Apple's iOS 14 update will change how you use your phone

Craig Federighi at WWDC 2020./Apple Inc.
ByTebany Yune
Originally Published: 

This year's Apple Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) was held yesterday as a digital event streamed on Apple's website for all to attend and view. The WWDC is an annual conference that the company hosts to show off its latest technology and software to developers who work with Apple products. It's not really an event that's targeted toward non-developers, but there are still some tantalizing tidbits to be found. Namely, the news about the new iOS 14 operating system that will be released in the fall for all iPhones in the 6S generation and newer.

Widgets on the home screen./Apple Inc.

The iOS 14 will bring on a new home screen that will allow users to wedge widgets right on their main screen among the rows of apps instead of navigating to Today View.

The iOS 14 home screen will also include a new App Library feature that will automatically sort apps into groups for you instead of relying on you to manually put them all into folders one at a time.

App Library/Apple Inc.

There's also a few design choices coming in with the new operating system that should make it a more convenient experience than its predecessor.

Users will be able to pick their own default email and browsers; Siri won't take up the entire screen when you talk to her; incoming phone and FaceTime calls will show as a pop-up instead of a full screen; and videos won't automatically close if you swipe away from them, instead they'll shrink down to a portion of the screen until you maximize the video again.

Incoming call screen on the iOS 14./Apple Inc.

Apple is also introducing App Clips — a feature that allows users to access a small part of an app without actually downloading the full app and cluttering up the home screen. All it takes is scanning a QR code, App Clip code, or NFC tag.

This feature seems to be best used for people who don't want to spend minutes searching, downloading, and installing an entire app just to buy an item or rent a scooter. Especially if you're not planning on using it that often. App Clips can make your one-time purchase much quicker and more convenient.

App Clips/Apple Inc.

There are also better memoji coming in with updates like more ages, emoticons, and, of course, face masks.

Last, but not least, iPhones will be able to do more with iOS 14 thanks to updates to Apple Maps that can show cycling-specific routes and charging stations for owners of electric cars. The company also announced that the iPhone will be able to act as a digital key that will unlock your car — but only if you happen to own a 2021 BMW 5 Series.