July 28, 2021

Apple launches iOS 14 and iPadOS 14: worth updating? – News

Apple rolled out its brand new operating systems for the iPhone and iPad over the past week. At first glance, the most important ‘news’ mainly consist of gadgets that have been around for years on the Android platform. So it’s time to take a closer look at iOS and iPadOS 14.

The most important ‘novelties’ of iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 (in the future we will only mention iOS) do raise eyebrows a bit. The updated widgets, picture-in-picture and – above all – an App Library: they are all features that have been part of the Android operating system for many years. Now the two tech giants often borrow each other, but usually that happens more subtly.

Widgets aren’t new to iOS, but the informational sidekicks (they show messages from the real apps) weren’t the epitome of flexibility. In iOS 14, you can finally just park them between the apps on your home screens and also adjust their size… just like in Android. What is new is Smart Stack: the option to stack multiple widgets on top of each other, after which you select the desired copy with a swipe. The ‘smart’ lies in the fact that a Smart Stack automatically places the most relevant widget on top: the news highlights in the morning, followed by, for example, your calendar appointments.

Examples of widgets on various iPhone models. © Apple

Android’s App Drawer, but smarter

The App Library that Apple introduces in iOS 14 is initially very reminiscent of Android’s App Drawer (or App Drawer): a storage place for all your apps, including those that you don’t necessarily want to pin to a home screen. The iPhone has never had such a place, so that in the long run a lot of apps ended up on (too many different) home screens unsorted.

The only way to bring order to chaos was to manually organize the apps into folders. With the App Library, which will soon be found on the last home screen, this is no longer necessary. New applications that you download are automatically added to the library, and immediately placed in the correct category. Think of folders with the labels Entertainment, Social media of Recently added. There is also a folder suggestions, with apps that iOS 14 thinks you can use right now, for example based on your location, date or time of day. Still a few important differences with Android’s App Drawer, which lacks that bit of intelligence.

An example of an App Clip, to pay for a cup of coffee in an instant., Apple
An example of an App Clip, to pay for a cup of coffee in an instant. © Apple

Scan codes for quick actions

The new iOS 14 also marks the debut for App Clips: small parts of apps that you can quickly call up for a specific purpose. There will also be a special App Clip code that users can scan, but it works just as well via NFC tags and QR codes. Examples of applications are renting an electric scooter, paying for a cup of coffee or paying for parking.

Incidentally, the full app does not yet have to be on the device to be able to use an App Clip. According to Apple, the technology is therefore a handy additional way to discover new apps. To guarantee that an App Clip can actually appear on the screen when you need it, Apple’s gem should not be larger than 10 megabytes in size.

Other new iOS 14 features include a Google Translate-style translation app, improved group chats in Messages (plus Memoji that can age or wear a face mask), navigation aid for cyclists (not yet for Europe), and electric car drivers in the Maps- app, and digital car keys.

The improved Messages app makes group chats a lot more organized and also comes with new Memoji., Apple
The improved Messages app makes group chats a lot more organized and also comes with new Memoji. © Apple

In summary

iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 are not the operating systems of the big surprises, and you could even say that Apple has looked very closely at Android this time. Still, there are quite a few innovations that will make the life of the iPhone and iPad owner easier, whereby we are especially curious about the elaboration of the App Clips.

We should also not forget that the California tech giant’s current priority is not its mobile operating systems, but the hardware for its Mac computers, and more specifically the switch from Intel processors to their own ARM power source. . With that in mind, iOS 14 and iPaOS 14 certainly don’t disappoint.

The most important ‘novelties’ of iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 (in the future we will only mention iOS) do raise eyebrows a bit. The updated widgets, picture-in-picture and – above all – an App Library: they are all features that have been part of the Android operating system for many years. Now, the two tech giants often borrow each other, but it usually happens more subtly. Widgets aren’t new to iOS, but the informative sidekicks (they show messages from the real apps) weren’t the epitome of flexibility. In iOS 14, you can finally just park them between the apps on your home screens and also adjust their size… just like in Android. What is new is Smart Stack: the option to stack multiple widgets on top of each other, after which you select the desired copy with a swipe. The ‘smart’ lies in the fact that a Smart Stack automatically places the most relevant widget on top: the news highlights in the morning, then, for example, your calendar appointments. very reminiscent of Android’s App Drawer (or App Drawer): a storage place for all your apps, including those you don’t necessarily want to pin to a home screen. The iPhone has never had such a place, so that in the long run a lot of apps ended up on (too many different) home screens unsorted. The only way to create order out of chaos was to manually store the apps in folders. With the App Library, which will soon be found on the last home screen, this is no longer necessary. New applications that you download are automatically added to the library, and immediately placed in the correct category. Think of folders with the labels Entertainment, Social Media or Recently Added. There’s also a Suggestions folder, which contains apps iOS 14 thinks you might find useful at the time, such as based on your location, date, or time of day. A few important differences with Android’s App Drawer, which lacks that bit of intelligence. The new iOS 14 also marks the debut for App Clips: small parts of apps that you can quickly call up for a specific purpose. There will also be a special App Clip code that users can scan, but it works just as well via NFC tags and QR codes. Examples of applications are renting an electric scooter, paying for a cup of coffee or paying for parking. Incidentally, the full app does not yet have to be on the device to be able to use an App Clip. According to Apple, the technology is therefore a handy additional way to discover new apps. To ensure that an App Clip can actually appear on the screen when you need it, Apple’s gem must not exceed 10 megabytes in size. Other new features of iOS 14 include a translation app à la Google Translate, improved group chats in Messages (plus Memoji that can age or wear masks), navigation aids for cyclists (not yet for Europe) and electric car drivers in the Maps app, and digital car keys. iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 are not the operating systems of the big surprises, and you could even say that Apple has looked very closely at Android this time. Nevertheless, there are quite a few innovations that will make the life of the iPhone and iPad owner easier, whereby we are especially curious about the elaboration of the App Clips. We must also not forget that the priority of the tech giant from California is currently not with his mobile operating systems, but with the hardware for his Mac computers, and more specifically with the switch from Intel processors to their own ARM power source. With that in mind, iOS 14 and iPaOS 14 certainly don’t disappoint us.

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