iPhone: Expect sweeping system updates
iPhone users: Get ready for one of their biggest updates ever. Apple’s latest operating system, iOS 14, will be released this fall. Depending on your comfort level, this is either a cause for celebration or deep mourning. I just read through an impressive list of enhancements, and while I suspect that the geekier among us can’t wait to get their hands on the new phone, this may not be so exciting for those with more modest needs–those who simply want to pick up their phones and make a call.
Be forewarned: The Home screen will be redesigned
This is always a little disorienting, regardless of the benefits, and there will be a learning curve.
- Artificial intelligence (AI) has played an important role in the new functionality.
- Siri got a whole lot smarter, answering a greater range of questions, now sending audio messages. Apple increased the number of languages that Siri understands, and you can now ask Siri to translate words, phrases, and sentences in more than 65 language pairs. Great if we ever get to travel again.
- Widgets have been totally redesigned to give you more information at a glance — and now you can add them to your Home Screen. Choose from different sizes and arrange to your liking.
- Look for fun, new Memoji styles and stickers. New age options, face coverings, more than 20 new hair and headwear styles.
- Artificial intelligence teams with the Siri Suggestions widget to surface suggested actions based on your usage patterns. If you listen to a podcast at 8am every morning, you might see the Podcasts widget at that time.
- Digital car keys lets users unlock or start their car with an iPhone or Apple Watch. Next year, with the U1 chip, the car keys will let us unlock our cars without taking our iPhone out of our pockets or handbags.
- Look forward to the world’s fastest mobile browser—Safari is apparently 2x faster than Android’s Chrome.
- App junkies are going to love this one. App Library is a great new feature that displays all of your apps in an easily accessible list that’s similar to that on the Apple Watch. Love this—if you swipe to the end of the App Library view, every app is automatically organized by category: Utilities, Productivity, Education, Creativity, Reference and Reading, Social, Health and Fitness, Lifestyle, Games, etc.
How to update: iOS14 is in beta right now
It’s rolling out this fall. Update the same way you do system updates now—generally overnight. When available, Go to Settings > General > Software Update > Automatic Updates.
What to do with inevitable usability questions?
The Apple website is helpful. Key in a questions and get an answer with helpful screenshots. Those who are very brave will muster up the courage to go to their local Genius Bar. But that’s only for the bravest among us.