Apple’s new iOS 14 operating system update is on the way. But unlike this year’s iPhones, there really hasn’t been much information about the upcoming update. With that being said, there are certainly several areas that we can expect Apple to improve. From taking advantage of UWB tech in the latest iPhones to issuing 5G support for future ones, continue reading to learn about seven features that we’ll likely see in iOS 14.
Less Intrusive UI Changes
One of the most annoying small details about iOS was its intrusive volume HUD which occupied the center of the display, distracting users from the content they were trying to watch. Apple fixed that as of iOS 13, opting for a much sleeker and less obtrusive option. That was welcomed by fans, but it could also hint at bigger changes in the future.
More than anything else, it cements that Apple is receptive to making UI changes for the good of its users. Because of that, it seems likely that Apple is going to eventually redesign both its Siri screen and the incoming call screen to be similarly less obnoxious. While there’s no guarantee those redesigned elements will end up in iOS 14, we may see them sooner than later.
Apple made a splash last year by splitting iOS and iPadOS into two separate operating systems. But beyond their name and some minor differences, iOS and iPadOS are more alike than different. Just consider mouse support, local file management and all of the other iPadOS features that were also introduced in iOS 13.
Because of that, there’s a good chance that both iOS and iPadOS 14 will feature multitasking improvements. We may even see deeper split-screen and drag-and-drop implementation for the iPhone, particularly as this year’s flagship is rumored to pack a massive 6.7-inch display.
Ultra Wideband Updates
One of the quietest features with the most potential last year was the introduction of new Ultra Wideband (UWB) technology on the iPhone 11 lineup. Thanks to a new Apple-designed chip, iPhone 11 users are able to AirDrop files to each other with pinpoint precision just by pointing their device at another UWB-equipped iPhone.
That is, objectively speaking, kind of a boring feature. But Apple obviously has massive plans for UWB in the future. The tech itself could start a revolution, but it’s likely that we’ll see smaller steps toward that goal in iOS 14. Things like support for AirTags or ultra-precise indoor navigation are on the table.
When it comes to the most likely new features that Apple will include with iOS 14, none stand out as much as 5G support. Apple’s upcoming iPhones are expected to be compatible with both sub-6GHz and mmWave 5G. And despite initial rumors, it looks like the entire Fall 2020 lineup will get 5G support.
Of course, while 5G compatibility requires a new modem chip and other hardware components, it likely needs updates on the software side as well. And while old iPhones aren’t going to get 5G retroactively, we fully expect iOS 14 to enable support for it for this year’s iPhone.
A Less Buggy Experience
If you’ve been on iOS 13 since day one, you know that it’s been an objectively buggy and problem-prone release. Apple has apparently learned its lesson. Going forward, it’s looking like the company will overhaul how it designs and builds software to avoid another buggy mess.
That includes adopting a new system for identifying, prioritizing and fixing bugs within an update. It also includes delaying some features to future releases so that Apple can polish the current version of iOS. That may sound like the iOS 12 strategy, but it looks like it could become Apple’s default in the future.
Augmented Reality Boosts
ARKit was a big deal when Apple first debuted it back in 2017. But while there are plenty of great augmented reality apps on the App Store for users to try out, ARKit 2 and ARKit 3 were fairly incremental in nature. Put another way, Apple hasn’t broken any new ground in AR for a few years.
That will probably change in 2020, especially with new AR features and products on the horizon. iOS 14 will likely capitalize on the rumored 3D time-of-flight cameras expected on this year’s iPhones. And with rumors of a head-mounted AR device looming, there may be a chance that we’ll see a “one more thing” from Apple this year in the AR sphere.
While not technically an iOS 14 feature by the looks of it, there’s a good chance that Apple has some major improvements in store for Siri in the future. Rumor has it that Apple could release a new “SiriOS” system this year at WWDC, as we’ve previously covered.
That would have major benefits for Siri itself, potentially allowing for expanded capabilities and ease-of-use across platforms. And while SiriOS likely wouldn’t be tied down to the iPhone, there’s little doubt that the independent operating system could vastly improve the digital assistant in iOS 14, too.