iOS 14 reveal: all the new features coming to iPhones

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Tonnes of awesome updates are coming in Apple’s iOS 14, which will be completely free for anyone using an up-to-date iPhone. At this morning’s (June 23) Worldwide Developer’s Conference event, the tech company announced plenty of new features, including massive UI overhauls, a new Translate app, and big changes for Apple Maps – with much more coming soon. Let’s dive right into it.

iPhone 11 Plans

If you’re excited about the coming iOS 14 update, you’ll want to make sure that you have a compatible iPhone. We’ve put together a great table below of selected iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max plans from a range of providers.

The following table shows the cheapest 24-month 64GB iPhone 11 plans on Canstar Blue’s database, listed in order of standard monthly cost, from the lowest to highest and then by data allowance, largest to smallest. Use our comparison tool to see plans from a range of other providers. This is a selection of products with links to a referral partner.

The following table shows the cheapest 24-month 64GB iPhone 11 Pro plans on Canstar Blue’s database, listed in order of standard monthly cost, from the lowest to highest and then by data allowance, largest to smallest. Use our comparison tool to see plans from a range of other providers. This is a selection of products with links to a referral partner.

The following table shows the cheapest 24-month 64GB iPhone 11 Pro Max plans on Canstar Blue’s database, listed in order of standard monthly cost, from the lowest to highest and then by data allowance, largest to smallest. Use our comparison tool to see plans from a range of other providers. This is a selection of products with links to a referral partner.

iOS 14: All the new UI overhauls coming soon

iOS 14 looks much smoother than iOS 13, offering some sweeping user interface changes that will make the system much more friendly and easy to use overall.

First up, you can now make your iPhone screen look a lot more like an Android, with the introduction of ‘widgets’ – interactive snapshots of an app that provide instant updates and info, such as weather, time, or calendar notifications. Of course, iPhones previously had widgets on a dedicated screen if you swipe fully to the left, but now you’ll be able to chop and change your widgets, and put them above and below your apps on your home screen. Widgets come in three sizes: little, medium and large, and are integrated with apps you have installed.

You can also sort your screens and folders to look much smoother, with huge home screen page changes. Your folders can now take up more space on the home screen, making navigation easier, and you can now take a birds-eye view of all of your pages.

Two iPhone 11's left and right

Existing features that previously sucked up your entire screen will no longer do so: Siri won’t dim the entire screen to be used for menial tasks anymore, and you will now receive calls in a more condensed widget-like screen where you can still continue with tasks uninterrupted.

Two iPhone 11's

Other apps will be receiving big UI changes too. Messages will soon let you pin up to nine of your most important conversations, and also allow you to ‘ping’ people directly in group chats and reply to specific messages. The default Messages screen also will look much different, serving up a much more ‘bubbly’ screen with images and Memojis.

The new Translate App

Coming with iOS 14 will be a new app for travelling called ‘Translate’, which is powered by Siri. Translate works offline, and lets you run through a whole conversation in another language (with up to 11 languages supported at launch).

This is a great real-time translation option if you’re in an environment where you’re needing to speak other languages, or if you’re on holiday and and need an easy way to communicate with the locals.

An iPhone 11 landscape in translation modeAll the changes coming to Apple Maps

Apple Maps will soon be more user-friendly, and offer new features beyond just basic directions. Straight off the bat Apple Maps has better options available for cyclists, and will soon include helpful info such as the elevation of roads, or where there are stairs, steep passages and busy streets. Apple Maps will also begin including the locations of electric vehicle charging stations.

‘Guides’ is also a semi-new feature coming to Apple Maps. Similar to how Google Maps allows you to check out user-created reviews of shops and businesses, Apple Maps will now show curated guides on great places to visit and see when you travel, or if you’re just looking to get out and explore your home city.

All the new Memoji

There’s tonnes of new Memoji coming with iOS 14, with loads of customisation options for the most creative of people. If you’re big on assigning everybody in your contacts with a Memoji sticker, you’ll love the changes, as over 20 new hair and head-wear styles will be added with the update.

Several Memoji's for iPhone

Sweeping changes to the Home App

If you’re an Apple user with a smart home, you’ll be glad to see that the Home app is getting a big shake-up in iOS 14. Firstly, when you install a new piece of kit into your smart home, the app will suggest any automation preferences, such as turning on appliances or lights when you arrive or leave, or only if connected to a motion sensor. You can also set a ‘Home status’, which gives you a great view of all the your compatible smart home accessories, and lets you select different scenes depending on how you want your home set up. Lights can also now automatically adjust colour temperatures to match the time of day.

Connected video cameras will also now detect people who are members of your contacts (and allow for the door to be unlocked, and light to be turned on if they’re at the door), and you can now set ‘activity zones’ in your camera’s field of view to alert you when there’s people in range.

Big updates to Safari

Safari is getting a huge shake-up with this update. The Apple internet browser is now billed as the ‘world’s fastest mobile browser’, boasting a 2x faster JavaScript performance than the Chrome mobile browser or Android browser.

Launching as a Beta-feature, a Translation option is being integrated into Safari, meaning that the browser will soon be able to read websites in up to seven different languages. An on-screen icon will appear when translation is available – all you’ll need to do is tap it and translate.

Safari will also warn you when a password entered in the browser isn’t secure, giving you a heads-up to change it. A new ‘Privacy Report’ feature is also being added, giving you the ability to see how websites have been tracking you and your online activity.

App Clips

‘App Clips’ are a new feature designed to recommend specific App use when you’re performing tasks on your device. Right now, it’s difficult to say how they’ll be implemented into our day-to-day life, but App Clips are set to pop up just when you need them: for example, if you need to rent a bike, or if you’re doing some online shopping. Each App Clip includes an automatic link to the App Store to download a relevant or useful App, ideal for finding the best application for a task right when you need it.

Three iPhone 11's

CarPlay and Car keys

Smart Cars are also getting some love with iOS 14. Integrated with Wallet is a new feature called ‘Car Keys’, which will allow you to start a compatible car via your iPhone. Bringing your iPhone near your car door will unlock the vehicle automatically, and putting your phone on a reader or wireless charger will start it.

You can also send your virtual car key to anybody through Messages, giving anyone you deem fit access to your vehicle. You can revoke car access whenever you want, and customise the privileges and controls for each profile.

Car Play is also getting a fresh update. Three new app types will be integrated into the system – quick food ordering, parking, and electric vehicle charging, and you can also choose new wallpapers for your Car Play screen.

Big changes for privacy

Every App you now install from the App Store will come with accommodating information on how it affects your privacy, including if it uses your contact information, location, or financial information. An indicator will also appear in the top of your screen whenever an app is using your microphone or camera.

Changes for AirPods

AirPods are getting some love with iOS 14. The new ‘Spatial audio’ feature gives you dynamic head tracking-based audio, which adjusts and changes as you turn your head or move your device. A new UI for low AirPod batteries is also being added, and AirPods will now automatically switch from your iPhone to iPad if you’re doing something audio intensive, like from a phone call to a video.

Multiple sets of AirPods can now be added to your Apple TV, and you can now adjust your AirPods audio if you need extra assistance hearing.

Can I get iOS 14?

A developer-only preview of iOS 14 is currently available, and a public beta will be available for consumers to test drive next month. The full version of iOS 14 will be available as a free software update from ‘fall 2020’, i.e. from September this year (most likely coinciding with the launch of the newest iPhone).

Most new iPhones will be able to get iOS 14, but just for clarification, these models will be compatible with the free update:

All images: Apple

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