First Look: See iOS 14 in Action With Home Screen Widgets, App Library, Subtle Call Alerts and More

Apple yesterday unveiled iOS 14, the newest version of the operating system designed for the iPhone, and we thought we'd go hands on with the new software to give MacRumors readers a sneak peek at all the features.


iOS 14 brings some useful new interface changes, including a revamped Home screen. Widgets have been redesigned, and for the first time, they can be dragged out of the Today center and placed right on the Home screen among your apps.

ios14homescreen
You can choose which widgets you want to use, which app page you want them on, and how big the widget should be, which makes ‌widgets‌ a whole lot more useful because they can be positioned front and center. Up to 10 ‌widgets‌ can be stacked up, and there's even a Smart Stack widget that will automatically display an appropriate widget based on ‌iPhone‌ usage and time of day.

ios14widgets
Along with ‌widgets‌, app pages can be hidden from the Home screen for a cleaner and more customizable look. All of your apps are still accessible thanks to a new App Library feature, which may be one of the best improvements in the update. Swipe all the way to the from right to left on the ‌iPhone‌ to see all of your apps organized into neat little folders.

ios14widgets2
You can search to find an app here, tap on a folder to see its entire contents, or check out the Suggestions folder where Apple makes app recommendations based on usage habits.

ios14applibrary
Siri in ‌iOS 14‌ is smarter and can access more data sources to provide better answers to complex questions, but even better, ‌Siri‌ no longer takes up the entire ‌iPhone‌ display when activated.

There's an animated ‌Siri‌ icon that pops up at the bottom of the ‌iPhone‌ when you summon ‌Siri‌, and most ‌Siri‌ results also show up in smaller banners at the top of the screen, no longer interrupting what you're doing on your ‌iPhone‌. Ask for the weather, for example, and it shows up in a small, dismissible banner.

ios14siriinterface
Apple also made another major quality of life improvement that users have been wanting for years now, and phone calls, FaceTime calls, VoIP calls, and more now show up as banners and don't take over the whole screen.

ios14phonecallsinterface
The Maps app received a major overhaul with cycling directions for bike riders and commuters. It features bike paths, lanes, and bike friendly roads, plus info on elevation and incline levels for avoiding stairs. For electric vehicles, there's now an option to create a route that includes charging stations.

ios14cyclingdirections
Also new to Maps is a Guides feature that allows trusted brands and Apple partners to create guides highlighting notable attractions, places to eat, and more in various cities that you visit. You can create your own Guides too - it's the same as Collections from iOS 13, just with a new name.

The Weather app includes some features from Dark Sky, the app that Apple purchased back in March. It adds info on severe weather events, a next-hour precipitation chart, and minute-by-minute precipitation readings when rain is forecast, which is limited to the U.S. for now.

ios14rainforecast
Apple added some great new features to the Messages app, many of which enhance group chats. Up to nine important conversations can be pinned to the top of Messages so you can keep an eye on the chats that matter most, and there's a new inline reply feature that lets you reply to a specific message in a standard chat or a group chat.

ios14pinnedmessages
Mentions in Messages have been added, so if you want to get someone's attention in a group chat, you can @mention them with their name and it'll pop up a notification even if they have the group chat muted because it's noisy. There are also new options for choosing images for groups, with emojis and Memoji icons.

ios14mentionsmessages
Speaking of Memoji, Apple added new Memoji customization options. You can select new hair styles, headwear, or masks, and there are more age options. New Memoji stickers are available for hug, fist bump, and blush.

Apple made an improvement to emoji too, adding a much needed search feature. When you bring up the emoji interface there's now a search bar at the top so you can find a specific emoji by keyword.

macosemojipicker
A brand new Translate app expands on ‌Siri‌'s translate features in iOS 13, allowing you to type or speak text to have it translated to and from 11 languages that include Arabic, Chinese, English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish.

ios 14 translate app
Languages can be downloaded for on-device translation, and ‌Siri‌ can speak your translations for you. Pop the ‌iPhone‌ into landscape mode and it enters what Apple calls "Conversation Mode." In this mode, the app listens for either of the two languages it's set to, translating between each one so you can have a conversation with someone in another language.

Apple's long rumored Car Key feature was unveiled alongside ‌iOS 14‌, but it'll ultimately work with devices running ‌iOS 14‌ and iOS 13. Car Key lets your ‌iPhone‌ or Apple Watch be used in lieu of a physical key to lock, unlock, and start a car using NFC. It has some neat new features like sharing keys over Messages, and in the future, it's going to work without the need to even take your ‌iPhone‌ out of your pocket. Car Key needs to be implemented by car manufacturers and it's coming first to the BMW 5 Series next month.

bmw car key 2
There are a lot more features in ‌iOS 14‌, including tons of smaller changes, which we'll be covering in future videos. For more on what's new, you can also check out our iOS 14 roundup, which is in the process of being updated and will include a super detailed look at all of the changes introduced in ‌iOS 14‌.

Later this week, we'll have separate first look videos available for macOS Big Sur, iPadOS 14, and watchOS 7, so keep an eye out for those.

Related Roundups: iOS 14, iPadOS 14

Top Rated Comments

LeeW Avatar
7 months ago
I mean it all looks great, but I just hate to applaud Apple for adding things that should have already been there.
Score: 18 Votes (Like | Disagree)
newyorksole Avatar
7 months ago
Phone calls and Siri not taking up the entire screen on my iPhone are such welcome updates. I’m excited to have widgets and the new iMessage updates too.
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
TheDailyApple Avatar
7 months ago


Still no iCloud Mail read status sync

EPIC FAIL

I've got no clue what you're talking about. My iCloud mail syncs read status no problem.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
howispangler Avatar
7 months ago
Woah thanks for the love! That's my band in the screenshots! ha ha. I've been coming to this page for years! Really cool to see that here. ❤️?
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
roland.g Avatar
7 months ago
I was excited to see this video. Until I realized it was a landscape video of a device in portrait orientation so there is no way to watch it full screen.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Goldfrapp Avatar
7 months ago


I've got no clue what you're talking about. My iCloud mail syncs read status no problem.

No, it doesn't.

Apple says iCloud Mail does not support this feature: https://support.apple.com/en-ca/HT203545

You can't have something that Apple says doesn't exist.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

cook cbs this morning

CBS This Morning: Apple to Make 'Big Announcement' Tomorrow Morning

Tuesday January 12, 2021 8:46 am PST by
CBS This Morning today shared a short clip of an upcoming interview with Apple CEO Tim Cook in which addressing last week's events at the U.S. Capitol, with Cook saying "it's key that people be held accountable for it." Following the clip, Gayle King of CBS noted that the interview with Cook was not specifically arranged to address the current controversy over Parler and other repercussions, ...
ipad pro 2021 mysmartprice cad

Allegedly Leaked 2021 iPad Pro CAD Images Suggest Few Design Changes

Tuesday January 12, 2021 3:38 am PST by
Tech blogs 91mobile and MySmartPrice on Tuesday posted a series of allegedly leaked factory CAD images of Apple's upcoming fifth-generation 11-inch iPad Pro. Rumors suggest Apple plans to announce two new iPad Pro models in both 11-inch and 12.9-inch versions, and today's images offer perhaps the clearest indication yet that Apple's next-generation iPad Pros will have minimal, if any,...
lg ultrafine oled

CES 2021: LG Unveils First OLED UltraFine Monitor and 39.7" UltraWide 5K2K Monitor

Monday January 11, 2021 7:57 am PST by
LG has today announced the UltraFine Display OLED Pro with HDR individual pixel dimming, a 31.5-inch display, and over 8 million pixels, as well a new 39.7-inch UltraWide 5K2K monitor. The newest addition to LG's popular series of high-end UltraFine monitors features an OLED display that covers 99 percent of the DCI-P3 color space and 99 percent of the Adobe RGB color space. The display...
dell ultrasharp 40 5k2k

CES 2021: Dell Introduces 40-Inch 5K2K Ultrawide Monitor With Thunderbolt 3 Connectivity for Macs

Sunday January 10, 2021 9:21 am PST by
Dell this week unveiled a series of new monitors, and there is one in particular that stands out for Mac users: the UltraSharp 40 Curved WUHD Monitor. A recipient of a CES 2021 Innovation Award, the UltraSharp 40 or "U4021QW" is the world's first 40-inch ultrawide curved monitor with a 5120×2160 resolution, also known as 5K2K or WUHD. This is not a true 5K resolution and instead works out...
kensington studiodock

CES 2021: Kensington's New StudioDock Combines iPad Pro Docking Station With iPhone and AirPods Chargers

Monday January 11, 2021 7:19 am PST by
As part of the all-digital CES 2021, accessory maker Kensington today unveiled the StudioDock, an iPad Pro docking station that also includes built-in iPhone and AirPods wireless charging and an optional Apple Watch charger. A recipient of a CES 2021 Innovation Award, the StudioDock greatly expands an iPad Pro's connectivity options with three USB-A ports, one USB-C port, one HDMI 2.0 port,...
Apple and Hyundai feature

Apple and Hyundai to Sign Apple Car Deal by March With Production Beginning in 2024

Sunday January 10, 2021 11:22 am PST by
Apple and Hyundai will reach a partnership agreement for the upcoming Apple Car by March, according to a new report shared by Reuters, citing Korea IT News. Before being revised, the Korea IT News report said that the companies may either manufacture the electric vehicles at a Georgia factory owned by Kia Motors, a Hyundai Motor Group affiliate, or invest in a new facility in the United...
mac anti reflective coating issue

Apple's Anti-Reflective Coating Repair Program Still in Effect for Some MacBooks With New Mail-In Policy

Tuesday January 12, 2021 10:07 am PST by
In an internal memo obtained by MacRumors, Apple recently informed its network of Apple Authorized Service Providers that mail-in repair is now required for Mac notebooks with anti-reflective coating issues in the United States. The new policy went into effect January 4, 2021 and means that customers who take an eligible 12-inch MacBook or MacBook Pro exhibiting this issue to an Apple...
anker magnetic wireless pad

CES 2021: Anker Unveils New Magnetic Series Accessories, PowerWave Stand and More

Monday January 11, 2021 10:05 am PST by
Popular accessory maker Anker today unveiled a whole range of new products that will be coming out over the course of the next few months. There are a range of magnetic cases for the iPhone 12 that will work with MagSafe and non-MagSafe magnetic accessories, with the cases offering simple but protective designs. Anker's iPhone cases will come out in mid-January with prices ranging from...
AirPods Pro

New AirPods Pro and iPhone SE Rumored to Launch in April 2021

Saturday January 9, 2021 1:03 pm PST by
After sharing potential details about upcoming iPad mini, iPad, iPad Pro, and iPhone 13 models earlier this week, Japanese blog Mac Otakara now claims that Apple plans to release both second-generation AirPods Pro and a third-generation iPhone SE in April 2021, with the information once again coming from Chinese supplier sources. The report claims that the new AirPods Pro will come with a...
whatsapp wallpapers 1

WhatsApp Affirms User Privacy Following Backlash Over Data Sharing With Facebook

Tuesday January 12, 2021 6:39 am PST by
Following backlash after changing its terms and privacy policy to consolidate a significant amount of data sharing with Facebook, WhatsApp is now assuring users about the privacy measures built into its app. Last week, WhatsApp began informing users of updates to the app's terms of service and privacy policy. The updated agreements, which users must consent to in order to continue using...