iOS 14: Available Now! Here's What You Need to Know.

Apple releases its 14 generation iOS operating system with some major updates.
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With its latest operating system for iPhones, iOS 14, Apple looks to further enhance and simplify the experience for a user. An important note, and one that many iPhone users have been waiting for, is the added "Privacy Report," which gives users a quick glance at how they're being tracked.

Honestly, it's quite impressive just how substantial this iOS update is from Apple that we wanted to give you the details here. We also wanted to only highlight the major changes that most users will want to know.

Think of it as an operating system review, in brief!

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iOS 14 Privacy Report
Apple

We're putting this one first because of how much we value security and privacy. In iOS 14, Apple makes it easy for iPhone users to quickly get an overview of:

  • Who is tracking their activity
  • How often activity is tracked
  • How often the tracking is blocked

In addition, Safari now warns users if their passwords aren't as secure as they should be. This is something we've been saying for a long time too! Check out our guides on how to generate a random, secure password and the only passwords you need to memorize to help increase your internet security.

New Widgets iOS 14 iPhone
9to5Mac

Widgets have been redesigned to give more information in a smaller amount of space, making them more useful overall at a glance. iPhone users who upgrade to iOS 14 now have more customization options when it comes to widgets too.

Now, users can:

  • Change the size of a widget on the screen
  • Add a widget to the home screen
  • Arrange widgets in new patterns on the screen

You can also use iOS 14's new "Smart Stack" feature to let Apple automatically stack your widgets based on your usage history.

Visual Updates iOS 14

Each version of iOS has its new visual niceties, for sure. I'm grouping a few of the major visual updates, and only highlighting the updates that really affect the user experience. Fortunately, in iOS 14, there are some major changes to be excited about.

  • Phone calls now don't automatically fill up your entire screen but appear as smaller pop-up icons.
  • Messages are now easier to find and have a more user-friendly interface.
  • Applications can be grouped more intuitively by the user or by using Apple's suggested groups.
  • Facetime calls can be minimized to show the video while you browse your phone.
Smart Home iOS 14

This is right up our alley here at howchoo! We love the idea of increasing the functionality and security of your home. For proof, see our Google Home-enabled smart mirror and our Raspberry Pi security camera!

In iOS 14, Apple has added key features and functionality to the "Smart Home" application, such as:

  • Suggested automations, such as turning on lights when entering a room, whenever you add a new HomeKit accessory
  • An updated home screen that shows the most pressing concerns for your smart home
  • New defined "activity zones," so you only get alerts for necessary things
  • Light shifting mode that automatically adjusts lighting throughout the day

My favorite change is the "Face Recognition" feature that detects the face of the person ringing the doorbell and tells you who is at the door. How cool is that!?

Apple Car Key
BMW

First, they got rid of the key itself, making it so you only had to insert a fob. Then, you didn't need to insert anything, which meant no more annoying lock/unlock sounds. Now, you don't need a key or a fob to start your car. All you need is your iPhone with iOS 14 that will hold the "car key" in your Apple Wallet.

As long as you have an automobile that supports this feature, you can:

  • Unlock your car with your iPhone (even if the battery goes dead)
  • Start your car with your iPhone
  • Manage who has a "key" in Apple Wallet
  • Restrict access temporarily or permanently to particular vehicles

CarPlay also gets some visual updates with new supporting applications.

There are so many updates in iOS 14! We only touched on a few major updates here, as well as our favorite changes.

For a more comprehensive overview, check out Apple's official iOS 14 page.