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Home / Tips and Tricks / These iOS 14 features will change the way you use your iPhone. This is how they work

These iOS 14 features will change the way you use your iPhone. This is how they work



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iOS 14 is still in preview, but we already find features we absolutely love.

Patrick Holland / CNET

iPhone owner, listen. Apple will release the iOS 14 update this fall and public beta has been around since earlier this summer. The new operating system comes with a lot of updates that will change the way your phone works. If you like living on the bleeding edge, you can join iOS 14 beta and get an early preview of the features right now. The new features include the ability to add widgets for your home screen, an Android-like app-like feature called App Library, and use iMessage in new ways. The public beta for WatchOS 7 and MacOS Big Sur are both available now as well.

Here are six features that we think will change the way you use your iPhone when it comes to iOS 14.

Read more: 4 reasons not to install iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 public beta directly






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First time: iOS 14 and all its new features




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Tag someone in a text conversation

Updates coming to the messaging program announced by Apple are primarily focused on group iMessage conversations.

What: You can now tag someone in a conversation when you want to get attention (useful for large groups) and respond directly to a message and create a thread in your conversation. It helps to get their attention and make sure you get a quick response.

How: Tagging someone in a group convoy should be as simple as typing the @ symbol followed by their name in the chat. An inline reply is made by long pressing on a message and selecting Response.

2. Attach a conversation at the top of the messages

What: Attaching a conversation to the top of your Messages app means you do not have to scroll through the long list of contacts and group conversations to find your favorite contacts. This is especially useful if you have a group you like, such as a family chat or a friends chat that you talk about every day, or if you are planning a long-term event such as a group surveillance party.

How: You can pin a contact or conversation at the top of the conversation list by dragging to the right over any thread.

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Attach your favorite contacts or conversations to the top of your Messages app.

Screenshot of Jason Cipriani / CNET

3. Apple now has a built-in Translate app

What: Instead of having to use Google’s Translate app on your iPhone, iOS 14 has a built-in Translate app that lets you convert text and even have conversations with someone who only speaks another language. You can translate English, Mandarin Chinese, French, German, Spanish, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Arabic, Portuguese and Russian.

How: You have two options when you open the app. You can type the word or phrase you want to translate, or tap the microphone icon at the bottom of the screen to use voice to text. When you are done, the app translates it into your language. This is especially useful if you are asking a quick question to someone or also want to hear the pronunciation.

To have an ongoing conversation, turn the phone to landscape mode and press the same microphone icon – you do not have to hold down. You should be able to close the app by swiping up when you are done using it. We also notice buttons to pause and play.

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Forget Google Translate, Apple now has its own app.

Screenshot of Jason Cipriani / CNET

4. A more organized home screen with the App Library

Ever wanted it your iPhone had an applause like Android? It will do so soon. It’s called the App Library.

What: The App Library is a new screen that resides just to the right of your most recent home screen. It automatically organizes all the apps on your phone into folders. The purpose of this feature is to make it easy for you to find all the apps installed on your iPhone. This goes hand in hand with another new home screen feature that lets you hide pages with apps you rarely use.

How: You use the App Library when you want to open an app that is not on your home screens. To get to it, swipe left (to go right) past the last home screen. You can use it in three ways. First, you can browse the automatically organized folders for the icon you want – for example Health & Fitness or Social. At the top of the App Library screen, you will find two folders: Suggestions and Recently Added. Both automatically update and adjust which apps are in either folder based on how often you use an app and what you have recently installed. You can also search for your app by name in the search field at the top of the screen or click to see an alphabetical list of your apps.

Here is more information on how to do it hide pages on the home page to make it easier to access the app library.

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Apple’s app library is similar to an applause, but with folders.

Jason Cipriani / CNET

5. Widgets have a new look and a new home

You no longer have to envy your Android toting friends – iPhone can now have widgets on the home screen. It is right.

What: Instead of limiting widgets to Today View that live on the left side of the Home screen, you can now add widgets directly to your screen, with multiple sizes as an option. There’s even a Smart Stack widget that displays information from multiple apps when it thinks you need it. For example, it may show you the weather widget followed by your calendar widget when you wake up in the morning.

How: You can display your Today View widgets that you always have on the left of your main screen, or you can drag and drop a widget from Today View to your Home screen. Alternatively, when editing your app layout, you can press + ‌ log in in the upper left corner of the screen, take up the widget gallery and see which widgets you can add to your device.

Widgets can be attached to your home screen and changed as needed.

Animated image by Jason Cipriani / CNET

6. Picture-in-picture is a convenient tool you will love

IPad ($ 285 at Back Market) has been able to play a video in picture-in-picture mode for a few years now, and it’s finally coming to the iPhone.

What: Picture in Picture creates a thumbnail of a video that continues to play even when you use another app or screen. It appears when you want to switch to use another part of the phone, but you do not want to stop the video.

How: When you watch a video in a supported app, such as Twitch, and swipe to return to the home screen, the video continues to play, only in a smaller window. You can drag PiP around the screen, adjust the size by pinching and zooming, and even temporarily hide outside the edge of the screen. When you are done, just press X to close the video. Oh, and let’s not forget – Picture in picture, as it’s called, also works with FaceTime video calling and these other apps besides. Huzzah!

There is so much more Apple announced during WWDC, and we have a summary of everything.

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You can keep a FaceTime conversation running in iOS 14 while viewing your schedule or any other iPhone screen.

Patrick Holland / CNET


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