Apple’s WWDC 2020 livestream event took place today and the company announced iOS 14 will be arriving with a revamped home screen, a new App Library function, and several pre-installed app updates for the iPhone.
The Home Screen
The iPhone’s home screen will receive its all-time biggest update, which will come with a redesigned interface that highlight in-house apps like Weather so information can be viewed at a glance. The widget gallery allows users to add and customize widgets, which can now be displayed alongside apps on the home screen. There’s also a new Smart Stack widget that automatically organizes relevant apps based on the time of day into a rotating widget.
The newly introduced App Library automatically organizes apps into groups and lists, which also allows users to hide apps on the primary home screen, similarly to Android‘s app drawer. Picture-in-picture will also make its way to iPhones, making it possible to watch a video or receive a FaceTime call while using another app.
App Clips, Siri, and Calls
Apple also announced a new App Clip feature which allows users to access certain features of an app when needed without installing the app in full. Siri also has a new interface that puts it at the bottom of the screen instead of taking up the entire screen as usual. She can also now send audio messages. Incoming calls and FaceTime calls will also have a new pop-up instead of taking up the whole screen for a more streamlined look.
Messages, Translate, and Apple Maps
A new Translate app has also been introduced and it functions similarly to Google Translate. The app will allow users to translate between languages via text or a dictated message. 11 languages — English, Mandarin Chinese, French, German, Spanish, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Arabic, Portuguese, and Russian — will be supported at launch.
Messages will also let folks pin favorable contacts and conversations at the top of the app to easily access conversations of your choice. Memoji will be receiving new accessories as well, including a face mask. Group chats will receive a new thread conversation option and notification pings to notify specific people in the chat.
Apple Maps will receive an update that allows companies to give recommendations for places to visit. It will also now support cycling with dedicated directions for riders that take situations like bike paths, stairs, and elevation into consideration. That feature is expected to first arrive in New York, Los Angeles, the Bay Area, Shanghai, and Beijing.
Lastly, the Carplay App will gain support for custom wallpapers and new parking, fast food, and EC charger apps. Apple is also adding support for NFC car keys with iOS 14 with the 2021 BMW 5 Series as the first to support the feature. However, this feature will also arrive in the current iOS 13.
While a lot of software updates were announced, WWDC 2020 unfortunately did not reveal any new additions to hardware. The company continues to advance forward however, as Apple has recently filed a patent for its purported AR Glasses project.