fields. The handwritten text is then converted automatically into standard text input before it is sent.
For instance, users could be able to tap into the text field of Messages app using their Apple Pencil to hand write the text message they want to send to one of their contacts. It is then converted into typewritten text which is easily readable and then sent to the recipient.
Apparently, this new feature will work with almost all text fields in the iOS including Messages, Reminders, Notes, Mail, etc.
New HomeKit Features
Apple is also currently working on various HomeKit features that are likely to be part of the upcoming iOS 14 release. These include:
Night Shift for Lights
With this new feature the HomeKit will be allowed to adjust color temperature for the HomeKit-connected lights depending on what time of the day it is. The lights will have a more bluish shade at the beginning of the day matching the sunlight outdoors. On the contrary, a considerably warmer tone is adopted at night.
It is more like a light-based alternative of Night Shift which is available in Macs as well as iOS devices with reduced exposure to blue light.
Facial Recognition for Cameras
The HomeKit Secure Video brings people identification to let security cameras easily detect particular individuals. It will prove to be really beneficial for distinguishing family and friends from any strangers. The HomeKit Secure Video extends support for object recognition already to distinguish things like vehicles, animals, and people.
Other Notable Features
Some other notable features that might be coming with the iOS 14 release include:
Custom Voice Synthesizers
It seems that Apple has already started exploring new ways for allowing developers offer customized voice synthesizers for iOS with the help of VoiceProvider framework.
Certain apps in the Apple App Store will come bundled with the Voice Synthesizer extensions and they could then be used for replacing the voice of default speech. This feature will certainly play a key role for languages as well as dialects which aren’t supported by Apple.
Accessibility updates are also expected to arrive with iOS 14. For instance, there could be a feature to detect sounds such as door knocks, fire alarms, door bells, and much more for anyone with hearing issues.
Another feature might help iPhone cameras to detect certain hand gestures, and Apple might also come up with Audio Accommodations that will better tune the audio coming from EarPods or AirPods for anyone with mild-to-moderate hearing loss problems.
Third-Party Wallpaper Packs
The iOS 14 might also come with support for the third-party wallpaper packs. It will help developers create different wallpaper options for iPhone users which they can install from Wallpaper section in their device’s Settings app.
It is believed that Apple will implement different wallpaper categories to allow smartphone users to sort through the wallpaper options available to them in a much better way.
There are rumors that iOS 14 will offer backwards compatibility with all the iPhone devices that could run iOS 13, such as iPhone 6S and iPhone SE. There are still doubts on how accurate this rumor is and the list shared is still not final and might see changes before the iOS 14 actually comes through. Here’s a list of devices compatible with iOS 13.
- iPhone 11
- iPhone 11 Pro
- iPhone 11 Pro Max
- iPhone X
- iPhone XS
- iPhone XR
- iPhone XS Max
- iPhone 8
- iPhone 8 Plus
- iPhone 7
- iPhone 7 Plus
- iPhone 6S
- iPhone 6S Plus
- iPhone SE
- iPod touch (7th Gen)
What’s The iOS 14 Release Date?
Yes, that’s the question on everyone’s mind right now! Well, Apple will be previewing the new iOS 14 at the Worldwide Developers Conference 2020. The event is scheduled somewhere in June most probably. Even though the dates haven’t been finalized yet, we expect it to be an ‘Internet-Only’ event amid the ongoing coronavirus crisis all over the world, and in the United States in particular.
Once the new iOS 14 has been revealed, the software will then be available to the developers as it goes through the testing phase. Afterwards, the beta testers will have their hands on it and it will go through rigorous beta testing. Once the beta testers are done with their part, somewhere in the fall, the iOS 14 public release will come through alongside the latest iPhone models, provided the smartphone manufacturer sticks to its regular release schedule that’s been followed for years.
So, how do you like the features expected to come through with the release of iOS 14? There are certainly a lot of much-awaited features coming up. Let’s see how things go during the testing phase and what we’ll have available in the public release in the latter part of the year. Stay tuned!