iOS 14 is now available to the general public and you may have already updated your device (if not, here’s a guide to help get ready for iOS 14). Some of you who have been keeping track of Apple’s events recently may already know what iOS 14 brings to the table, whereas most others may not be aware of all the new features and changes.
To make things easy for you, we have compiled a list of all the major additions to iOS 14 that you can take advantage of once you update your iPhone (or iPod Touch) to iOS 14. Note that most of the iOS 14 features coexist on iPadOS 14 too, but we’ll focus on some iPad specifics in a separate article. So, without further ado, here are 10 must-know tips for iOS 14.
1. App Library
App Library is one of the biggest functional changes that iOS 14 has to offer. Consider this to be Apple’s equivalent of the app drawer that has been available on Android devices for years. App Library is located right past the last home screen page on your iPhone. You’ll find that all the apps on your device are neatly sorted category-wise and stored in folders.
With App Library, iPhone users have the choice to automatically move downloaded apps to the library instead of the home screen, too.
To do this, simply head over to Settings -> Home Screen and select “App Library Only”.
2. Home Screen Widgets
The addition of home screen widgets brings the biggest visual overhaul to the iOS home screen since the introduction of the original iPhone. When you see an iPhone with widgets on the home screen, you can be certain that it’s running iOS 14 or later.
To add a new widget to the home screen, simply long-press anywhere on the home screen to enter jiggle mode and tap on the “+” icon at the top-left corner of your screen. This will take you to the Widgets gallery. You can select any of the available widgets, including Apple’s signature Smart Stack widget, choose a preferred size, and then drop it right on the home screen.
Many third party apps also support widgets too, so you can add widgets for everything from weather, to-do lists, sports scores, battery details, calendars, search bars, facts, photos, shortcuts for other apps, and so much more.
Home screen widgets are quite popular, and this is perhaps the most visually prominent new feature in iOS 14 for iPhone.
3. Hide App Pages
Prior to iOS 14, all the apps that you downloaded from the App Store went straight to the home screen. As you install more and more apps over the years, your home screen just becomes a mess with endless pages of apps. Finding an app becomes increasingly difficult as you need to scroll through several pages due to the sheer number of apps installed. Thankfully, Apple wants to clean up your home screen by allowing you to hide app pages.
To hide one or more pages of apps, just long-press on the home screen to enter jiggle mode and tap on the dot icon that lets you switch between pages. This will take you to the Edit Pages menu, as shown below. Simply uncheck the pages you want to hide and you’re good to go. You can access the apps that are stored in these hidden pages from the App Library.
4. Picture-in-Picture Mode
Picture-in-Picture mode is a feature that iPhone users have been longing for, ever since it was made available on the iPads a few years ago. It allows you to watch videos on a pop-out player that floats on your screen as you navigate through other content, menus, and apps on your device. If you’ve ever wanted to watch videos simultaneously while you’re just browsing the internet or texting a friend on your iPhone, you can now take advantage of this new feature in iOS 14.
To enter Picture-in-Picture mode from a supported app, simply start watching the video and minimize or exit out of the app. The video will now continue being played in a floating window. Or, if it doesn’t work for whatever reason, you can tap on the PiP icon in the playback controls within the app.
To exit Picture-in-Picture mode, tap on the PiP icon at the top-right corner of the floating window as shown above and the video will snap back in place within the respective app. Or, to stop video playback, simply tap on “X” located at the top-left. Keep in mind that not all apps supported Picture-in-Picture mode just yet. One prime example would be the YouTube app, but for now, you can watch YouTube videos in a floating window from Safari.
Oh, and Picture-in-Picture mode also works with FaceTime video calls too.
5. Set Default Browser & Email Client
With the iOS 14 update, Apple has made an interesting new change that allows users to set third-party apps as defaults on their iPhones. At the moment, this includes third-party browsers and e-mail apps, which means that you can finally set Google Chrome as your default browser. However, developers need to update their respective apps supporting this change. As of this writing, you can change the default browser to Chrome or DuckDuckGo, and the default mail app to Outlook, as both of these apps have been updated (and more apps will include support for this feature as time goes on).
To set Google Chrome as your default browser, make sure you’ve installed the latest version of the app from the App Store and then go to Settings -> Chrome -> Default Browser App. Here, select Chrome instead of Safari and you’re all set.
As more web browser and email apps update to support this feature, there will be even more options available to change the default browser and email client on iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.
6. Emoji Search
If you text people a lot and use emojis on your iPhone, you may already know how frustrating it has been to scroll through pages of emojis to find one that you don’t usually use. Some people even installed third-party keyboards to avoid the hassle. This shouldn’t be an issue anymore, as Apple has added an emoji search field to the stock iPhone keyboard. This works system-wide, so regardless of what app you’re using to text, you will be able to use emoji search.
To access Emoji search, launch the keyboard, tap on the emoji icon at the bottom-left and you’ll find the new search field right at the top of your keyboard. You can search for specific emojis by typing in the respective keywords or you can filter them by category.
No more swiping through endless pages of emoji characters to get the right one, now you can search by keyword! Want an eggplant emoji? Search for eggplant. Want a smiling face emoji? Search for smile. You’ll get the hang of it quickly.
7. Mentions & In-line Replies in Messages
If you use iMessage to stay in touch with your friends, family, and colleagues, you’ll be excited to try out in-line replies. That’s right, you can finally reply to a specific text message in a thread within the stock Messages app. To do this, simply long-press on the text bubble that you want to respond to and choose “Reply”. In-line replies are also handy for group texts, if you want to reply to a specific message in a conversation thread.
Mentions on the other hand would also come in handy in group conversations. You can notify a specific contact or group member even if they’ve muted the group chat, depending on their setting. All you need to do is type “@” followed by their name.
8. Apple Translate
Apple has introduced an all-new app to make language translations easy and convenient on the iPhone. The app is pre-installed once you update to iOS 14, so you don’t have to download anything. As of this writing, Apple’s Translate app supports real-time translation for 11 different languages. In addition to this, Apple provides on-device offline translation for all the supported languages, as long as you have them downloaded.
Language translation within the app is pretty straightforward. Simply select the two languages you need translation for, and then you can either type for text translation or tap on the microphone icon for translating speech. Languages can be downloaded to your device from the language selection menu within the app.
9. Block App Tracking
Third-party apps installed on your iPhone are often capable of tracking your data across apps and websites owned by other companies for analytics and delivering personalized ads. In iOS 14, when an app wants to track this data, you will get a pop-up asking for your permission. However, you can prevent apps from making this request and block all apps from tracking your data.
Go to Settings -> Privacy -> Tracking -> Allow Apps to Request to Track and use the toggle to block app tracking.
It’s worth pointing out that the feature hasn’t been fully implemented yet, since Apple wants to give developers more time to comply with the privacy changes.
10. Password Security Recommendations
Apple has added a new security feature to iCloud Keychain that allows you to quickly check if the passwords to one of the online accounts that you use with Keychain has been compromised in a data leak. Security Recommendations can notify you if you’re using a compromised password or a password that’s easy to guess. You can check it for yourself and update the password to minimize the security risks associated with online accounts.
To check if any of the passwords you use pose a security risk, go to Settings -> Passwords -> Security Recommendations and see if you have any alerts or warnings as shown below.
There you go. These are some of the features that you must know and learn to properly use after updating your iPhone to iOS 14.
Of course, there are a lot more features that come with iOS 14 from accessibility features like Sound Recognition Alerts to security features like Private Wi-Fi addresses, amongst many others that we’ll be covering over time.
We hope you were able to put some of these tips to good use on your iPhone. Are you happy with the new features and changes in iOS 14? Do you have a favorite feature so far? Share your experiences, thoughts, and opinions in the comments below.