The actual iPhone aside, the announcement of the what’s coming in the next version of iOS is one of the most exciting parts of Apple’s year.
With iOS 14 on the horizon, there have been only a few leaks so far about what we might end up seeing included in the new software. This isn’t too surprising as we have often got many surprises on the actual night.
iOS 14 features – What are we expecting?
From the leaks and rumours we have seen there are a few features that stand out. Automatic translation in Safari seems like a handy addition, especially as this is a feature we’ve seen in Chrome before. There are also suggestions that Safari translation might only be the beginning, with full system translation coming in the future.
Another touted feature that we would love to see is proper widgets on the homescreen. Not having to dive into apps all the time to find information would be helpful and it’s a feature we’ve seen on Android phones since the very beginning. Apple does allow widgets on the homescreen on the iPad, so it’s not too unbelievable to see them coming to the iPhone.
Apple has a load of subscription services, ranging from Music to TV Plus and News, however currently you have to subscribe to all the separately. Rumours suggest this might change, with Apple offering a bundle that combines many of its services for a reduced price. This is something that could come with iOS 14.
Bloomberg has previously reported that iOS 14 might add the ability to finally set default apps in iOS 14. This would mean that if you used Spark for email or Fantastic for your calendar you could set these as the default and links, for example, would open in those apps rather than in Apple’s own apps. This is another feature we’ve had an Android since the beginning and it’s really missing in iOS.
iOS 14 phones
An early iOS 14 rumour has suggested that every phone that was compatible with iOS 13 will once again be compatible with iOS 14. If this turns out to be it should come as a boost to anyone who owns an older iPhone – as long as the performance is acceptable, of course.
iOS 14 release date
We’re going purely off past releases here, but if Apple’s traditional iOS pattern repeats itself we can expect to see iOS 14 announced in June at WWDC, with a developer beta being available for download straight away. This will be then followed by a public beta later in the summer and then a full public release shortly before the iPhone 12 (or whatever it’s called) hits in September.
iOS 14 – What we’d like to see
1. The performance benefits we saw in iOS 12
iOS 12 wasn’t a release packed with features, instead it focussed on performance and made, especially older, devices feel fresh. iOS 13 undid a lot of this though, and it took numerous quick updates to bring the performance back.
After a rough year, Apple needs to once again focus on performance – and iOS 14 is the perfect time to do that.
2. A rejig to the home screen
While performance is key, there are some more general improvements we’d love to see with iOS 14 and a freshening up of the homescreen is one of our biggest requests.
The static grid of icons has been a mainstay since the first iPhone and it has begun to feel a bit stale. Especially as on the iPad we now have the ability to keep widgets locked in view at all times.
It would be handy to have some widgets always visible or have icons that could display changing information – sort of like how the ‘clock’ app shows the live time. This would be particularly useful for the weather app – which could show the actual temperature.
3. More information packed into the lock screen
The lockscreen on iOS radically needs a rethink. Not only is it very light on useful information, but it also gets clogged up so fast when you get a bunch of notifications that it becomes a mess. We still think Android’s notification interpretation is far superior and the way it pushes more important ones towards the top works very well.
We’d also like some more subtle icons introduced to the lockscreen so it would be possible to quickly glance over and see how many unread messages you’ve got.
4. The ability to set apps as default
Any Android users coming across to iOS will likely be surprised that they can’t replace Apple’s native apps as default with a third-party alternative from the App Store. While you can, of course, download various email clients, you’ll always automatically taken to Mail if you’re clicking links.
Allowing you to select Outlook, for instance, as the only email app recognised by the iPhone seems like such a basic and one that we’d love to see in iOS 14.
5. Quick access to the camera
Many Android phones let you quickly open the camera with a double-tap of the home button, ridding the need for you to bring the display to life before you can into shooting mode. We’d love Apple to adopt something similar.
6. Split-screen multitasking and pop-out video player
It feels like we’ve been asking for improved iPhone multitasking for years and even though it’s been improved a lot on the iPad, the phone remains very rigid in what you can do. You still can’t have two apps open on the screen at once – something that would be perfectly acceptable on the larger 11 Pro Max display – nor can you watch a video while you’re, say, browsing Safari.
Adding these features seems so obvious, especially with how big these screens have gotten.