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Apple Announces iOS 14, macOS Big Sur, iPadOS 14 And watchOS 7

Apple has just announced some of the biggest system updates to iPhone, iPad, Mac and Apple Watch that are set to revolutionise the user experience.

Apple iOS 14

Apple has unveiled the new iOS 14, macOS, iPadOS and watchOS to much fanfare at the Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC 2020) held at Apple Park in the States today.

The new products will see users experience a whole new generation of Apple features and is set to revolutionise how we use our devices.

In what is one of the biggest updates in years, Apple fans will benefit from new designs, new smart features, new layouts and a completely new way of using your iPhone, iPad and Mac.

Here, we take a look at some of the standout features from each.

iPhone and iOS 14

iOS 14 is introducing the most significant change to the iPhone’s home screen pages with the addition of upgraded widgets and App Library, a new way of accessing the App Store with App Clips, and a whole new update to Messages.

Widgets

iPhone widgets

Users can now get creative with their own personalised widgets on their home page screen. They can customise the size of the widget and make it specific to sport, work, travel or any other specific category. By integrating apps and widgets into one space, users can get the most out of what they need.

Smart Stacks is a feature that will provide you with the most appropriate widgets throughout the day. For example, in the morning you can get the news, during the day you can get your calendar to check up on meetings, and at the end of the day you can get a summary of how many steps you achieved. iOS 14 is smart enough to know what you want.

App Library

The new App Library is a separate space for users to organise all their apps into one view, making it easier than ever to find the apps you need in the moment. When the pages and pages of apps become too much of a hassle to sort through to find that one app, the App Library gives you an organised division based on a specific category. Looking for Shazam? Go to the music folder. Looking for Facebook? Go to Social Media.

FaceTime, phone calls, and Video

Now, thanks to a new design that supports picture-in-picture, users can watch a video or pick up an incoming FaceTime call while still using an app.

iOS 14 iPhone features

If you want to keep watching an episode of this gripping final season, but also need to answer a text or look up a recipe, you can without sacrificing your entertainment.

Messages

The concept of Messages on the iPhone has very much remained the same in iOS 14 with a few changes that simply better the experience on the whole. Users can now make it easier to find the conversations that are most important to them by simply pinning them to the top.

iOS 14 iPhone

Another change is with group conversations. We all know how messy groups can get, with replies flying left right and centre. Now, with inline replies, users can directly reply to a specific message. Or to make things even clearer, you can “Mention” a user in a message, which will only notify that specific user instead of the whole group.

iPad OS

iPadOS 14 is here and it’s more powerful than ever. The iPad now supports even more iPad-specific apps, features new app designs, and employs a new homepage layout.

Like iOS 14, iPadOS will also feature changes to Messages, Siri, picture-in-picture calls/videos, and more. But let’s point out something that only iPad can do.

iPadOS 14

Scribble

The new ‘Scribble’ feature will bring more capabilities to the Apple Pencil. When users write any form of text, the iPad will automatically convert it into typed text. This is perfect for when taking notes, and since it works in any text field, it’s ideal for when replying to a message, searching the web or setting yourself a reminder; you don’t even need to put the pencil down!

MacOS Big Sur

MacOS Big Sur comes as the biggest update to Mac since macOS X. Completely redesigned in a way that remains familiar to users, macOS Big Sur brings changes to the way we use our Macs.

Design

macOS Big Sur

macOS Big Sur will see some of the Mac’s most prominent details and features tweaked and refined to make the experience easier and more enjoyable. From icon alterations, shade adjustments, and even remastering of the sounds like notification pings, trashcan scrunches, confetti explosions and more.

The new system update will also come with a new Control Centre and Notification Centre so that users can access the most relevant settings and widgets in simple and accessible spaces.

New and improved Safari

Not only has macOS Big Sur brought the biggest system update to Mac since macOS X, but it has also delivered the biggest update to Safari since 2003!

macOS Big Sur Safari

It’s now even faster thanks to a rapid Javascript engine, which, according to Apple, loads frequently visited sites an average of 50 percent faster than Chrome. Users can now also customise Safari homepages and benefit from redesigned tabs which can display even more. And thanks to new favicons, distinguishing which page is which among the often slew of open tabs is no longer an issue.

Safari can even translate full pages from seven languages!

Plan your next trip

With macOS Big Sur, the new Maps helps users discover places and activities with Guides. Guides provide information from trusted sources on restaurants, parks and vacation spots so you can make your decision on where to go next. If you find a spot that looks interesting, delve a little deeper and get a 360-degree view of the area.

WatchOS additions

watchOS 7
  • New watch faces
  • Sleep tracking
  • Workout Types and Fitness App
  • Further support for hearing health

To watch the full Keynote, click here.

Emeric Brard

Written by Emeric Brard

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