At this point iOS 14 doesn’t carry too many big surprises, since Apple unveiled it back in June at its Worldwide Developers Conference, and it’s also been out in public beta since July to pretty much anybody who wanted to give it a spin. However, those who have been reluctant to take any chances can now jump in with more confidence, and even though we wouldn’t blame you for being hesitant after last year’s debacle with iOS 13.0, there’s every indication that iOS 14 is much more polished and ready, even despite the slightly shorter beta cycle.
The marquee feature in iOS 14, of course, is the whole new Home Screen experience, which will now allow users to get unused app icons out of the way, tucked away safely in a new App Library, while also dropping in handy widgets.
Up until now, widget support has been limited to Apple’s own first-party apps, but with iOS 14 now hitting public release today, hopefully we’ll see a wealth of third-party apps with updates to take advantage of the new widget features as well, although with Apple only opening the gates to developers to submit their iOS 14 apps yesterday, we suspect we’re going to have to wait a few days.
Likewise, the new App Clips feature, which provides the ability to start up mini-apps to perform certain actions like paying for parking, looking up snippets of info, or buying items online without actually installing a full app, has been something most users haven’t been able to experience during the beta cycle, since no third-party apps were available to offer App Clips. We’re excited to see some of these soon as well.
Fans of alternative browser and email apps will also welcome the ability to set new defaults for these in iOS 14, and there’s also now support for picture-in-picture video on the iPhone — something that was once the exclusive domain of the iPad.
There’s of course a pretty massive list of other exciting changes in iOS 14 as well, covering everything from Maps, Messages and Memoji to Siri, Search, and Safari, and a few other hidden gems too. We’ll definitely have more to say about many of these new features in the coming days.