iOS 13 didn’t go down in the history books as the best update ever. While much-requested features such as dark mode for the iPhone were finally added, the software update was also heavily criticized. For example, there were a lot of bugs, especially in the beginning, which ultimately resulted in a lot of iOS 13 updates . Apple has therefore changed course in Apple iOS 14: smaller new functions, in the hope that the update will be a lot more stable as soon as it comes out. Nevertheless, there is plenty of news to discover and we have done so many times in recent months. In this iOS 14 review you can read our experiences and our final review.
Apple iOS 14 – Widgets
That starts with the widgets , a function that you will undoubtedly know if you have ever owned an Android smartphone. With widgets you give a smaller version of an app a permanent place on your home screen. This way you can perform actions or read information without opening an app. For example, set up a weather widget and see at a glance how hot it will be today.
With the ‘Stacks’ your iPhone is smart about this. This allows you to place multiple widgets on top of each other, so that a stack is created on your home screen that takes up limited space. You can scroll through the widgets by swiping over the stack. This soon turned out to be a godsend. For example, I made a stack that shows the weather, my Apple Watch rings and the next calendar appointment. Something that I now use several times a day.
App developers can start creating their own widgets, but they are not available yet. However, Apple has shown with its own apps that this offers many opportunities. From file apps that display your recent files without opening them to informative apps that give crucial information a permanent place.
Apple iOS 14 – App library
The App library is going to help you keep your home screen tidy. Instead of coming up with creative ways to keep your apps organized, Apple now puts them all together in a new window that appears when you swipe left.
These folders have been put together in a clever way. This way your games are together and the top folder is always intended for apps that you probably want to use at that time. A fine and logical evolution of the ‘Siri suggestions’ that the assistant makes for apps.
IOS 14 has also become a bit less intrusive with its notifications. When you receive a call, a small message will now appear at the top of the screen. Your entire screen is therefore no longer taken over, so that you can reject the call more easily. The same goes for voice assistant Siri; this now pops up at the bottom of the screen without filling your entire screen. A lot more convenient and it does not affect the functionality of the assistant.
Privacy for everyone
With widgets and app library, we’ve covered the two most visible changes to iOS 14, but the update does a lot more than that. This way, your iPhone takes several steps to better protect your privacy . Especially the way in which this is done deserves a compliment. It does not cost you any extra effort, but makes it clear from you how apps and websites handle your data without any effort.
From now on, a green dot will appear in the top right corner of your screen when an app uses your camera and an orange dot when your microphone is activated. This way you can always check whether it is justified if an app does this and take action (such as revoking the permission to your camera) if an app does something secretly.
The same way in which online privacy becomes more accessible can be seen in Safari. Apple’s browser will warn you if you use passwords that are insecure. A feature that password managers are known for, but for people who don’t use it, it’s a lot faster and more accessible. This makes secure logging in an option for even more people.
Apple leaves iOS AJAR
Something that Apple prefers to pay as little attention as possible are the steps that iOS 14 takes to open the door a little further to competitors. It was about time and the things iOS is doing now are all good news.
First of all, you can now choose a standard browser yourself. For example, if you use Google Chrome or Firefox, you can now set them to be used automatically when you click on a link. Apple Music competitor Spotify will also work better with Siri, especially if you have a HomePod.
A great step in the right direction. Let’s hope this is the start of a new course for Apple to take, with the company taking more account of competitors and other apps on its platforms. Ultimately, this is also good news for us as users.
The Translation app
Speaking of competition, the success of Google Translate has not gone unnoticed at Apple. With the Translate app there is now an alternative on your iPhone by default. An alternative that is a lot less relevant, especially for Dutch people: the app does not (yet) support our language. So you can now mainly use the app to translate from and into English.
The design of the app deserves an honorable mention. The design is very clear and makes smart suggestions based on what you want to translate. Once your sentence has been translated, Siri will speak it at the touch of a button.
If you prefer to show the text, you can tilt your iPhone to make the translation extra large. Ideal if you are talking to someone who speaks another language and you can make yourself understood in a few seconds.
And then also:
As far as we are concerned, these are the most important tweaks and changes that iOS 14 is making. But there are many more smaller adjustments that are all worthwhile. There are new options to make your own Memoji
New Memoji options and you can now continue to watch videos with ‘Picture-in-picture’ on your iPhone if you use other apps in the meantime.
Apple iOS 14 – Conclusion
Widgets is just as visible an upgrade as Dark Mode was last year, but it’s mostly the more subtle tweaks that we’re happy with this year. Apple finally seems to be opening up the iPhone a bit more to other developers and apps and we hope this is just the beginning. In addition, the ways in which improved privacy is made accessible are all valuable. So in 2020 we can again recommend to everyone to install this major update as soon as possible.
Download Apple iOS 14
iOS 14 is available for all iPhones that can run iOS 13. Downloading iOS 14 is very easy. However, it is wise to take a few precautions: for example, make a backup of your personal data beforehand. If the update unexpectedly goes wrong, you will in any case not lose any important information.