July 6, 2020
Review: Five new features I'm excited about in Apple's iOS 14
It's July, which means, hey everyone, we're only about three months away from getting our hands on a new iPhone!
In mid-September, Apple is expected to introduce its latest and greatest, the iPhone 12, in a host of price points and designs. No one knows for sure what they will look like, except that they will be built for working on the new, super-fast 5G wireless networks.
But this we do know: the home screen is going to be very different, your apps will be gathered in a way they're not now, making calls and scrolling through texts will be more visually interesting and you'll be able to turn your car on and off with an iPhone. Maybe.
Those new features are part of iOS14, the latest update to Apple's mobile operating system, which will be released in September, usually a week before the new iPhones are released. The new iOS provides the new look for the latest iPhones and works on older phones as well.
Let's run those features down:
New look to the Home screen
The Home screen redesign is to "give you more info at a glance," says Apple, which means that in addition to your apps, you can also see, for instance, a ticker tape of news items, your calendar items or the weather. Savvy Android users know this feature has been available to them for several years.
We all have too many apps, and they're spread all over the phone. We've been able to manually sort them for years. Now Apple is going to auto organize them into like-minded categories, like entertainment, social and dating.
Instead of staring at a big black screen when your caller is on speaker, soon you'll have visuals over 80% of the window. And for texts, you can organize them by photos of your contacts.
The Apple Maps app will be updated with bicycle directions, which has been a popular feature on the Google Maps app for some time and is long overdue.
Speaking of Google, it has a popular Translate app that lets tourists speak a phrase through the smartphone microphone, and have the visual phrase displayed on the screen, or played back in another language. Apple will build similar translation tools into the iOS.
Start the car with your iPhone
The most intriguing iOS 14 feature is called CarKeys, which lets you turn on and off your car from your iPhone, or even share the feature with a friend or loved one. "Hey Dad, can I borrow the car?" Just send junior a text.
However, the feature only works with new BMWs produced after July, 2020, so it's going to take a long time to get to your driveway.
But worth salivating for, right?
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