iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 features, release date and more announced by Apple at WWDC 2020. Here are the details.

You may or may not have heard, but Apple has officially announced and unveiled iOS 14 and iPadOS 14. As always, here is everything that you need to know about the company’s latest mobile firmware for iPhone, iPad, and compatible iPod touch devices.

At this time of year, the smartphone and mobile-loving communities really don’t know where to focus their attention. Excitement levels are rising for Apple’s next-generation smartphone but it’s typically later in the year that we get the first glimpse of that device.

Now, however, iOS/iPadOS 14 is real, meaning that all attention can be lavished onto that firmware.

The introduction of iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 went relatively smoothly with this year’s new WWDC format so it’s time to let you know exactly what was announced and fill you in on everything that you need to know.

iOS 14

App Library

Easily one of the most requested and the most needed feature on the iPhone. Your apps are now automatically organized in folders according to the category they belong to. A quick search will also bring up the app of your choice, without having to swipe through a multitude of Home screen pages.

Widgets

This was rumored for a while now, and that day is finally here! You now have widgets that not only live on the Today screen, but on your Home screen as well, among the icons! Finally Apple! Of course you now have a Widget Gallery housing the widgets you would wish to pick and place on the Home screen, Today screen, or even a new ‘smart stack’ screen containing a bunch of dynamic widgets and changes through out the day.

Picture-in-Picture

We now have Picture-in-Picture on an iPhone! Again, a lot of this is Android-esque starting from the App Library to the widgets, but it’s a welcome feature nonetheless. A video playing will automatically go to PiP mode when you swipe to the Home screen, and can be moves around anywhere on the screen. However, here’s a one up on Android; resizable PiP, something that is only available in Android 11 for now.

Siri Improvements

The first thing you’ll notice is how the Siri orb now appears right ontop of the UI, but here’s where it get’s really interesting. Siri now supports not just the ability to send recorded audio to contacts via text, but can take dictation to, all on-device.

With a new Translate app, which again works completely on-device, users can now hold a conversation with another person in a foreign language, and that too in a side-by-side view.

Call Notifications

Incoming calls will not take up the whole screen now if you’re already interacting with your iPhone. Instead you will see a compact pop up UI allowing you to handle the call with ease, without interrupting the task at hand.

Improved Messages app

Pinned conversations. Well, it’s not a new feature for some apps, but for Messages, this sure is. You can now pin your favorite conversations so that they stay exactly on top so you don’t miss it in case you are swamped with messages from different contacts or groups.

Inline replies are now a thing in iMessage, along with mentions of course. We also have new Memojis, complete with face mask (cause, look around), and age selection as well. Neat!

Apple Maps

Apple’s Map app is getting a new Guide feature. Apparently the plan is to help people get to where they want in a way that is helpful or at least not harmful to the environment. We’re talking about a dedicated cycling option which would identify cycling lanes, trails, and even elements like elevation data, stairs, and more. Of course its limited to a few cities only for now.

Can’t save the planet without electric vehicles. Apple is partnering up with BMW and Ford to support EV routing, with iOS 14 set to keep a check on your vehicles current charge by factoring in the elevation and whether, while showing you places where you can charge your car enroute to your destination.

CarPlay

As discussed above, with iOS 14 catering for electric vehicles, CarPlay now supports EV routing as well. We also have new wallpapers and a new group app categories.

CarKey

A feature that had been unearthed for a few months now, digital car key is now a thing starting with 2021 BMW 5 series. Straight out of the future, a tap on your phone would open the door, and to get going, place your phone on the wireless charging pad in the 5 series, and you have ignition! Interestingly, Apple says this feature is coming to iOS 13 as well.

Keys can be shared with others using iMessage, and best of all, the shared keys can be restricted to certain features as well, in case you’re worried about your teen kid driving off without your permission. Slick!

App Store Improvements

App Clips is something that had been rumored as well. Clips are simply a small part of apps that can be used for interacting with a certain part of the original app, without having to download it on your phone.

iPadOS 14

Unlike iOS 14, The Home screen on iPadOS 14 remains identical to last year, but there’s no word on iOS 14-like Widgets from Apple, for now atleast. The Siri interface is more streamlined and compact with the interface now appearing in the bottom right of the screen.

Music

A much improved and redesigned music playback interface finally looks something suited to an iPad display.

Call Notifications

Just like iOS 14, the iPad also gets a compact pop-up UI for taking or rejecting calls.

Universal Search

This brilliant feature lets you search up, apps, contacts, and even search on the web, either right from the Home screen, or ANY app on the iPad. How it actually performs in daily usage, is another question though.

Scribble

Using the Apple pencil, you can now simply hand write into any text field, and the iPad will turn it into text. Turns out, it also do this for shapes as well. Crazy good! You can even select text the same way as you would select a typed text.

How about the fact that this new nifty feature can detect multiple languages within the same line? Handwritten Phone numbers, email addresses, all recognized. Tap on either of them, and it’ll take you to the relevant app, like the Phone app or email app.

AR Improvements with ARKit 4

With the new LiDAR sensors packed into the latest iPad Pro models, Apple is aiming to push AR even further.

ARKit 4 delivers a brand new Depth API that allows developers to access even more precise depth information captured by the new LiDAR Scanner on iPad Pro. Developers can use the Depth API to drive powerful new features in their apps, like taking body measurements for more accurate virtual try-on, or testing how paint colors will look before painting a room. ARKit 4 also introduces Location Anchors for iOS and iPadOS apps, which leverage the higher resolution data of the new map in Apple Maps, where available, to pin AR experiences to a specific point in the world.

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