Apple will announce the next major update for iPhone and iPad in June as part of WWDC 2020: The first features of iOS 14 and iPadOS have already been leaked.
iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 are still a few months away, but the first functions are seeping through. Among other things, a revised homescreen, a new fitness app and an upgrade of the Apple Pencil might be in for us.
iOS 14 features
The most visible change in iOS 14 seems to be a new home screen. Currently iOS apps can only be displayed via the icons on the home screen and via search. The revision on the home screen will include a new overview with a list of all apps. This should make it easier to see all installed applications at a glance.
This new list view, which is a bit like Android’s app drawer, will offer several different sorting options and other details. For example, app filters will help us see apps with unread notifications. There are also filters for the most recently used apps, so you can quickly see which applications you use most often and least often.
In addition, the new list will offer “intelligent suggestions” including Siri support. Depending on the time of day and location, certain applications will be shown to you. For example, if you are on the go or in the gym, a music app will be recommended.
Widgets are also coming to the iPhone and iPad homescreen. Instead the pinned widgets from iPadOS 13, it will be possible to move the new widgets of iOS 14 like app icons. This feature is still under development and we are not sure if we see it in iOS 14 or a following version of the mobile OS.
We might see a new fitness app
iOS 14 is supposed to have a new dedicated fitness app. It is developed under “Seymour” code name and could have a place in the final version with either “Fit” or “Fitness” name. This app will also be an independent app and can be installed on iOS 14, watchOS 7 and tvOS 14. We should also note that it is not a replacement for the Activity app.
In the new fitness app, users will be able to download fitness videos with various workouts and activities and use them for training. The Apple Watch is then may be used to track sporting activities.
iOS 14 will have handwriting recognition and an improved password manager
iOS 14 will also contain a new API called Pencilkit, which makes it possible to use the Apple Pencil more flexibly. Among other things, it should be possible with the API to gain handwriting recognition so the handwritten text will be converted to normal text input fields of applications such as messages, mail, calendars and others. This is currently not supported, so we can consider it a big change. Also, third-party developers will be able to access to the Pencilkit API.
iCloud keychain will have an expansion too. The range of functions in terms of password management under iOS 14 and presumably also macOS 10.16 will be expanded . The keychain is intended to warn users in the future if they use the same password on multiple websites. Apple is also expected to work on bringing two-factor authentication to the keychain. This should make it possible to be able to log on to compatible websites without using the iCloud keychain and also without SMS, email or other less secure methods.
An improved iMessage
The iMessage messaging app will also receive some new functions with the iOS 14 update. However, the features don’t seem major. Instead, Apple integrates functions that are already standard in other chat apps. For example, Apple is testing the mentioning of contacts via @ symbol in group chats as well as withdrawing messages and also a status update function. In addition, messages will be marked as unread. These features are still in the test phase and may not be part of the update.
New details about Apple’s own tracking tags, airtags have surfaced: They will be powered by small CR2032 batteries. It is also rumored that they will support inductive charging.
A new AR app
A new AR app will enable you to point your phone’s camera at objects in the real world and get info about them or trigger some actions in the apps. Apple is also rumoured to be working with Starbucks for the feature. Interfaces and SDK will be provided for developers to integrate their tags or identifiers. However, it is still not certain whether Apple will offer the AR function for all or only select customers.
Siri will have a voice changing feature
With iOS 14, Apple will provide developers a new interface that changes the speaking voice of the iOS devices. Currently, Siri has standard speech voices. With the Voice Provider framework, developers will deliver new voice generators with their apps. These will be integrated as an extension, and we might also see this on HomePod. Though, we are not sure if we will see this feature in iOS 14.
New features for wallpapers
The update will also bring changes to the settings of the screen backgrounds. The standard background images will be categorized in collections such as “Classic Stripes”, “Earth & Moon” and “Flowers” in order to provide a better overview. Instead of displaying all the background images together, users can scroll through the collection to find a specific background image more quickly.
— Dongle (@DongleBookPro) April 4, 2020
In addition, according to the Twitter user Dongle-Bookpro , there will also be a new “home screen appearance option”, which will be similar to the settings on the clock face of the Apple Watch app. When this feature is enabled, users will be able to define an intelligent dynamic background image that is only displayed on the home screen. These dynamic wallpapers will be based on the current background image.
In addition, Homekit is said to be able to change the color temperature of the lighting during the day to match the sunlight. A new function in accessibility will make it possible to identify sounds such as alarms and doorbells for people with hearing impairments.