iOS 14 brings new customisations and app interactions to the home screen

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WWDC 2020 is underway this week, which means previews of the software that Apple device users will soon be able to access. On the mobile side of things that means iOS 14, which was previewed for developers, along with showing us what we can look forward to whenever Apple decides to roll out an update for it.

So what has Apple worked on for iOS 14?

Based off of what we’ve seen so far, it appears the focus is on customisation. To that end users will be able to customise the size of widgets and apps on their home screen to provide a more unique interface. It will also open up the opportunity to create a layout that a user may find more productive, or potentially focuses on creator tools, for example.

Added to this is the App Library, a new space at the end of the home screen that automatically organises all of a user’s apps into one view, and surfaces apps that may be helpful in the moment.

There’s also a new picture-in-picture function for Face Time, phone calls and interactions with Siri, which should allow users to multitask a bit more effectively when needed.

“iOS 14 transforms the most iconic elements of the iPhone experience, starting with the biggest update we’ve ever made to the Home Screen,” highlights Craig Federighi, Apple’s SVP of software engineering.

“With beautifully redesigned widgets on the Home Screen, the App Library that automatically organises all of your apps, and App Clips that are fast and easy to discover, iPhone becomes even more powerful and easier to use,” he adds.

What’s App Clips?

“App Clips are associated with a particular product or business, and load within seconds to complete a specific task, such as renting a scooter, purchasing a coffee, or filling a parking meter. They can be easily discovered and accessed by scanning a new Apple-designed App Clip code, or through NFC tags and QR codes, or shared in Messages or from Safari, all with the security and privacy expected from apps,” the company explains.

As such it could be an interesting feature that allows you to use an app for a specific task, without actually having to download the application in its entirety. How this would work given certain permissions for apps, remains to be seen, but on paper it definitely sounds interesting.

Like macOS Big Sur, Apple is eyeing a Fall release for iOS 14, with a beta rolling out sometime next month. Hopefully all the kinks are ironed out in this iteration, with iOS 13 proving a little hit and miss in that regard, compared to previous releases.

Robin-Leigh Chetty

Robin-Leigh Chetty

Editor of Hypertext. Covers smartphones, IoT, 5G, cloud computing and a few things in between. Also a keen photographer and dabbles in console games when not taking the hatchet to stories.