iOS 14 Arrives!

On September 16, Apple released iOS 14, the latest iPhone operating system. It was released in conjunction with iPadOS 14, the iPad’s operating system and they include many of the same upgrades, with the iPad version being optimized for the iPad’s larger display. Here are some of the exciting new features!

  • Widgets!
    • You can now add widgets to your phone’s home page. Widgets are larger versions (small, medium or large) of an app’s regular icon, that show a preview of that app’s most useful information without having to actually open it. Widgets are currently available for many Apple apps, with other app developers expected to start updating with widget functionality soon
    • My personal favorites so far are the music and podcast widgets, which show what you’ve been listening to most recently, and the weather widget, which shows a handy little blurb of the next few hours’ forecast
Admittedly, widgets seem easy to get carried away with…
  • New features in Maps
    • The Apple Maps app can now provide cycling directions
    • It also includes new features for electric vehicles, include route mapping for charging stations and accounting for charging time (…is this relevant in Steamboat? Can an electric car get up Rabbit Ears? Has anyone ever tried??)
    • Apple is gradually rolling out their new Guides feature for certain cities, which include recommendations on places to eat or shop and other local attractions
  • App Library!
    • The App Library is a sort of extra home page, which appears at the right of your rightmost page. It shows all of your applications by category, and can show you recent apps even if they’re not currently installed on your iPhone, making it a handy way to access apps that you use very infrequently and don’t want cluttering up your home page the rest of the time
A legitimately useful feature for the 3 times a year I want the iTunes Store.
  • The new Translate app
    • …I don’t think I actually have a blurb for this one. It does what it says on the tin, folks.
  • Compact calls!
    • An unexpectedly nice feature of iOS 14 is the new way incoming phone calls are handled – they now appear as a little window, like a notification, at the top of your screen, rather than taking over the entire phone screen. You can answer a call and put it on speaker from that little window, without ever interrupting whatever you were looking at when the call came in
    • Another thing you’ll notice on calls is a new security feature, where you get a tiny green dot in the upper left corner of your screen when your microphone is in use. The dot turns orange if the camera is in use, too. So if that dot ever pops up when it shouldn’t, you know an app is being sneaky
Much better than monopolizing my entire phone screen
  • New Safari features
    • Safari now includes a Privacy Report feature, which lets you know how many and what kind of trackers Safari has blocked recently. iOS 14 also includes other nice privacy features, like privacy reports on an app’s App Store page, and increased control and transparency regarding apps’ tracking permissions. These features haven’t been fully implemented yet, but should arrive in coming months
    • Safari also has a new, very useful password monitoring feature, which alerts you if any of your web passwords may have been involved in a data breach
  • Pin conversations in Messages!
    • This is, hands down, my favorite iOS 14 feature. It’s SO HANDY. You can now “pin” certain conversations to the top of your conversation list in Messages, so that they’ll always be there for easy access even if they’re not your most recent conversations. You can pin up to nine conversations
I don’t actually have 9 people I want to text that regularly,
but that says more about me than iOS 14.

These are just some of the highlights of iOS 14. If you have an iPhone 6s or newer, you can upgrade! If you’re not sure how to go about it or have questions about iOS 14, give us a call (970.879.1270) or drop in here at Mac Ranch (Monday-Friday 10:00-4:30) and give me an excuse to geek out!

About Keegan Rogan