If you have an Apple iPhone SE
(both first and second-generation), an iPhone 6s
or later, you can now install the first beta version of iOS 14 on your handset. There is a risk to those installing the beta if they use their iPhone as their daily driver. A beta version of iOS is usually full of bugs which means that some of the features normally taken for granted might not work correctly. Of course, these bugs will be fixed by the time the final version of the software is released (most likely in September). In addition, if you own one of the iPhone 11
models, you could find that superb battery life taking a hit while running the beta.
Be the first Apple iPhone user on your block with Android-style widgets
On the other hand, installing the public beta will give you the opportunity to play around with some new features including the Android-style widgets and the App Library. The former provides live-updating information that fits in boxes on the home screen bringing the first change to the grid since the original iPhone was launched in 2007. the latter is the closest thing that iOS users get to an app drawer at the moment. The App Library sorts apps in alphabetical order and by categories. It also has a search bar that allows you to search for a specific app.
App Clips on the left with widgets in the center and the App Library on the right
App Clips uses just the part of an app that is needed
to get a task done in iOS 14. The app clip is summoned using a QR code or via NFC. While introducing the feature at WWDC, Apple software chief Craig Federighi said, "It's all about getting to the part of an app the moment you need it." Speaking of multitasking (Ha! Gotcha. No one was speaking of multitasking). Seriously though, picture-in-picture comes to the iPhone in iOS 14 allowing you to watch a video or partake in a video conference while using another app. Yes, we know that this is a feature that Android users already enjoy using.
Speaking of Android (which you can do often while talking about iOS 14), iPhone users made it clear that they were tired of having their screen covered up completely while receiving a phone call. So in iOS 14, they will be notified of a call with a notification banner at the top of the screen that takes up very little real estate. FaceTime calls and calls from third-party apps will also use the new notification banner.
In February we told you that Apple
has a Siri-ous problem. Siri is nowhere close to being as useful or accurate as Google Assistant
is. It isn't even close. While Siri is supposed to get a brain update of sorts in iOS 14, she also will not take up the entire screen as she currently does now. Instead, Siri pops up from the bottom of the display with answers appearing as a banner at the top of the display.
Siri gets a facelift in iOS 14
Also appearing in iOS 14 is a new app called Translate that will be able to translate a conversation between two people speaking different languages. And speaking about translation, websites can be automatically translated on Safari. There are some other new features including a search bar for emojis on the iPhone keyboard, a way to add a face mask to your Memoji, and some improvements to iMessage.
You can install the iOS 14 public beta by joining the Apple Beta Software Program
and requesting that the iOS 14 beta update be sent to your phone. Before installing the beta, Apple suggests that you back up your data by using Time Machine. The public betas come with a feedback app that you will use to send Apple your comments about iOS 14. If the beta is too buggy for you, you will have to wipe the data on your phone in order to return to iOS 13.
You can roll the dice and update to the iOS 14 public beta now, wait for another more seasoned public beta, or count the seconds until September. It's up to you!