iOS 14 is available on compatible iPhones – same as those which were already compatible with iOS 13. The update of the iPhone and iPod OS brings some new features such as improvements on the Siri side, Android-style widgets, an option to use Face ID with a mask, more to fix many bugs. Here is all you need to know.
Like every year, Apple is rolling out a new version of the iPhone and iPod OS (iPads recently having their own dedicated operating system, iPadOS). This update includes new features but also many fixes.
Video: all the new features of iOS 14 summarized in a few minutes
Since when is iOS 14 available?
Apple unveiled the new features of iOS 14 during the WWDC 2020 opening keynote on June 22, 2020. After several beta, Apple has rolled out the final version of the update starting in the fall of 2020. Currently, the update is available on all iPhones that are compatible.
Which iPhones are compatible with iOS 14?
All smartphones that were already compatible with iOS 13 are also compatible with iOS 14. This gives the following list of iPhone compatible iOS 14:
This means that the average iPhone support time has dropped from 5 to 6 years from one version to another. This confirms Apple’s commitment to the sustainability of its smartphones.
What’s new in the iOS 14 update?
Apple officially presented some new features of its update during WWDC in June 2020. Other new features, included in interim updates, have appeared thereafter.
iOS 14.5 forces apps to ask users for permission to collect their data
With version iOS 14.5, Apple will require application developers to ask users for permission before requiring them to ad track. The applications will have to display a message which leaves the choice between two options: “Accept usage tracking” or “Ask the app not to track usage”. Without your permission, apps will no longer be able to collect your data.
Unlock iPhone with Face ID while wearing a mask
The iOS 14.5 update will allow you to unlock the iPhone using Face ID while wearing a mouth mask, but you will need to be equipped with an Apple Watch. An option disabled by default will indeed allow Face ID to be satisfied with a partial scan of the face if the wearer has linked an Apple Watch to their iPhone. Finally, it will be possible to unlock the iPhone directly from the Apple Watch.
Cardio Fitness allows you to measure your physical fitness with the Apple Watch
Since the iOS 14.3 update, the Apple Watch (under watchOS 7.2) will automatically calculate the maximum flow of oxygen that can be consumed by its wearer during an outdoor exercise. When outdoor physical activity is detected (via GPS and accelerometer), your Apple Watch will measure your VO2 Max automatically. Obviously, Apple’s algorithms will measure your evolution over the long term.
FaceTime in 1080p
The iOS 14.2 update now allows video calls with FaceTime at 1080p definition. All iPhone released from the iPhone 8 can therefore make calls in this definition.
iOS 14 improves iPhone home screen with widgets
With iOS 14, the operating system is getting closer to Android. The update indeed signals the arrival of widgets. Concretely, users can personalize the iPhone home screen with shortcuts to control an application with one click. It includes a Weather Widget, notes, emails, reminders or music.
Apple launches App Library
With iOS 14, Apple makes it possible to automatically group applications by themes and categories ((games, messages, tools, social networks, etc.). This new option is called App Library. Apple is primarily intended for users who install a large quantity of apps on their iPhone.
A Siri finally more discreet
On iOS 13 and earlier, Siri appears full screen when summoned, immediately hiding the entire screen. With iOS 14, the voice assistant is more discreet. Now, when you communicate with the assistant, a discreet Siri logo will simply appear at the bottom of the screen over the interface. The content of the screen will therefore no longer be set aside.
The picture-in-picture arrives on iOS 14
Apple will allow users to watch a video while continuing to use another application. The video window will then float above the interface. Clearly, you can watch Netflix or YouTube while viewing your news feed on Facebook.
iMessage just got better
IMessage messaging was already light years away from what Google offers in its official messaging application and at the level of certain competing messengers like WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger. iMessage allows you to share content and files with a rich and clear presentation, but also to converse with end-to-end encryption.
Apple seems determined to consolidate its lead over the competition with a series of new features. This makes it possible to cancel the sending of messages you have just sent. In group conversations, it becomes possible to call out participants by typing @ followed by their first name – even if they have muted notifications. In group chats, as soon as someone starts writing, the text “XXX is typing a message” will now appear along with the name.
That’s not all. iMessage also allows you to react to specific messages and tag users in a group conversation. Finally, the messaging application will also let users send audio messages with the help of Siri.
iOS 14 will allow iPhones to translate even without internet
Safari and Siri have new translation features. It becomes possible to translate pages in Safari automatically, without going through third-party sites or services. The icing on the cake: the translation takes place locally, on the iPhone, to strengthen the security of your personal data. The same is true for Siri which can now perform translations locally, even without an internet connection.
With iOS 14, iPhone can replace car keys
Apple has decided to put the vehicle key compatible with the CarPlay system directly on the iPhone. Concretely, when approaching the vehicle, it will be necessary to validate the opening with Touch ID or Face ID. The first car to benefit from this new system will be the BMW Series 5 which is due for release in 2021.
Apple Pencil becomes more useful in Safari
The Apple Pencil stylus becomes more useful in Safari – at least on iPadOS 14 since to date, the stylus sold for a hundred euros remains strictly incompatible with the iPhone.
Preview an app before installing it
Apple has developed an API called “Clips” which allows developers to “Offer interactive and dynamic content from their applications, even if you haven’t installed them”. In other words, to test an application without necessarily having to install it. A system reminiscent of “instant” applications on Android.
Back Tap: new interactions by tapping the back of the iPhone
With iOS 14, Apple offers a new interaction called Back Tap. This is a succession of two or three finger taps on the back of the phone. With this series of tapping, the iPhone initiates a predetermined shortcut. This shortcut can be of several kinds: open an application, switch from one application to another, reply to a message, open a quick note, access quick settings, etc.
It is also possible to assign Back Tap a “Siri shortcut”That the user configures in the eponymous application. By connecting Back Tap to Shortcuts, and especially to the Automation tab, it is possible to create complex interactions or from control a connected object (if it is compatible with HomeKit) with a few taps of the fingers.
Finally different default applications
Apple finally allows you to choose different default applications. In this case, it is possible to replace Apple Music with Spotify on all your devices.