iOS 14's Compact Interface: Phone Calls, FaceTime, Siri and More

iOS 14 introduces several compact user interface elements that iPhone users have been requesting for years, such as a minimized phone call pop up that doesn't take over the entire screen and a smaller Siri window that doesn't dominate the display.

iOS 14 Compact 3d
This guide covers all of the new compact UI elements that Apple has added, but for more details on iOS 14 design changes, make sure to check out our Home Screen guide and our full iOS 14 roundup.

Phone Calls

When you're in the middle of using your ‌iPhone‌ and a phone call comes in, it's frustrating to have the incoming call take over the ‌iPhone‌'s display, especially if it's a spam call that you don't care about.

ios14incomingcallcollapsed
That's no longer a problem in iOS 14, because incoming phone calls are shown in a notification banner rather than a full incoming phone call display like in iOS 13.

Phone calls are only shown in banner format when your phone is unlocked and in use, so when your ‌iPhone‌ is locked, the Lock Screen interface where with the slide to unlock bar is still present.

You can tap on the decline button of incoming phone call banner to decline the call right away. Tapping on the accept button activates the call right in the banner interface, but if you tap outside of the accept/reject buttons the call opens in full screen as normal. If you swipe the banner away, you can continue to use your ‌iPhone‌ as normal while the phone rings in the background with a small icon shown over the time at the top left of the display.

If you tap a phone call banner and open the full display interface, you'll need to accept or decline the call to get out of the phone call view. If you've swiped the banner away, you can tap on the call icon in the upper left corner of the display to get to the call interface.

incomingcallcollapsedios14

FaceTime Calls

Incoming FaceTime calls in iOS 14 look the same as incoming phone calls when the ‌iPhone‌ is in use, showing up as a banner that can be swiped away or tapped to accept or decline a call. Note that ‌FaceTime‌ calls only show up in banner format when the ‌iPhone‌ is unlocked and in use. On the Lock Screen, ‌FaceTime‌ calls continue to take up the whole screen and will activate the camera.

ios14facetime
Tapping on a ‌FaceTime‌ call banner will extend the ‌FaceTime‌ call interface to the entire display as it works in iOS 13, where you can either decide to accept or decline the call. Tapping right on the "X" button will automatically decline the call from the banner, however.

Swiping the ‌FaceTime‌ banner away allows the ‌FaceTime‌ call to continue ringing in the background without disturbing you. You'll see the ‌FaceTime‌ icon over the time in the upper left corner of the display, which you can tap to get back to the ‌FaceTime‌ interface if you want to accept or decline the call. Otherwise, it rings in the background for a few seconds until it registers that you're not picking up.

facetimecollapsediconios14
Once you've tapped on a ‌FaceTime‌ call banner or icon, the ‌FaceTime‌ call expands to the full display and the only way to get out of the interface is to accept or decline the ‌FaceTime‌ call.

Third-Party VOIP Calls

Apple created a new API for the collapsed call interface that will let developers incorporate the feature into third-party VOIP apps like Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Skype, and tons more.

App developers will need to implement this API into their apps before their apps will be shown with the updated call interface.

Picture in Picture

Apple considers the new Picture in Picture mode on ‌iPhone‌ to be part of the updated compact user interface in iOS 14. With Picture in Picture mode you can watch TV shows, movies, and videos from apps and the web while doing other things on your ‌iPhone‌ with the content shown in a windowed view.

pictureinpicturesafari2
There's a ‌FaceTime‌ Picture in Picture feature that's even more useful because there's now a way to carry on a ‌FaceTime‌ conversation while also using your ‌iPhone‌ as normal. In iOS 13, exiting out of the ‌FaceTime‌ app pauses the ‌FaceTime‌ video for the person you're speaking with, but in iOS 14, exiting out of ‌FaceTime‌ collapses the video view into a small window so both parties can continue their discussion.

We have a Picture in Picture guide with complete details on how the feature works, so make sure to check that out for more info on the Picture in Picture feature.

Siri

‌Siri‌ requests in iOS 14 are also part of the compact interface, and activating ‌Siri‌ no longer takes over the entire ‌iPhone‌. Instead, when you activate ‌Siri‌ through a "Hey ‌Siri‌" voice command or through a physical button, a circular, animated ‌Siri‌ icon pops up at the bottom of the ‌iPhone‌'s display.

siriios14
The ‌Siri‌ icon moves as you speak to ‌Siri‌ so you can be sure the voice assistant is listening and picking up what you have to say. Queries are also displayed in a more compact view with information provided at the top in a banner format.

If, for example, you ask ‌Siri‌ the time or the weather, the information is shown in a banner-style popup at the top of the display.

Shorter information is shown in smaller banners, but longer questions may have banners that take up more space. This is especially true of results that involve web searches.

siriios14full
Certain requests, such as those that show off ‌Siri‌'s personality like jokes or product information requests, show the results right above the ‌Siri‌ icon.

sirijokesios14
Note that in iOS 14, ‌Siri‌ does not display the text of what you've spoken in order to keep the interface as small as possible, but if you enable the "Always Show Speech" feature, what you're speaking will show up in a small popup over the ‌Siri‌ icon. It's useful to see what ‌Siri‌ hears to make sure the voice assistant is properly interpreting commands.

Turn on "Always Show Speech" by opening up Settings, going to ‌Siri‌ & Search, tapping on ‌Siri‌ Feedback and then toggling on the speech option. You can also turn on captions, which will show captions for all spoken text.

siricaptions
In any ‌Siri‌ result, while the ‌Siri‌ interface leaves the background of the ‌iPhone‌ visible so you can continue to see what you were doing prior to the ‌Siri‌ request, there is no option to interact with other apps while the ‌Siri‌ interface is open. Attempting to tap elsewhere on the display while ‌Siri‌ is active closes the ‌Siri‌ interface.

After activating ‌Siri‌ the first time with a voice command or a physical button, the ‌Siri‌ interface stays open until you tap out of it, so you can tap on the ‌Siri‌ icon to initiate another ‌Siri‌ request. With ‌Siri‌ results that are interactive like web search results or translations, you can tap in the ‌Siri‌ window to execute the search, hear the spoken translation, and more. All in all, ‌Siri‌ in iOS 14 works much the same as it does in iOS 13, but in a way that feels like it's less of an interruption to general ‌iPhone‌ and iPad usage.

Along with the redesign, ‌Siri‌ has a few other new features in iOS 14 such as support for sending audio messages, getting cycling directions, and sharing an Apple Maps ETA with a contact, with how tos covering these new features available below.

Guide Feedback

Have questions about the interface changes in iOS 14, know of a feature we left out, or want to offer feedback on this guide? Send us an email here. For more on everything new in iOS 14, make sure to check out our iOS 14 roundup and our other iOS 14 guides.

Top Rated Comments

C DM Avatar
20 months ago

Phone calls need a ghost button. So, people don't get dumped straight to voicemail but the ringing and any notification goes away.


Swiping away the new incoming call notification/banner basically does that -- that's essentially one of the bigger changes that is in iOS 14 in regards to calls.
Score: 18 Votes (Like | Disagree)
AngerDanger Avatar
20 months ago

Wouldn’t those incoming call alerts be better placed at the bottom of the screen?

While the Siri results would be better placed at the top, since they don’t require interaction by touch.
I don't think so; imagine you're using the keyboard when you get a call and accidentally accept when you go to press a key.
Score: 18 Votes (Like | Disagree)
simonmet Avatar
20 months ago
Wouldn’t those incoming call alerts be better placed at the bottom of the screen?

While the Siri results would be better placed at the top, since they don’t require interaction by touch.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
velocityg4 Avatar
20 months ago
Phone calls need a ghost button. So, people don't get dumped straight to voicemail but the ringing and any notification goes away.



Attachment Image
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
iDento Avatar
20 months ago

Okay, but can they give me an interface that answers a call the first time I swipe or press the green "answer" button rather than having to do it 5-10 times and sometimes having it never register?
It‘s a beta thing.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
simonmet Avatar
20 months ago

I don't think so; imagine you're using the keyboard when you get a call and accidentally accept when you go to press a key.
Ah good point. I didn’t think about that.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

iPhone 14 Mock pill and hole thumb

ProMotion Now Expected to Remain Exclusive to iPhone 14 Pro Models, Not Expand to Entire Lineup

Sunday January 16, 2022 8:56 am PST by
Continuing the tradition set with the iPhone 13 Pro, only the highest-end iPhone 14 models will feature Apple's ProMotion display technology, according to a respected display analyst. Ross Young, who on multiple occasions has detailed accurate information about Apple's future products, said in a tweet that ProMotion will not be expanded to the entire iPhone 14 lineup and will remain...
safari icon blue banner

Safari Bug Allows Websites to Track Your Recent Browsing Activity in Real Time [Updated]

Sunday January 16, 2022 3:37 pm PST by
A bug in WebKit's implementation of a JavaScript API called IndexedDB can reveal your recent browsing history and even your identity, according to a blog post shared on Friday by browser fingerprinting service FingerprintJS. In a nutshell, the bug allows any website that uses IndexedDB to access the names of IndexedDB databases generated by other websites during a user's browsing session....
ipad air 4 video

New iPad Air Rumored to Launch This Spring With A15 Chip, 5G, Center Stage Camera, and More

Saturday January 15, 2022 8:05 pm PST by
Apple is planning to release a fifth-generation iPad Air with similar features as the sixth-generation iPad mini, including an A15 Bionic chip, 12-megapixel Ultra Wide front camera with Center Stage support, 5G for cellular models, and Quad-LED True Tone flash, according to Japanese blog Mac Otakara. Citing reliables sources in China, the report claims that the new iPad Air could be...
Unlikely Products 2022 Feature

Six Rumored Apple Products You're Unlikely to See This Year

Saturday January 15, 2022 2:06 pm PST by
Much has been said about what consumers could see from Apple in 2022, but the company is also working on a handful of rumored products that aren't expected to be unveiled for at least another 12 months, and in some cases a lot longer. Of course, that's assuming they get released at all. Apple works on many potential products some of which ultimately never see the light of day. With that in...
AirPods Pro Gen 3 Mock Feature Red

AirPods Pro 2 Could Start a New Accessory Ecosystem

Friday January 14, 2022 2:34 am PST by
Apple's second-generation AirPods Pro could arrive alongside a new series of accessories, recent leaked images suggest. Alleged leaked photos of the next-generation AirPods Pro obtained by MacRumors showed a charging case with a metal loop on the side for attaching a strap. Apple has not used this design for any of its other AirPod models and it is unclear why it would be added in this...
netflix2

Netflix Again Raises Prices for All Plans, 4K Streaming Now $20 Per Month

Friday January 14, 2022 12:46 pm PST by
Netflix today updated the prices for its streaming plans, and all of its offerings are now more expensive. The Basic plan is now priced at $9.99 per month, the Standard plan is priced at $15.49 per month, and the Premium plan is priced at $19.99 per month. The Basic plan is $1 more expensive, up from $8.99 per month. This plan allows users to watch on just one screen at a time, and it limits ...
tesla carplay solution

Developer Showcases Apple CarPlay Workaround for Teslas

Monday January 17, 2022 7:24 am PST by
A Tesla Model 3 owner has resorted to a workaround to implement Apple CarPlay in his vehicle, amid no sign of official support from Tesla (via Tesla North). Apple CarPlay and Apple Music support are among the most-requested Tesla features, but with no indication that Tesla is willing to implement Apple CarPlay in its vehicles, Polish developer Michał Gapiński took matters into his own...
top stories 20220115

Top Stories: iPhone 14 Pro Rumors, iCloud Private Relay Controversy, iOS 15.2.1 Released, and More

Saturday January 15, 2022 6:00 am PST by
Hole-punch? Pill? Hole-punch and pill? Rumors about what the front camera system on the iPhone 14 Pro will look like are evolving rapidly, and it now appears we might be getting a novel but potentially controversial design later this year. Other major stories this week included some confusion and controversy about iCloud Private Relay being disabled for some T-Mobile customers, increasing...