iOS 14 is out now: 9 of the best new features available to download to your iPhone

iPhone Update iOS 14 New Features

Here are 9 exciting new features available on your iPhone after updating to iOS 14 (Image: APPLE • GETTY)

iOS 14 is available to download right now to your iPhone. In celebration, we’ve highlighted nine of the best new features coming to your smartphone that you need to know about.

Apple has flipped the switch and started to roll-out its feature-packed iOS 14 update to iPhone owners across the globe. For those who missed it, iOS 14 was teased earlier this summer during Apple’s annual developer conference. Since then, the Californian company has been quietly tweaking the free operating system upgrade and ironing out any bugs. Third-party developers have also used the last few months to update their apps to support the latest features – so you should have a truckload of iOS app updates waiting for you in the App Store as soon as you’ve upgraded your iPhone to iOS 14.

With millions of iPhone owners now staring at the download progress bar – willing iOS 14 to download and install faster – we thought it was a good time to take a look at some of the most exciting and most useful new features packed into this new update. This isn’t everything available with iOS 14, but these are the features you’ll want to rush to try out before any others.

The Best Features Available On Your iPhone After Updating To iOS 14

iOS 14: Homescreen Widgets

With iOS 14, Apple has rolled out the single biggest change to the iPhone since its launch. For the first time, Apple will allow iPhone owners to make changes to their homescreen. Until now, iPhone fans have been only able to change the background on their handset or re-order their app icons on the grid. With iOS 14, new interactive widgets can be placed in between your grid of apps – widgets can come in a number of sizes and offer the information you need at a glance.

So, you could have the News widget front-and-centre as well as important Calendar events to keep tabs on your day without the need to constantly hop into the dedicated apps and refresh your feeds. On the next page, you could have your Fitness summary as well as an expansive Apple Music widget to queue-up your favourite playlist when you jump on the treadmill.

Apple offers an AI-powered widget known as Smart Stack which cycles through a number of different options based on the time of day, your habits with your iPhone, and current location. Your iPhone will keep track of your habits so that it can serve-up your favourite widget as soon as you need it. So, if you always check the weather at 7.30am and launch Apple Music when you board the train in the morning, these will be automatically presented on your iPhone homescreen using Smart Stack.

iPhone Update iOS 14 New Features

Gorgeous interactive widgets can now be placed inbetween your favourite apps on the iOS homescreen (Image: APPLE)

iOS 14: Picture In Picture Arrives on iPhone

Just like on iPad, iOS 14 brings picture-in-picture video to the iPhone for the first time. So, you’ll be able to continue watching your favourite YouTuber while you continue to whizz around your iPhone to text friends, check directions, and more. It also means you’ll be able to continue to use your iPhone during a FaceTime call. On iOS 13 and earlier, FaceTime would cut the video whenever iPhone owners tried to use their smartphone for anything else while staying on the line.

Apple lets you resize the Picture in Picture window by pinching the video. You can also place it in any corner of the screen by dragging it.

iOS 14: Ditch Unwanted Apps

If you’re anything like us, you probably have a folder on your iPhone brimming with apps you’d rather not have cluttering your homescreen. These are apps you probably don’t launch every day, but are worth keeping around just in case – restaurant ordering apps, parking tickets, apps to help you split the bill when out with friends, and the like. With iOS 14, you won’t need to keep every app installed on your iPhone on the homescreen. Instead, iOS apps are automatically organised for you.

At the end of homescreen, you’ll find a new App Library that automatically organises all of your installed apps into one simple, easy-to-navigate view, and intelligently surfaces apps that may be helpful in the moment. If you find yourself always using the App Library instead of swiping through pages of apps, you can choose to hide some of your homescreen pages for quicker access to the App Library.

iOS 14: Get To Your Favourite Chats Quicker

With iOS 14 installed, you’ll be able to pin your favourite conversations in Messages so you can always get to them. You’ll be able to pin up to nine separate conversations, which will be synced across iPhone, iPad and Mac. And if a group conversation is pinned, you’ll see up to three people circle around the pin whenever there are unread messages. Recent messages and typing indicators will animate above the pin so you can see what is going on with a glance.

iPhone Update iOS 14 New Features

In iMessage, you’ll now be able to reply to a specific text in a group chat (Image: APPLE )

iOS 14: Upgraded MeMoji

iOS 14 packs a number of upgrades for your Memoji, so you can revamp your animated character which appears in Messages as well as Sticker sets that can be used across a wide variety of apps, including WhatsApp and Facebook. Memojis can now sport new hairstyles and headwear. Apple says there are now over a trillion possible combinations including face coverings to prove that you’re taking the requisite Covid-19 precautions. There are also 11 new hairstyles, 19 new headwear styles, and 3 brand-new Memoji stickers to let you send a fist bump, blush, or a hug to your friends.

iPhone Update iOS 14 New Features

With the improved MeMoji options, iPhone owners can now add a face covering (Image: APPLE )

iOS 14: Faster Access To Your Favourite Emoji

Find the perfect emoji using the default iOS Keyboard. A new search field inside the emoji tab (located in the bottom left-hand corner of the keyboard) now lets you search for the perfect emoji. Enter a commonly used word or phrase such as “heart” or “smiley face” and you will be presented with corresponding emoji to choose from.

iOS 14: Better Sleep

Get ready for an improved night’s kip with the new Wind Down shortcut included in iOS 14. This builds on the Bedtime feature introduced into the Clock app with iOS 13. When you set up Wind Down, you’ll now be able to choose from various actions to help you relax before heading to bed, whether that’s dimming down the lights using the Home app, listening to soothing soundscapes, or using your favourite meditation app. You will be able to choose from a collection of relaxing shortcuts, accessible with a single tap from Sleep mode.

iOS 14: Sound Recognition

iOS 14 enables you to get notifications when the sound of a fire alarm or doorbell is detected with Sound Recognition. Using on-device artificial intelligence, Sound Recognition notifies iPhone owners who might otherwise miss audible alerts around them. So, if you have a relative who is hard of hearing, you’ll be able to ensure their smartphone always lets them know when someone is at the door, or when they need to safely evacuate the building. The feature is found in the Accessibility menu of the Settings app. If you have an Apple Watch paired with your iPhone, the notifications will display on your wrist with a subtle tap – so there’s even less chance of missing something important.

iOS 14: AirPods Owners Never Have To Look At The Bluetooth Settings Ever Again

iOS 14 will seriously improve your experience with the Apple AirPods. After installing the latest update, your AirPods will be able to automatically switch between any device – including iPhone, Apple Watch, iPad, and Mac – signed-in with your iCloud Account. So, you’ll be able to pick-up your iPad to watch a movie and your AirPods automatically move the connection from your iPhone to the tablet. And then, when a phone call comes in – your AirPods automatically switch back to your iPhone, so you’d ready to answer. Apple has added a convenient pop-up banner that surfaces at the top of the screen of each of your device to let you know when and where the audio is being rerouted.

…And there’s even more

Of course, these aren’t the only features introduced in iOS 14. There are a truckload of new changes that’ll change how you use your iPhone every day that we haven’t highlighted above. For example, Siri has also been redesigned so that activating the chatty AI assistant won’t takeover the entire screen with its colourful interface. With iOS 14, the assistant just sits at the bottom of the iPhone screen to let you know that it’s heard your request – but not so obtrusive that you can’t continue with what you were already doing on your handset.

Not to mention the fact that UK, Ireland and Canada will finally get access to the improved new Apple Maps experience. Apple has slowly been rebuilding its entire navigation system with much, much more detail. And now those improvements are coming to Blighty. Cycling directions are also coming soon to the Google Maps rival. Electric vehicle routing adds charging stops along a planned route based on current vehicle charge and charger types. An all-new Guides feature provides a curated list of interesting places to visit in a city, created by a selection of trusted resources.

“iOS 14 transforms the most iconic elements of the iPhone experience, starting with the biggest update we’ve ever made to the Home Screen,” said Craig Federighi, Apple Senior Vice President 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.”



iOS 14 delayed release: iPhone users frustrated over 'missing' update

iPhone owners have flooded social media with complaints about the perceived delay to the launch of iOS 14. In previous years, Apple has started to roll out the latest version of its iPhone operating system from around 6pm GMT / 10am PT / 7pm CEST. But that hasn’t happened with iOS 14. Of course, Apple never commits to kickstarting the update at a particular time, so it’s not an official delay, but rather, iPhone owners believe something to be wrong because of thier experiences in previous years.

So many people have now taken to Twitter to bemoan the slower launch than previous years that iOS 14 is now trending. While it’s not unusual for the launch of new iterations of iOS to cause the software to trend nationwide… this typically happens because millions of iPhone owners are discovering the latest features and tweeting about their new favourite tweaks. The fact that iOS 14 is trending because frustrated iPhone owners cannot install the software isn’t ideal for Apple.

More to follow. Please refresh this page for the latest information. 



3 things iPhone owners must do before downloading the iOS 14 update in a few hours

iOS 14 brings a slew of dramatic changes to your iPhone, including changes to how you store your apps, stunning new interactive widgets to place between your apps, new features in iMessage that’ll be immediately familiar to anyone who uses WhatsApp and much, much more.

If your iPhone is compatible with iOS 14 (you can check that here), you’ll want to run through a number of pre-flight checks to ensure that your smartphone is ready to download and install the iOS upgrade when it becomes available later today (September 16, 2020).

Back-Up Everything

Hopefully there won’t be any issues moving your iPhone over to iOS 14. However, there have been a few hiccups with iOS upgrades in the past, so we can’t rule anything out.

As such, your first step should be to back-up your iPhone before attempting any update. This can be handled over iCloud – the cloud-based storage option available to every Apple user, or iTunes – provided that you’ve got a Mac or MacBook nearby with the correct cable to complete the back-up.

To use iCloud, first you’ll want to connect to a Wi-Fi network, launch the Settings app, then tap your Apple ID at the top of the list. Scroll down and tap on the iCloud tab, then iCloud Backup, and finally, Back Up Now.

If you’d rather use iTunes, you’ll want to plug-in your iPhone, launch iTunes and click on the small iPhone-shaped icon in the top left-hand corner of the app. Once the panel loads up, you’ll want to hit This Computer in the backup section, then kickstart the backup right away.

Clear Some Room

You’ll need some free storage to download the iOS 14 update and kickstart the upgrade on your iPhone. If you’re the sort of person who is constantly swatting away warnings about ‘Low Storage’ every time you take a photograph, video, or try to install a new app – you’ll need to make some ruthless cuts before attempting to upgrade.

You’ll need roughly 2.7GB free on your iPhone or iPod Touch to upgrade to iOS 14, but ideally you’ll want a little more breathing room than that. We’d recommend at least 6GB of storage to ensure you get the best possible experiences with your software upgrade.

If there’s nothing you can delete from your handset, you can use the iTunes backup method listed above to avoid having to download the update files to your iPhone – instead, they just live on your computer.

…And Now You Patiently Play The Waiting Game

So, you’re ready. There’s nothing else to do but wait for Apple to flip the switch in sunny Cupertino, California, to launch iOS 13 to iPod Touch and iPhone owners worldwide.

As mentioned above, we’d expect the update to land in the UK around 6pm.

To check whether there is an operating system upgrade available for your iPhone, head to the Settings app, scroll down the list to General, then tap Software Update to check whether iOS 14 is available.

It’s important to note, this won’t keep checking automatically – so you’ll want to head back to the Settings menu and then tap on Software Update again to refresh the search and see whether the update is now available.



iOS 14 update today: what time can you get the latest features on your iPhone?

It’s official! Apple has confirmed that its new iOS 14 operating system update will bring a raft of changes to your iPhone later today. This blockbuster upgrade was first announced back in June during its annual developer conference. Since then, Apple has spent the last few months putting it through rigorous testing via its beta programme.

This is almost always when Apple starts to push out its major overhauls to iOS and we’re not expecting anything to change this year (unlike the iPhone 12 release date, which is very different this year!)

If you want to be one of the first to get this upgrade on your iPhone then make sure you are sitting near a strong Wi-Fi connection. It’s then worth checking the settings menu every few minutes until you see the download appear as it can take a few minutes for the servers to refresh as iOS 14 rolls out worldwide.

To check for the latest software, you’ll need to head to Settings > General > Software Update. When iOS 14 is live, you should see a small “1” icon in a red circle appear next to the Software Update tab.

It’s worth remembering that it can take a while to download on launch night as millions of iPhone owners attempt to access iOS 14 at the same time. During the update, your device will also be out of action so make sure you’re not waiting for any important phone calls or emails before beginning the installation.

Once on your device is fully updated here’s some of the new features included in iOS 14.

Perhaps the biggest update is the introduction of Android-style widgets. These data-packed squares can be placed anywhere on the homescreen with information such as the latest weather, news, music and health reports all available at launch.

These useful widgets aren’t the only new feature with iOS 14 also including improved messaging, more editable Memojis and something called the App Library. This upgrade automatically organises all of your apps into one simple, easy-to-navigate view, and even intelligently surfaces apps that may be helpful at the right moment.

Also new to apps is something called App Clips. This is a fast way of interacting with services without having to download anything on to your phone.

Other changes include improved messaging, better browsing in Safari and a picture-in-picture mode so you can keep watching videos or continue your FaceTime call while you use another app.

“iOS 14 transforms the most iconic elements of the iPhone experience, starting with the biggest update we’ve ever made to the Home Screen,” said Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president 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.”

Here’s all the phones and iPods compatible with iOS 14:

iPod touch (7th generation), iPhone SE (2nd generation), iPhone SE (1st generation), iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone 6s, iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 7, iPhone 8 Plus, iPhone 8, iPhone X, iPhone XR, iPhone XS Max, iPhone XS, iPhone 11 Pro Max, iPhone 11 Pro, iPhone 11



iOS 14 release – Your Apple iPhone will get this blockbuster upgrade TODAY

Apple has had a big week announcing the release of a new Apple Watch Series 6, Apple Watch SE and stunning iPad Air which gets iPad Pro features on a smaller budget. However, it wasn’t just hardware announced at the US firm’s keynote with a release date for iOS 14 also revealed.

This blockbuster upgrade is packed with new features and the best part is…it’s out later today.

Although Apple never confirms a time for its yearly iOS upgrades we’re expecting this new operating system to be ready for download at around 6pm tonight.

And there’s more good news as iOS 14 is compatible with most iPhones. In fact, if you have iOS 13 on your iPhone right now then you’ll be able to get the new update.

iOS 14 was first announced back in June at Apple’s WWDC Developers Conference and since then the US firm has been putting it through its paces as part of its beta test. This is where Apple attempts to iron out any bugs or issues before it releases the software to millions of iPhone fans across the planet.

Those tests obviously went well as Apple now seems happy to let everyone get a taste of iOS 14 and there’s plenty of treats coming to your smartphone tonight.

READ MORE: iPhone 12 killer feature DITCHED days before release? Samsung and Google will be overjoyed

Instead of installing a dedicated application for every takeaway order or cinema ticket purchase, Apple’s App Clips lets you access the most important part of the app straight from the homescreen.

Other changes include improved messaging, better browsing in Safari and a picture-in-picture mode so you can keep watching videos or continue your FaceTime call while you use another app.

As we mentioned earlier, Apple has tried to keep as many users happy as possible which means most iPhones are compatible with iOS 14.

That means this all-new operating system will run on the iPod touch (7th generation)

, iPhone SE (2nd generation), iPhone SE (1st generation), iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone 6s, iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 7, iPhone 8 Plus, iPhone 8, iPhone X, iPhone XR, iPhone XS Max, iPhone XS, iPhone 11 Pro Max, iPhone 11 Pro, iPhone 11

“iOS 14 transforms the most iconic elements of the iPhone experience, starting with the biggest update we’ve ever made to the Home Screen,” said Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president of Software Engineering. “With beautifully redesigned widgets on the Home Screen, the App Library that automatically organizes all of your apps, and App Clips that are fast and easy to discover, iPhone becomes even more powerful and easier to use.”



iOS 14 release date confirmed for today, but will the update work on your iPhone?

Although there’s no exact time for the release, major iOS updates usually arrive at around 6pm BST so if you want the latest features on your iPhone make sure your sitting comfortably around that time and have access to Wi-Fi as the file won’t be small.

As you have an iPhone 6s or later, once downloaded, your device will get a swathe of blockbuster new features including the introduction of Android-style widgets. These data-packed squares can be placed on the homescreen with information such as the latest weather, news, music and health reports all available at launch.

These useful widgets aren’t the only new feature with iOS 14 also including improved messaging, more customisable Memojis and something called the App Library. This automatically organises all of your apps into one simple, easy-to-navigate view, and even intelligently surfaces apps that may be helpful at the right moment.

MORE LIKE THIS
Stunning new Apple iPad Air has iPad Pro features without the price

Another change is a feature called App Clips. Instead of downloading a dedicated application for every takeaway order or cinema ticket purchase, Apple’s App Clips lets you access the most important part of the app straight from the homescreen.

Other changes include improved messaging, better browsing in Safari and a picture-in-picture mode so you can keep watching videos or continue your FaceTime call while you use another app.

The all-new operating system will run on the iPhone 6S, iPhone 6S Plus, the original iPhone SE, and everything released since. In a nutshell, if your smartphone is currently running iOS 13, you’ll be able to use iOS 14.

“iOS 14 transforms the most iconic elements of the iPhone experience, starting with the biggest update we’ve ever made to the Home Screen,” said Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president of Software Engineering. “With beautifully redesigned widgets on the Home Screen, the App Library that automatically organizes all of your apps, and App Clips that are fast and easy to discover, iPhone becomes even more powerful and easier to use.”



How to watch iPhone 12 release event today on macOS, Windows 10, iOS and more

Even if Apple doesn’t showcase the iPhone 12 today there will still be plenty of big announcements in store.

Arguably the most interesting reveal will be the unveiling of the rumoured Apple Watch SE – a new range of lower-priced smartwatches.

Given how big a seller the iPhone SE devices have been, an Apple Watch SE could go down a huge hit with those looking to grab their first ever wearable.

Elsewhere, besides the Apple Watch Series 6 and latest iPad Air, the next version of Apple’s AirPods could also get unveiled at today’s event.

While there are also rumours that Apple could be about to reveal a 14 inch MacBook Pro, which if it doesn’t get announced today could get revealed next week.

We’ll have to wait and see whether the iPhone 12 debuts today too or is held back for a later event. But if the rumours are anything to go by it’ll be worth the wait.



iOS 14 release date could be revealed this week, but will it work on your iPhone?

Widgets aren’t the only new addition in iOS 14, with other extras including improved group chats in iMessage, an upgraded Health app and something called App Clips. Instead of downloading a dedicated application for every takeaway order or cinema ticket purchase, Apple’s App Clips lets you access the most important part of the app straight from the homescreen.

And don’t worry if your iPhone is getting a little old as iOS 14 will be available to a huge number of owners.

The all-new operating system, which brings a number of design improvements and expanded functionality, will run on the iPhone 6S, iPhone 6S Plus, the original iPhone SE, and everything released since. In a nutshell, if your smartphone is currently running iOS 13, you’ll be able to use iOS 14.



Forget iOS 14! This iOS 13 iPhone update could end storage woes and fix your screen

We’re possibly just a month away from Apple’s iOS 14 being released to the world with a launch confirmed for the autumn. However, despite this upgrade bringing a swathe of new features you shouldn’t forget about the software that’s currently powering your iPhone.

iOS 13 has just received a new update and there’s some very good reasons to download it as it fixes an issue with the available storage on your device and repairs a display glitch that has left some users seeing a green tint on the screen.

iOS 13.6.1 is available right now and here’s what’s included in the release.

• Addresses an issue where unneeded system data files might not be automatically deleted when available storage is low

• Fixes a thermal management issue that caused some displays to exhibit a green tint

• Fixes an issue where Exposure Notifications could be disabled for some users

READ MORE: iPhone 12 release date: Apple finally confirmed the news none of us wanted to hear

You can find this update by going to the Settings menu then tapping General and Software Update.

It’s worth noting that this is a large 388.2 MB file so you’re probably best making sure your device is connected to WiFi before attempting to download and install it.

It’s not official, but this could be one of the very last iOS 13 updates before iOS 14 is released.

Apple is yet to confirm when this blockbuster upgrade will be pushed out to devices across the world but this usually happens at some point in September.

However, things could be slightly delayed this year as the new iOS usually arrives after the latest iPhones have been launched and Apple has already confirmed a later release for its flagship devices this year.

Once iOS 14 is available expect some pretty radical changes to your phone including the introduction of widgets.

Yes, you will soon be able to transform the homescreen with everything from weather widgets and emails to activity levels and music. You can even change these information-packed squares to any size and add as many of them as you like.

And that’s not the only change as Apple is also adding something called App Library which allows you to hide those endless apps filling up your phone without actually deleting them.

Other updates include a better way to message your mates with group chats now easier to organise plus there’s some fun new ways to spruce up your Memoji characters with additional hairstyles, headwear and accessories. iOS 14 also brings picture-in-picture video to the iPhone for the first time. So, you’ll be able to carry on watching the football while you surf the web or chat with friends on WhatsApp.

Finally, Apple has changed how some apps work on iPhone. Instead of downloading a dedicated application for every takeaway order or cinema ticket purchase, Apple is now letting you access the most important part of the app straight from the homescreen. Called App Clips this addition will make it much faster to interact with a range of products and services and means your iPhone won’t be full of apps you’ve only used once.



iOS 14: There's a VERY important reason not to update your iPhone right now

Apple lets anyone register to take part in the beta testing. This allows the company to test the operating system on a wide-range of devices worldwide as people try to use iOS 14 with accessories, Wi-Fi networks, and pairing with vehicles and headphones. In theory, this should allow Apple to identify bugs and glitches that might not crop-up if all the testing had been done in a secretive laboratory in California.

Beta versions can be pretty unreliable, so it’s never advisable to install an early version of iOS 14 on your main device. The last thing you want is for the Phone or Messages app to unexpectedly crash when you desperately need to contact someone, for example.

But there is another reason to avoid installing the iOS 14 Public Beta right now.

The current beta version of iOS 14 does not work with contract-tracing apps to map-out the spread of coronavirus and keep people safe in Europe. A number of countries have pledged to use a system developed by Apple and Google to trace users’ movements and allow them to notify anyone who has recently been in close contact if they receive a positive test result for the potentially-fatal virus.

MORE LIKE THIS
Best Galaxy S20 features are now available on these cheaper Samsung phones

If you live in the country with a contract-tracing app up-and-running – the UK Government attempted to create its own version of the system without the free technology provided by Apple and Google at a cost of £11.8million, although this has now been scrapped in favour of a new app that leverages the smartphone manufacturers’ APIs – the iOS 14 beta will not currently let you be notified if you have been exposed to someone with COVID-19.

Once you’ve have installed the iOS 14 beta, heading into Settings > Privacy > Health will show that COVID-19 Exposure Logging is Off. If you try to turn it back On, a message will state that the feature is Not Available In Your Region.

Obviously, this isn’t an issue for developer testing iOS 14 with their apps and accessories in the office, but if you were thinking about taking the risk when it comes to instability with the software in order to get your hands on the latest features …you might want to hold off. As you might be risking more than a few simple app crashes or pairing issues with your Bluetooth headphones.

Apple already lists the contract tracing glitch as a “known issue” with the beta, so expect to see a fix soon.