We got iOS 14 early! An actual hands-on with the Beta

by birtanpublished on September 7, 2020

Our new release is iOS 14 Apple announced iOS 14 on Monday at WWDC I have the developers beta and I've been trying it for a day so let's talk all right all right let me get this out of the way immediately so I have a beta

Version of the software here the public beta will be released in July and obviously the final version of iOS 14 will come out this fall that said this video is not a review it's not a even like a first look it's really more of

Like a hands-on early preview also if you have a developer's account I recommend not putting this on your main phone because you know bugs but that being said I've put it on an iPhone 11 and I'm so excited to share so first of

All let's start with the home screen in one since nothing has changed but if you didn't want to take things to the next level all you gotta do is swipe right till you get to a page called the app library and basically this organizes all

Your apps into one place now it's easy to compare this to the app drawer on Android but Apple puts its own twist on things by grouping apps by different categories the groups look like large folders but they don't act like folders

In fact you don't have to open them up to get your app so you just tap an app and go and if there are more than four apps in a group there are these little mini app clusters you tap on that to expand it then tap on the app you want

But let's go to the app library search bar where things get interesting and yes that is a full alphabetical list of all the apps on your phone you can simply scroll to the one you want or search it in the search bar on the whole between

Siri search your home page the app library and its options there are so many different ways to open the apps you want Thank You Apple but let's talk about widgets in iOS 14 there are apps widgets based off those apps and then a

Thing called app clips which I promise we're going to talk about in a minute in iOS 13 widgets were found in the today view to the left of your home screen but in iOS 14 you can actually pin these widgets to your home screen

You simply long press on the screen and on the top left side tap the plus button then the widget gallery pops up obviously since this is a developer version it's just going to have Apple app widgets at this point that said you

Tap the app then swipe through a carousel with the size of small medium and large tap the add widget button and move it to where you want on the screen now these widgets are fixed to column width so I can't put it in the middle of

An app page but I can't put it anywhere an app goes having these widgets on the home screen and at different sizes really makes the phone look contemporary and yeah let's acknowledge the Windows Phone tile vibe here which is not a bad

Thing perhaps one of the coolest implementations on the home screen is a thing called widget stacks you create one simply by dragging one widget on top of another that's the same size the widget stacks are neat because you

Simply swipe up or down to change which widget is showing who would have thought in 2020 widget would be so exciting and I know Android Windows Phone I get it but I think it's a lazy comparison to think that Apple just copied Android and

They certainly put their own spin on things with a feature called smart stack which is basically a stack of widgets based off which apps you use most frequently and at what time of day so and your phone figures all this out for

You right so if you are always using your maps app after work then that widget would be at the top of the stack after work and if you always check the weather first thing in the morning then

The weather app would be on the top of the stack when you wake up and your phone is curating all this for you you'll find your smart stack at the top of the widget gallery you simply drag it to where you go just like a regular

Widget and lock it in you can now hide pages of apps so if you have a bunch of apps that you use infrequently but you don't want to delete them from your phone you can put them all in one page and hide that page

From view you simply long press on the home screen and tap the home pages icon at the bottom and then uncheck the pages you want to hide you still have access to all your apps via search and Siri and

The app library so in theory you could hide all your apps on your iPhone and just fill your homescreen up with widgets which would be kind of neat I think I'm gonna have to try that so is iOS 14 a radical redesign of the

Homescreen it could be but they're gonna be many people who will never touch a widget or a smart stack and never be the wiser in one sense nothing has changed and yet in another so much has and that brings

Me to a visual change for phone calls and Siri instead of an incoming call taking up your entire screen before you answer it it will now appear as a banner notification across the top Siri had a similar fullscreen problem in previous

IOS which has also been solved now when you activate the assistant it appears as an animated orb at the bottom of your phone then there's a new feature that's been on the iPad for a long time that's finally made its way over to the iPhone

And that's picture and picture video or more like picture in homescreen video or picture in whatever app you're using video so for example FaceTime calls can now be minimized so you can access other parts of your phone and this is great

Because there are so many times I'm in a FaceTime conversation and I want to access something on my phone I feel weird when that screen goes blank and now the conversation just continues on as if nothing happened you can move the

Face window pretty much anywhere you want then for videos when you're watching one in full screen within an app you can swipe up and then tap on the home screen to minimize it you can resize the mini

Video window and move it around accordingly you can push it off to the side and the audio will keep playing without the picture another nice add to iOS 14 is the Translate app in the vertical position you can look up words

And phrases as well as search a dictionary for what those words and phrases mean when you rotate it into landscape it enters conversation mode allowing each speaker to have their translation on each side of the screen

You can even have an app show a translation in full screen or speak it for you Sammis understand at the end of a Khmer stimulus but now let's talk about the changes coming to the Maps apps and

Specifically with cycling obviously cycling directions have been in Google Maps for a while but they're finally coming to the Maps app Apple gives you some really well thought out options you get elevations and warnings about

Streets or where you'll need to walk your bike you can also toggle on things to avoid like stairs hills and busy streets and just like how when you route directions for your car it will show you gas stations on the way and convenience

Stores the bike routes will actually show you bike repair shops along your path as well as coffee shops I'm excited about trying the cycling feature out long-term but it's gonna launch in just a handful of cities and now let's talk

About a few changes coming to messages and if you have lots of group threads Apple makes things even more manageable you can now mention someone's name specifically in a thread and only have that person be alerted you can also pin

Conversations to the top of the app and this will sync across all your Apple devices on the whole iOS 14 has a ton of new features I want to talk about but I do want to hit a few small ones that do have their significance for example

There's a new indicator light that lets you know when your mic or camera is on an orange dot will appear in the top right side of the screen when your mic is being used by an app even in the background and a green light means an

App is using your cam it's really obvious and that is nice also nice you can now search your emojis on the bottom left of the keyboard tap on the emoji icon and then enter whatever you're looking for this is

Especially fun to see what emojis actually mean can't be the only one right also new in iOS 14 there are a ton of new accessibility features which honestly could be their own video but I want to talk about to you the first ones

Called back tap in accessibility in the touch menu back tap allows you to trigger a shortcut by either double tapping or triple tapping the back of your phone for example I can double tap to bring up the control panel and if I

Double tap again it brings in the weight so that is really nice as well there are over two dozen shortcuts triggered with back tap like taking a screenshot triggering Siri and bringing up the magnifier another compelling

Accessibility feature is called sound recognition and what this does is it will give you a visual alert when it detects a sound so you can have it set for detecting a fire alarm or a smoke alarm you could have it set for

Detecting a cat or a dog when your phone detects a sound you selected it will notify you on screen with an alert of all now let's talk me Mowgli and there are a lot of new customizations especially when it comes to hair and

Head wear let's roll the head wear montage that was great montage also new and very telling of the times we live in now you can actually add a face mask to your memory so yeah that's gonna be a thing now the last two things I want to

Talk about I can't actually show you but they are very significant and one of them is called app clips and this is yet another way to interact with apps specifically ones you don't have on your phone essentially app clips are mini

Apps with limited functionality determined by the apps developer now the idea is you don't have to take time to download an entire app or have that fill up space on your phone and instead you have this

Really fast experience to get to the functionality you need app clips are triggered by NFC or a QR code for example Apple showed off a coffee shop where a customer is signing up for a rewards program and what they do is they

Tap their iPhone on the NFC terminal of the register and it brings up the app clip for that coffee shops app they also showed a use case at a parking leader where maybe you're gonna need to access the parking app but you don't want to

Have that app on your phone this is a feature that if widely adopted by developers could change how cluttered your phone gets but also change your relationship with apps then there's the ability to set a third-party app as your

System-wide default for either your internet browser or mail that so in theory you could be able to set the Gmail app as your go to mail app so if someone sends you a link and you click on that and either reply to an email it

Would automatically open that versus the iOS mail app and the same with a browser you can set that to be Firefox or Chrome now the little curious part here is the app developers have to flag their apps as being a browser or a mail app for

This to work I'm excited to see this in action once developers have enabled their apps so that's all I got like I said there's a lot more to iOS 14 and please check out cnet.com we have so many articles covering these features

And every day we're learning more about this but I want to hear from you guys what features of iOS 14 are you most excited about and also if you have questions throw them in the comments I'll do my best to respond

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