Apple’s IOS 14 Update

Apple’s release of the IOS 14 update brings never-before-seen features that revolutionize the customization and interactive elements of Apple devices.  IOS 14 has created a new reality for Apple products through its new spin on the home screen, app navigation and compact design, but it has also had to adjust to many bugs.

  The idea of an IOS 14 update was introduced to the public in June 2020. The official update was available as of Sept. 16, on all 9th generation iPhones, the cut offs being the iPhone 6S, iPod 7th generation and the iPhone SE first and second generation. 

The long awaited introduction of widgets and shortcuts has many Apple users raving about the personal touch it adds to their device. 

“When the update came out, I thought it was so beneficial because Apple took Android elements and made them 100 times better,” junior Sophia Bucaida said. “ For example, you can choose what applications to make into widgets and control their size and appearance on your screen, just overall making it more visually appealing.”

Widgets come in different sizes depending on the application, and with the Smart Stack feature, users are able to customize their devices to show different widgets at different times of the day. Widgets appear for apps such as calendar, news or weather, which is helpful if you want to take a quick peek at information without actually opening up the app; however, this unfortunately limits the users’ direct interaction with the widget.

The new IOS update has introduced another new feature: the app library. The app library can be found on the far right of all the home screens on the device. The app library automatically organizes all of one’s apps into suggested folders that change the size of the apps to indicate which are used most often or which were “recently added.” This eliminates the hassle of keeping numerous folders or home pages filled with apps that are not used often but are still supported by the device. This not only accounts for effective navigation but allows users a chance to customize the device to their liking. 

The app library and widget duo, along with the Siri’s shortcut app, have allowed users to better personalize their phones. The shortcut app comes with starter shortcuts and allows users to create their own shortcuts that automatically perform an action based on the input. Instances of this can be as simple as an audio playing when one’s phone is connected to its charger. Most recently, people are using the shortcut app to create picture customization of their everyday apps. This has allowed for the personalization of a users phone by creating artsy color schemes and home page themes. 

Additionally, the Compact User Interface has created easier navigation when it comes to making calls and watching videos on your device. The Picture in picture design allows for users to continue streaming videos, whether it be in the Apple TV app or what is applicable on Safari, after exiting the app. Here, users can resize, move or use other apps while watching videos, creating a new capability for multitasking. 

“My favorite new feature is the small screen when you use FaceTime because Instagram already had the same thing before the update, and it was just kinda cool that Apple finally did the same thing,” junior Mikhaela Cueto said. 

The Compact UI now allows for compact screen use when on an audio or FaceTime call. This successfully counters the problem of limiting interaction with the person on the other end of the call. Similarly, Siri now has an additive compact feature along with a greater span of knowledge and audio use. 

The IOS 14 update has introduced Apple users to many new features, but it has also been followed up with the release of IOS 14.1 update as of Oct. 20 to fix the various bugs found. By far the most prominent fix is the Apple mailing app. The IOS 14 update also introduced the capability for users to change their default search engine and mailing app. However, this led to many users reporting that their device reverted to its default mail setting or sent their emails under a different alias. IOS 14.1 will not only fix personal problems but will improve the overall look of widgets. 

Apple cannot take the credit for widgets or the app library seeing that it has been incorporated in various devices through the year. However, the IOS 14 update effectively takes these elements and gives Apple users a redesign and customization like no other.