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
Related Forum: iOS 14

Top Rated Comments

LeeW Avatar
16 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
16 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
16 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
16 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
16 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
16 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

calculatorapp

iOS 11 Bug: Typing 1+2+3 Quickly in the Calculator App Won't Get You 6

Tuesday October 24, 2017 2:03 pm PDT by
A bug in the built-in Calculator app in iOS 11 is getting some major attention this week, despite the fact that it's been around since iOS 11 was in beta testing. At issue is a calculator animation that causes some symbols to be ignored when calculations are entered in rapid succession. You can try it for yourself: Type 1+2+3 and then the equals sign into the Calculator app quickly. Due to...
gradiente iphone white

Brazilian Electronics Company Revives Long-Running iPhone Trademark Dispute

Tuesday May 19, 2020 1:06 pm PDT by
Apple has been involved in a long-running iPhone trademark dispute in Brazil, which was revived today by IGB Electronica, a Brazilian consumer electronics company that originally registered the "iPhone" name in 2000. IGB Electronica fought a multi-year battle with Apple in an attempt to get exclusive rights to the "iPhone" trademark, but ultimately lost, and now the case has been brought to...
iPhone 13 Dummy Thumbnail 2

Full iPhone 13 Feature Breakdown: Everything Rumors Say We Can Expect

Tuesday August 31, 2021 7:50 am PDT by
With the launch of Apple's iPhone 13 lineup believed to be just a few weeks away, we have compiled all of the coherent rumors from our coverage over the past year to build a full picture of the features and upgrades coming to the company's new smartphones. For clarity, only explicit improvements, upgrades, and new features compared to the iPhone 12 lineup are listed. It is worth noting that...
original iphone

Phil Schiller Says iPhone Was 'Earth-Shattering' Ten Years Ago and Remains 'Unmatched' Today

Monday January 9, 2017 7:15 am PST by
To commemorate the tenth anniversary of the iPhone, Apple marketing chief Phil Schiller sat down with tech journalist Steven Levy for a wide-ranging interview about the smartphone's past, present, and future. The report first reflects upon the iPhone's lack of support for third-party apps in its first year. The argument inside Apple was split between whether the iPhone should be a closed...
iPhone 13 Dummy Thumbnail 2

Kuo: iPhone 13 to Feature LEO Satellite Communications to Make Calls and Texts Without Cellular Coverage

Sunday August 29, 2021 7:39 am PDT by
The iPhone 13 will feature low earth orbit (LEO) satellite communication connectivity to allow users to make calls and send messages in areas without 4G or 5G coverage, according to the reliable analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. In a note to investors, seen by MacRumors, Kuo explained that the iPhone 13 lineup will feature hardware that is able to connect to LEO satellites. If enabled with the relevant...
maxresdefault

New MacBook Pro Models Coming at WWDC, Suggests Leaker

Monday May 24, 2021 1:27 pm PDT by
New MacBook Pro models are coming at WWDC, according to leaker Jon Prosser who has a mixed track record when it comes to predicting Apple's plans. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Prosser provided no additional information, but there are new 14 and 16-inch MacBook Pro models in the works. The new MacBook Pros will feature the most radical redesign to the MacBook Pro ...
omg lightning cable comparison

Security Researcher Develops Lightning Cable With Hidden Chip to Steal Passwords

Thursday September 2, 2021 6:59 am PDT by
A normal-looking Lightning cable that can used to steal data like passwords and send it to a hacker has been developed, Vice reports. The "OMG Cable" compared to Apple's Lightning to USB cable. The "OMG Cable" works exactly like a normal Lightning to USB cable and can log keystrokes from connected Mac keyboards, iPads, and iPhones, and then send this data to a bad actor who could be over a...
iphone 12 colors 2021

iPhone 12 Colors: Deciding on The Right Color

Thursday November 5, 2020 8:35 am PST by
The iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro arrived last October in a range of color options, with entirely new hues available on both devices, as well as some popular classics. The 12 and 12 Pro have different color choices, so if you have your heart set on a particular shade, you might not be able to get your preferred model in that color. iPhone 12 mini and iPhone 12 The iPhone 12 mini and iPhone 12...
Top Stories 75 Thumbnail

Top Stories: Last-Minute iPhone 13 Rumors, Apple Announces App Store Changes, and More

Saturday September 4, 2021 6:00 am PDT by
The finish line is in sight! Apple's annual iPhone event is likely just a week or so away and all eyes will be on the company as it unveils the next version of its most popular product line. With any luck, we'll also see the next-generation Apple Watch and perhaps even some new AirPods. Other news this week saw Apple making some more changes to its App Store policies in response to a...
M1X MBP Feature

Leaker: Upcoming MacBook Pro to See Price Hike Over Current Model, Equal Performance Across 14 and 16-Inch Sizes

Tuesday August 24, 2021 5:28 am PDT by
The upcoming 14-inch MacBook Pro is set to be more expensive than the current 13-inch MacBook Pro and both the 14 and 16-inch models will offer the same performance, according to the leaker known as "Dylandkt." The leaker shared the information on Twitter, explaining that both of the upcoming MacBook Pro models, expected to come in 14 and 16-inch sizes, will feature the same performance due...