Even though iOS 14 hasn't officially been released yet, most of us already downloaded the beta version to play around with it and to learn about everything Apple has to offer in the iPhone's next big update.
There were many changes and improvements made in iOS 14 that most of us were waiting for, including the highly-anticipated inclusion of widgets on the iPhone's Home screen. But, in addition to widgets, there are other great features that are coming to the iPhone in the near future.
If you're already rocking iOS 14, or you're thinking about installing the beta version, continue reading to browse useful features you need to learn right now.
Let's face it, the main reason you're testing iOS 14 right now is because of the widgets. It's a useful feature many iPhone users have asked for, for as long as they've been on Android. Sure, you can argue that the iPhone already had widgets on the Today View, but they didn't work the same way.
Still, as the saying goes, better late than never. And now that it's finally here, you can customize your Home screen to show you what you want when you want it. Here's how to enable widgets on iOS 14.
- Go into Jiggle Mode, that is, press and hold on any free space on your Home screen.
- Tap on the Plus icon on the top-left corner of your screen. This will show a list of every widget you can add to your Home screen.
If you want to keep your widgets on the Today View, you can also add them there. Plus, if you want to move your widgets from the Today view to the Home screen, you just need to select and hold a specific widget and move it to the Home screen.
Having too many widgets could clutter your Home screen and even affect your battery in the long run. Fortunately, Apple created Smart Stack, a clever way to have multiple widgets in the same place.
Smart Stacks adds several apps into one widget. That way, you can swipe up or down to see the information you're looking for.
To start using Smart Stacks, you need to do the following:
- Go into Jiggle Mode.
- Tap the Plus icon on the top-left corner of your screen.
- Select Smart Stacks.
- Tap the Smart Stacks widget to select the options you want to see on it.
There's also a Smart Rotate feature at the bottom of the list. What this does is move your widgets around based on what your iPhone thinks you might want to see at the moment. However, if you don't want this feature, you can disable it on the Smart Stacks widget.
Let's face it, there are many apps on our iPhones that we haven't opened since we downloaded them. They're just taking up space in case we might need them someday.
I know I'm like that, and if you are too, you might want to start using the App Library.
This is a new iOS 14 feature that rearranges all the apps you have into folders so you know where everything is located. Every folder has its own name based on the group of apps, and you should see your most recently used apps and recently downloaded at the top.
What's great about the App Library is that you can now hide most of your app pages and just leave your favorite apps on the first page, without having to worry about organizing or deleting them.
Here's how you can hide your app pages:
- Go into Jiggle Mode.
- Tap the dots at the bottom of your screen.
- You should see all of your app pages, each with a little checkmark below them.
- Tap on the checkmarks to hide the pages you're not going to use.
Another cool option is that the apps you download can go straight to the App Library or to the Home screen if you want. Here's how you can change this:
- Go to the Settings app.
- Select the Home Screen option.
- You should see the option to download new apps to your Home screen or directly to the App Library.
Now there's a new, easy way to pin your favorite conversations and contacts on the Messages app.
Pinning your contacts is as easy as you would expect from Apple. All you need to do is select the conversation you want to pin, swipe it all the way to the right. You should see a yellow pin next to your contact.
Every time you go into the Messages app you'll first see the picture of your pinned contacts at the top, followed by every other conversation.
App Clips are a new way to use apps without actually downloading them. These are light versions of apps that you can launch from the web, with a QR code or even if a contact shares it with you.
While not everyone is using App Clips right now, they will come extremely handy in the future. You can use App Clips to do things like pay with Apple Pay or even order some food without getting the full app. And if you want to use the App Clip again, you can find it on your Recently Added folder on the App Library.
There will also be App Clip Codes, that you can scan to discover a new App Clip. This Codes will be created by Apple, and you'll be able to scan them with your camera or an NFC tag that you can tap on.
Apple wants you to control your sleep with iOS 14 and watchOS 7. There's a new Sleep app coming to the Apple Watch that will track things like your sleep and your heartbeat.
And whether you're planning to use the Sleep app or not, Apple also added a new iPhone feature called Wind Down.
Wind Down is a great way to improve your sleep schedule by creating a bedtime routine that you can follow with your iPhone. The best part is, you don't need an Apple Watch to use it.
When you set Wind Down, your iPhone will go into Do Not Disturb, and you can create different Shortcuts to fall asleep faster.
A night routine is just as important as a morning routine, and if you struggle to fall asleep, Wind Down is a great tool to help you change that. Here's how you can start using Wind Down:
- Go to the Health App.
- Select Sleep.
- Set up your sleep schedule.
- Customize your Wind Down routine.
Back Tap Feature
By far, one of the coolest features coming to iOS 14 is the Back Tap option. When enabled, you can tap once or twice on the back of your iPhone to start a pre-selected task.
For instance, if you want to start Siri or mute your iPhone, you could just tap once or twice on the back, and your iPhone will do it. That way, the back of the iPhone now works as two different buttons located in an accessible place for everyone.
To enable the Back Tap feature, you need to do this:
- Go to the Settings App.
- Go to Accessibility.
- Tap on Touch.
- Scroll down to the bottom of the list, and select Back Tap.