Apple has unveiled the next version of software to power its iPhone, iOS 14. The new software, due to be released in the spring, has overhauled how users can organise and display their apps as well as bringing updates to features such as Siri.
Here is a closer look at the key new features that will be making their way to your iPhone.
Home Screen and App Library
Widgets, reached by swiping right on the home screen currently, have been redesigned to be more interesting and data-rich, Apple said.
These widgets can now also be dragged and dropped onto the main home screen, with app icons moving around them, to create more interesting home screen setups.
To counter the problem of endless pages of app icons, Apple has also introduced the App Library, where all downloaded apps are grouped using artificial intelligence.
In addition, users can also now choose app screens they want to hide and instead jump to the library to find the app they want.
Elsewhere, incoming call alerts have been made more compact and will no longer fill the whole screen. Instead, a notification banner will appear at the top of the screen, and the same is true of Siri voice commands, with the assistant no longer taking over the whole screen when prompted.
Meant to be shortcuts into specific apps for specific moments, Clips appear and load in seconds to allow users to complete a specific task, such as paying for parking or a coffee.
But rather than having to download the full app and sign up to the service, Clips are activated by scanning newly designed Apple Clip codes or tapping an iPhone against a near-field communication touchpoint, which allows the specific service – such as paying for parking – without needing to download the full app.
Similar to the existing feature in WhatsApp, users will be able to reply to specific messages in a conversation thread in iOS 14.
Users will also be able to pin important messages threads to the top of their inbox, and new Memoji options, including the addition of face coverings.
The updated version of Apple Maps, which has already rolled out in the US, will come to other markets later this year, while directions for cycling a route are now also being added.