Apple has unveiled its plans for iOS 14 as part of its WWDC20 conference, including the App Library, widgets, and picture-in-picture.
The first new addition shown is the App Library, which automatically sorts all the apps on a phone into different categories. This library sits on the farthest page of the home screen and features a search function to easily find apps. Pages can also now be removed from the home screen to make navigation faster.
Next, Apple is taking inspiration from the Apple Watch to reimagine its widgets. These widgets are no longer locked to a different window and can be dropped directly onto the home screen, much like on Android. Apps will also have multiple sizes of widgets.
There's also a new "Smart Stack" which stores your widgets, allowing you to swipe through all of them without going into a different window. The Smart Stack will also sort widgets automatically, showing different widgets at different times of day.
Picture-in-picture is also coming to iOS. An example provided was watching a video on Apple TV, which goes into picture-in-picture mode when minimised and is able to be moved around the screen as users interact with other apps.
Siri and apps
Siri will also be seeing an update, with a more compact design that doesn't take you into a different app screen and can show notifications at the top of the screen.
As for apps, Apple is introducing a new Translate app which aims to provide speedy, voiced translations to help in live conversations. The Message app will also be updated with pinned conversations, new Memoji, including ones with face masks to reflect the coronavirus pandemic, along with mentions and in-line replies for group chats.
Apple Maps will also be updated, with improvements for finding new places to visit, and cycling directions for users who want an alternative method of transportation. Cycling will only be added for a few cities initially, with more planned to be added in coming months.
For some reason, Apple has also decided to create digital car keys, using NFC to unlock and start your car, and allowing you to share digital keys with their friends and family. This will only be available for a single car to begin with.
Expanding the App Store
The App Store is getting a major update in the form of App Clips. A card appears on your home screen, even if your phone is locked, and load a smaller version of the full-size app to quickly pay for things or access information. These can be opened with NFC or QR codes, and from within other apps, such as Maps. App Clips need to be less than 10MB in size and built in Xcode.
The new iOS 14 will be made available to developers immediately, with a public beta in July and a full release in autumn 2020.