Apple’s iOS operating system has always put user experience front and centre. Every year brings a new software update, making that experience a little smoother, more refined and ready for the latest iPhone line-up. So, what new tricks can your old iPhone learn with an update to iOS 14?
Incoming calls are more…subtle
Picture the scene: you’ve worked your way through almost an entire season of a brilliant drama. The big finale is set to go off with a bang, and then… your phone rings. Suddenly you’re no longer watching because that incoming call has taken up your whole screen. Not anymore.
iOS 14 has made calls much more manageable alongside your day-to-day phone activity. Now, you can choose to display your incoming calls as a banner, so they don’t get in the way. Switching to this is easy – just head to Settings > Phone > Incoming calls. Once you’re there you can choose between full screen incoming call notifications and the more subtle Banner style. Piece of cake.
Keep the show going
Calls don’t interrupt your movies and programs anymore, so why should messages and emails? Picture-in-picture minimises videos and keeps them playing as a thumbnail while you work on other things. Scroll through chats, send emails, or check where you recognise that actor from on Wikipedia, all without pausing the show.
It’s a great addition to FaceTime, too. You can minimise the app while still using your TrueDepth camera to video call mates, so you can share photos and send messages as you chat face to face
Get some privacy
Some apps need your location in order to work properly, like weather apps. They don’t need to know exactly where you are, though.
iOS 14 now lets you toggle your location services between your exact location and a general area. When you download an app from the App Store and open it for the first time, you’ll get to choose. And of course, you can always go into your app settings to switch it whenever you like.
You’ve also got much more control over your photos. Apps like Instagram and other social media platforms require access to your photo library, but now you can choose which photos you want to give access to.
We love Safari’s new Privacy Report feature. Many websites feature cross-party trackers that use the data you generate to profile you. In Safari, you can open your Privacy Report and see how many of these trackers the browser blocks with its Intelligent Tracking Prevention system. It’s so detailed, you can scroll through trackers by website or in general, so you feel more in control of your data.
Make your home screen more… homely
iOS 14 brings a new level of customisation to your fingertips.
The App Library sorts your Apps automatically by genres like Entertainment, Travel, Social and Creativity to give you quick access. There’s also a search bar feature at the top, which, when you tap on it, lets you view all your Apps in alphabetical order. So, finding your apps is as easy as ABC.
The big introduction to the home screen this time is Widgets! These little icons show you information at a glance, like local weather, news headlines, health data connected to your Apple Watch, world clocks and a ton more. Resize and move your Widgets to fit around your home page and get the info you need without going into apps.
You can even stack Widgets one on top of the other to auto-rotate or manually scroll, making your home screen look even cleaner. They have to be the same size, but you can choose virtually any Widgets you like and have them flick between the info that matters to you. Awesome.
How to update iOS
Updating your iPhone is easy. Just make sure you’ve got it on charge and you’re connected to WiFi, first. Then, go to Settings > General > Software Update. Tap to download and install, and enter your passcode if you’re asked. Once that’s done, it’ll start downloading.
The new iPhone 12 range all come with iOS 14 right out of the box. Take a closer look here.