iOS 14 is the fourteenth and current major release of the iOS mobile operating system developed by Apple Inc. for their iPhone and iPod Touch lines. Announced at the company's Worldwide Developers Conference on June 22, 2020 as the successor to iOS 13, it was released to the public on September 16, 2020.
|A version of the iOS operating system|
iOS 14 running on an iPhone 12 Pro showcasing the new widgets.
|Source model||Closed, with open-source components|
|September 16, 2020|
|Latest release||14.4 (18D52) (January 26, 2021 )|
|Latest preview||14.5 beta 2 (18E5154f) (February 16, 2021 )|
|Kernel type||Hybrid (XNU)|
|Default user interface||Cocoa Touch (multi-touch, GUI)|
|License||Proprietary software with open-source components|
|Preceded by||iOS 13|
|Articles in the series|
|iPadOS 14 (derived from iOS 14)|
The first developer beta of iOS 14 was released on June 22, 2020 and the first public beta was released on July 9, 2020. iOS 14 was officially released on September 16, 2020. There was no public beta testing of 14.1.
|14.0||18A373||September 16, 2020||Initial release|
|14.0.1||18A393||September 24, 2020||Bug fixes, including for an issue that could cause default browser and mail settings to reset after restarting the device|
|14.1||18A8395||October 20, 2020||Initial release for the iPhone 12 and the iPhone 12 Pro|
Updates to widgets, App Library, and incoming phone calls with Siri. Also includes pinned conversations, Memoji improvements, cycling directions, and App Clips
|14.2||18B92||November 5, 2020||Introduces a Shazam toggle in Control Center, revamped media controls, face detection in the Magnifier app, over 100 new emoji and eight new wallpapers in dark and light mode|
|18B111||November 18, 2020||iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro models only|
|14.2.1||18B121||November 19, 2020|
|14.3||18C66||December 14, 2020|
|14.4||18D52||January 26, 2021||
|14.5 beta 2||18E5154f||February 16, 2021||
Legend: Past Current Beta
App Clips are a new feature expanding on the functionality of the App Store. Intended as a dynamic feature rather than a permanently installed app, App Clips are extremely pared-back with very few OS permissions. At the time of announcement, only the use of Apple Pay and Sign in with Apple were shown.
CarPlay was updated to allow users to set a built-in wallpaper. Route management in Apple Maps was extended with features alerting the user to available stops, such as parking and food ordering. Additionally, route planning for electric vehicles now considers the location of charging stations.
Car keys allow an iPhone to act as a virtual car key using NFC technology with compatible cars. The first compatible car showcased by Apple at the WWDC 2020 was the 2021 BMW 5 Series. Keys are accessible from the Wallet app. Keys may be shared; sharing may be temporary or given restrictions. In the event the iPhone is out of battery, car keys can still be accessed via the power reserve of the iPhone for about five hours. Car keys require an iPhone released in 2018 or later.
Unlike previous versions, in which icons on the home screen were rearranged in order and corresponded directly to apps, users may add app icons and newly-introduced app widgets; pages may be added or deleted at will. This allows users to hide infrequently-used apps and avoid clutter.
To the left of the first page, the Today View is replaced by a scrollable widget UI. Widgets may be placed on the home screen to sit amongst app icons; they may be resized to two-by-two, horizontal two-by-four, or four-by-four icons. Widgets of the same size may be stacked over each other and swiped between for convenience; a Smart Stack may be placed which automatically shows the most relevant widget to the user based on the time of day.
To the right of the last page, the App Library lists and categorizes apps installed on the device. Apps within each category are arranged based on the frequency of their usage. In addition to a category for suggested apps, a "recent" category lists apps recently installed alongside App Clips recently accessed. Users can search for the app they want or browse them in alphabetical order.
A series of changes were made in iOS 14 to reduce the visual space taken by previously full-screen interfaces; such interfaces now appear and hover in front of an app, allowing for touch (and therefore multitasking) on the app behind. Voice calling interfaces, including Phone, or other third-party apps such as Skype, are made substantially thinner, taking approximately as much space as a notification. Siri's interface is now also compact.
Picture-in-picture allows users to continue watching video playback (or take voice calls, such as with FaceTime) in a thumbnail-sized view after leaving the app. This view may be resized with pinch gestures, or moved off-screen temporarily and re-summoned for multitasking. Picture-in-picture is currently supported by Safari and FaceTime, along with several third party apps, including Disney+, ESPN, HBO Max, Netflix, and Prime Video. This feature was not available in the YouTube app at launch; Google subsequently announced that picture-in-picture will be supported on YouTube in a forthcoming update, but only for subscribers to YouTube Premium.
Search and SiriEdit
Improvements to the Search feature on the home screen were made, including a refined UI, quick launcher for apps, more detailed web search, shortcuts to in-app search, and improved as-you-type search suggestions.
While made compact so that content below is visible, Siri's interface does not allow for simultaneous multitasking, as designers felt it unclear how the interface would then be dismissed. Siri can now answer a broader set of questions and translate more languages. Users can also share their ETA with contacts and ask for cycling directions.
App Store now displays the permissions required for each application (so users can see and understand permissions required by application prior to downloading it). Users may change location permissions to inform the app of an approximate location, preserving privacy when exact location is unnecessary.
Notifications for microphone, camera, and clipboard usageEdit
A recording indicator appears at the top of the screen whenever an app uses the microphone (orange dot indicator) or camera (green dot indicator). Likewise, a notification appears when the clipboard is accessed by an app.
Restricted access to Apple's ID for AdvertisersEdit
During the iOS 14 announcement, Apple pledged to improve users' privacy by limiting apps' access to Apple's ID for Advertisers (IDFA). This change was postponed "until early 2021 in iOS/iPadOS 14.5" to let developers migrate to more privacy-friendly alternatives.
Wi-Fi MAC address randomizationEdit
Local network restrictionEdit
A new privacy option can restrict certain applications from discovering and interacting with other devices on a home network through Bonjour or other network protocols.
One of the major changes in iOS 14 is the introduction of a new, tightly sandboxed 'BlastDoor' service which is now responsible for almost all parsing of untrusted data in iMessages.
A specially-crafted message sent to a target can no longer interact with the file system or perform network operations.
What BlastDoor does is inspect all inbound messages in a secure, sandboxed environment, which prevents any malicious code inside of a message from interacting with the rest of the operating system or accessing user data.
If the camera module is not detectable as genuine Apple component, the system will warn the user.
ARKit 4 introduced Depth API for new access to depth information from the LiDAR sensors on the iPad Pro and iPhone 12. ARKit 4 also introduced Location Anchor, which uses data from Apple Maps and enables Augmented reality experiences to be placed on geographical coordinates and other smaller improvements.
- The Emoji keyboard was updated with a search function. iOS 14 adds 20 new hair and head wear styles to Memoji and Animoji, including face mask options for Memoji.
- The user's email and browser apps – by default the stock Mail app and Safari – may now be changed.
- On iPhones released in 2017 and later (iPhone 8 and 8 Plus, iPhone X), a new accessibility feature allows users to perform common tasks by double-tapping the back of the device via the phone’s accelerometer (e.g. opening Control Center or running a shortcut).
- Users with devices that do not automatically read NFC tags may add a shortcut on the Control Center to do so.
- iOS 14 introduces support for the VP9 codec, allowing playback of YouTube videos in 4K resolution.
- In the Notes app, it is now easier to find notes using an improved "on-device intelligence."
- The Weather app now shows minute-by-minute forecasts for the next hour in the United States. Apple now uses data from their recently acquired service Dark Sky instead of only The Weather Channel.
- Apple Arcade now has direct integration with Game Center.
- The skeuomorphic paper texture in the Notes app has been removed.
- The scroll wheel picker used for time has been reduced in size with the option to use a number pad.
- A new Accessibility feature, called Sound Recognition, allows iPhones to listen for predefined sounds and issue an alert whenever the specific audio is detected. This way an iPhone can detect fire, various sirens, animals, multiple household noises, and a baby that's crying or someone that's shouting.
- The Music icon was redesigned with a red gradient, similar to the icon used in iOS 7 through 8.3.
- The iOS 12 wallpaper was removed, and eight new wallpapers were added in iOS 14.2 beta 4.
- Magnifier is now a separate app that can be accessed outside of the Control Center.
- People Detection was added in Measure on iOS 14.2.
- Unlock iPhone equipped with FaceID by Apple Watch while wearing a face mask on iOS 14.5 and watchOS 7.4.
The Calendar app now supports a Julian calendar format for years earlier than October 15, 1582.
The Camera app gained several new features. Features include:
- The ability to mirror photos taken from the front camera on iPhone XS and later.
- QR code reading enhancements.
- Exposure compensation control on iPhone 11 and iPhone SE (2nd generation) and later.
- Quick toggles in Video mode to change resolution and frame rate for all iPhones. Previously, this feature was limited to the iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro.
- QuickTake video function for iPhone XR and iPhone XS.
- Camera UI from iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro for the iPhone XR and the iPhone XS.
- The ability to capture burst photos and QuickTake video with volume buttons on supported devices.
- An updated Night mode capture experience on the iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro.
Improvements were also made in shot-to-shot performance. According to Apple, photos can be shot up to 90% faster, time to first shot is now up to 25% faster, and Portrait shot-to-shot is up to 15% faster.
On iPhone XS and later, FaceTime now automatically adjusts the visual appearance of eyes to account for the camera being above where a caller's eyes are displayed, allowing for direct two-way eye contact. Additionally, if a caller is using sign language in a call with multiple people, their window will be focused on accordingly.
FaceTime now supports picture-in-picture mode. This allows users to continue seeing the other person while multitasking between other apps. Double tapping on the FaceTime window allows for the size to be changed to small, medium, or large. A single tap expands the window back to full screen.
The Home app received design changes to emphasize suggested accessories alongside those marked as favorite. In addition, a major set of automation capabilities were added for use with compatible HomeKit devices; this automation requires the presence of an iPad, HomePod or Apple TV to facilitate on-device processing.
Home security cameras may be instructed to only alert the user of activity if it occurs in a preselected activity zone. In addition, facial recognition performed in Photos app may be used to alert based on recognized people, with additional integration for use with smart doorbells.
Smart lighting products which support color temperatures may be instructed to match a preset color temperature setting. As the presence of blue light is a major zeitgeber – a factor which influences the perception of time with regards to circadian rhythm – this feature is designed to encourage activity in the day and calmness in the morning and evening.
Group chats using iMessage may be given a custom image, a Memoji or an emoji. Users may now mention other users, and change notification settings to only be notified when explicitly mentioned. Messages may be replied to with inline replies, allowing for simultaneous conversation threads and see the replies in the general conversation or as a separate thread.
Apple Maps will now give users access to cycling routes, providing information including elevation and stairs. It also provides users with multiple options, suggesting routes with less busy streets. Cycling directions will be available at launch in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Shanghai, and Beijing. Apple announced they will continue to roll out their enhanced maps detail to countries beyond the United States, including Canada, the United Kingdom and Ireland, and more in the future.
Apple also introduced EV routing, which allows users to take charging stations into account while planning their route and choose a route where they will be able to recharge when they need to. This feature requires integration with the car. Apple is currently working with Ford and BMW to implement this feature with their electric vehicles.
Curated guides for various places around the world have been added, which suggest where to eat, shop, and explore.
A web page translation tool has been added to Safari in seven languages: English, Spanish, Simplified Chinese, French, German, Russian and Brazilian Portuguese. This feature was only available in the United States and Canada at launch, but has started rolling out to more countries since then.
Introduced in iOS 14, the stock Translate app allows users to translate voice and text between 11 languages: English, Spanish, Mandarin Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Russian, German, French, Italian, Brazilian Portuguese, and Arabic. When rotated to landscape view, the app features an "attention mode," making it easier for someone to read a translation. It can be used during verbal conversations between speakers of different languages. The Translate app can auto-detect which of the two chosen languages is being spoken and convert it to the other language.
Improvements made to translation are integrated with Siri, and pages may be translated inline in Safari.
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