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iOS 14: Top 5 Features you should know about

Last tuesday, Apple announced the latest versions of the Apple Watch and the iPad at the ‘Time Flies’ Event online. In the meantime, we will just have to wait a few more weeks before the launch of iPhone 12. During the event, Tim Cook confirmed that you can download iOS 14 starting from the next day. iOS 14 is full of great features and it will enable you to change how you interact with your apple devices, something unseen in the last few years.

I know you must be wondering whether you should upgrade your software just yet. iOS 14 is now available to download for iPhone 6s and newer devices and iPhone SE. We all know that last year, the first rollout of iOS 13 was full of problems along with software bugs. It was then established that users should instead wait for the iOS 13.1.

The beta versions of iOS 14 didn’t exactly face similar challenges. Additionally, as the developers only had 24 hours notice before the final release of iOS 13, there is a possibility that most of your apps aren’t updated yet. That being said, there are some amazing features that might prompt you to update your iPhone right away. Let us dive deeper into the top 5 salient features of iOS 14: 

Apple Messages

The Messages App from Apple has always been the best available app out there for mobile instant messages. However, it still faltered behind dedicated tools like Slack because of the feature limitations. At last, Apple has added a few excellent features. 

In Messages, you can now pin the most important messages to the top of the app. It is the best way to access messages with the frequent contacts without scrolling a long list of spams and unimportant messages.

The next major improvement comes in group chats. It is now possible to tag individual recipients, create threaded replies in a group chat and set push notifications to alert you only when someone in the group has tagged you. I do not believe that it will replace Slack anytime soon but the future certainly looks bright.

Widgets

Gone are the days when your Android-using friends used to tease you. The iPhone will now have widgets on your home screen. It is now possible to add widgets directly to the display in multiple sizes. This is much better than the limited widgets on the left side of the home screen. Additionally, there is a Smart Stack widget that displays multiple apps when you need it. For example, it can show you the calendar widget and the weather widget first thing in the morning. 

The Today View widget will stay to the left of your home screen like always, but now you can drag and drop a widget to the home screen. It is very simple to use. You can just tap on the + sign in the top left corner of the screen to bring the widget gallery and choose the ones which you want to add to your device. 

App Library

App Library is the new screen at the extreme right of your home screen. It automatically organizes your apps in specific folders based on the app category. The basic idea is to simplify the user experience by organizing the apps in a single place instead of having to search on the home screen. Additionally, there is a home screen feature now that allows you to hide the apps which you don’t use frequently.

You can use the App Library to open an app that is not displayed on your home screens. To access it, you can swipe from left to right on the home screen. You can either find the app icon from the auto-organized folders or use the search feature at the top. Also, there are two additional folders at the top: Recently Added and Suggestions. These folders will update the apps as and when you download new apps on your device.

Apple Translate App

Why use Google Translate when now you can use the translate app on your Apple device. iOS 14 has an integrated translate app that will enable you to convert text and have meaningful conversations with people who speak a different language. For now, it is possible to translate English, German, French, Chinese, Mandarin, Spanish, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Arabic, Russian and Portuguese.

When you open the app, you can either type the word or use the voice-to-text option to translate. Once you are done, it will automatically translate what you said into your chosen language. It is best suited when asking a quick question or if you want to hear how to pronounce the word.

Picture in Picture

The iPad has been able to play a video in the picture-in-picture mode for some years now and the Picture-in-Picture mode is now available on the iPhone. The Picture-in-Picture forms a thumbnail of the video that continues to play even when you exited the app. It will automatically appear when you want to reply to a text message while playing a YouTube video but don’t want to stop the video. It is very easy to drag the thumbnail around the screen and also resize it by pinching and zooming. The best part, it works for Facetime video too.

Looking at these developments, we loved the introduction of iOS 14 and now can’t wait for the improved version of the OS to feature alongside the much awaited iPhone 12. Due to advancement in iOS 14, there will be changes in iPhone app development too and we are excited about it.Which feature/s of iOS 14 have amazed you? You can let us know in the comment section below.

‘Time Flies’: Everything Apple announced at WWDC 2020

Earlier last week, we covered an article on rumours about iPhone 12 release date and its features. We also mentioned about “Time Flies”, Apple’s first fall event this year which didn’t feature the most awaited iPhone 12. As expected, Apple didn’t announce any new iPhones during the event but still had plenty of new devices to share. These include two new Apple Watch models and an iPad Air with a novel design. Additionally, Apple elaborated on its new Apple One subscription bundles and more important update about Fitness+. Let us discuss each new device and update in detail.

Apple Watch Series 6

Apple commenced the “Time Flies” event on Tuesday by announcing the Apple Watch Series 6. It has a novel health sensor which enables you to measure your blood oxygen saturation with the new watch. The Apple Watch Series 6 is equipped with a new S6 chip. Apple suggests that it is a dual-core processor based on the A13 Bionic in the iPhone 11.

Apple claims that the Watch Series 6’s screen can get 2.5 times brighter when you are outdoors along with an always-on altimeter. The new watch series 6 comes in a variety of new colours: a blue aluminium case, a gold stainless steel, a gray stainless steel and a Red model. Moreover, there are a number of watchfaces consisting of a watchface that displays a Memoji.

Apple also confirmed a new type of watch band, naming it the Solo Loop. A Solo Loop is a silicone watch band without a buckle. The Solo Loop is available in various sizes and in seven vibrant colors. For fashion enthusiasts, there’s also a braided Solo Loop available in five colors.

The Apple Watch Series 6 is a premium watch priced at $399 for a GPS version. It is available for pre-order now.

Apple Watch SE

Besides the Watch Series 6, Apple announced a new, more economical version of its wearable. The Apple Watch SE has more or less the same characteristics as its more expensive counterpart, including fitness tracking, heart rate monitoring and fall detection. It features the S5 chip, similar to Watch series 5 but has an extravagant display similar to Series 6. 

The only feature missing in the Watch SE is the latest sensor to measure blood oxygen level of the user. We think it was bound to happen with the price slash at $279 for the Watch SE. It is now available to pre-order on Apple’s website. All in all, we think it is one of the best announcements from the “Time Flies” event.

New iPad Air

This year, the iPad Air got a significant makeover. To begin, iPad Air introduced an iPad Pro-like design that will be offered in five dynamic colors. It also includes two new color variants: a blue and a green hue. It also consists of a new 10.9 inch Liquid Retina IPS display with 2360×1640 resolution on Apple’s True Tone Technology. This is in addition to the latest A14 chipset.

This year, Apple has included a new fingerprint sensor into the top power button to unlock the device. Additionally, now iPad Air also supports second gen Apple Pencil and the much hyped Magic Keyboard. Apple has also switched to USB-C with the new iPad Air. For pictures, the iPad Air has a single 12-megapixel camera. The surprise element is the stereo sound included in iPad Air’s speakers when it is placed horizontally.

Apple intents to release the new iPad Air along with the iPhone in October. It will be priced at $599 for a 64GB model with Wi-Fi only connectivity. The LTE model will be priced at $729 along with an upgrade to include 256GB storage for an additional $150.

Fitness+

Apple is about to offer yet another subscription model. This year, it is a workout service termed Fitness+. Tentatively, it will have 10 different exercises like cycling, strength training, yoga etc. that you will be able to access on your iPhone, iPad or Apple TV. Your Apple Watch will track the progress of your workouts. As you work your way through the session, you will notice the vitals like your calories burned, heart rate and pace etc. Apple has promised educational videos for training of beginners and also personalised recommendations.

Fitness+ will be available for $10 per month or $80 for an annual subscription. If you purchase a new Apple Watch, you can avail Fitness+ for free for the first three months. Moreover, you can also avail Fitness+ through one of the new Apple One Subscription bundle offers.

Apple One

Ever thought of paying a single price for all your major Apple Subscriptions. Well, with Apple One, you can now bundle all major services together to save on your monthly subscription. It begins with an individual subscription for $14.95 which includes 50GB storage, Apple Arcade, Apple Music and Apple TV+. You can buy a family bundle for the same services + 200GB storage for $19.95 per month. Additionally, there’s a Premier bundle where you get all the above plus Apple News+, Fitness+ and 2TB storage for $29.95 per month.

iOS 14 

In the end, Apple revealed it will release iOS 14 to the general public tomorrow. In the past, major iOS updates have been released on the same date as Apple’s latest iPhones but not this year. Some of the best additions with iOS 14 is an App Library where you can have home screen widgets and organisation of all your apps. It will be available on the iPhone 6s and above.

Now, we are hoping that iPhone 12 will be released sometime soon in the next month as advised by Apple. Once we have an official announcement from Apple, we will do an official article on iPhone 12 and its features.

 

Everything you need to know about the rumoured iPhone 12

It is easy to say 2020 has been a nightmare year for humans all around the world. At the same time, it has been a prolific year for new phones, cameras and gaming consoles. We are still in September and an exciting range of products have been launched or announced, including Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2, Microsoft Surface Duo and Motorola Razr 2. We are in that time of the year when Apple announces their latest offering in terms of a new iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch. Today, Apple has announced a special online event “Time Flies” on September 15, 2020. This event will most likely cover the launch of a new iPad and Apple Watch which we will definitely cover next week.

We are probably just weeks away from Apple unveiling its 2020 iPhones and rumours suggest that there are major changes waiting to happen this year. It is suggested that a number of new features like high refresh rate display and lidar along with 5G support.

If you have been using the first generation iPhone SE or iPhone 5s because of its great design, the latest iPhones might be the ones for you. There have been many rumours floating around that the iPhone 12 will sport squared off edges instead of rounded edges. And all going well, iPhone 12 will come with 5G support which will hook you up for faster data speeds and great display.

iPhone 12: Rumoured Specifications

All the trusted sources of Apple rumors seem to agree that in 2020, Apple will announce four new phones instead of three iPhone models like last three years.

  • A brand new 5.4 inch iPhone, a tad bit smaller than the 5.8 inch iPhone 11 Pro.
  • A low-end 6.1 inch iPhone, which has a similar screen size as iPhone 11 and specifications similar to the above 5.4 inch iPhone.
  • A second 6.1 inch iPhone with premium specifications.
  • A giant 6.7 inch beast, which would be bigger than the iPhone 11 Pro Max.

iPhone 12 Design

The 2020 series of iPhones will boast a revamped design with a metal frame, much similar to the metal frame of the iPhone 4 and the beloved iPhone 5s. As per Apple Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, the 2020 iPhones will have a more complex design and new trenching and injection molding procedures.

The new iPhone will feature a square-edged stainless steel frame, set to replace the current rounded edges and it will still use the front and back glass for the body. Apple is said to use sapphire or tempered glass to secure the grooves in the frame.

iPhone 12 with 5G support

The 2020 iPhones are anticipated to be the first in line to support 5G cellular networks. This clearly states that iPhone 12 will be able to take advantage of faster data speeds. However, this completely depends on the 5G coverage in your location and the version of your next iPhone.

In April 2020, The Wall Street Journal reported that some of the iPhones this year would get 5G. On the other hand Bloomberg advised that 5G is likely coming to four new iPhones this year.

In January 2020, Ming Chi Kuo stated that all new iPhone models will support both sub-6GHz and a mmWave 5G. However, this week even Kuo advised about the 5G plans for iPhone 12 stating the shipments of mmWave 5G iPhones would be lower than expected. Hence, it is definitely not clear as to how many new iPhone models will have 5G support.

Price and Availability

Like we said, this year Apple has postponed the launch of iPhone 12 by a few weeks and instead hosting a special event next week for iPad and Apple Watch. Apple hasn’t shared any details about this event and whether iPhone 12 will be launched next week. As usual, don’t worry if you miss out the “Time Flies” event as we will do a piece next week. Last year, the iPhone 11 was launched at $699 so this year we are hoping that iPhone 12 should be in the range of $599 to $699. However, reports suggest that low-end iPhone may not support 5G and lidar technology. Only time will tell. If you have any updates about the launch of iPhone 12, you can let us know in the comments section.

 

Top 5 Announcements from Apple’s WWDC 2020

Apple’s keynote speech by CEO Tim Cook commenced their first ever digital Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC 2020). The address covered a whole lot of software updates including iOS 14, iPhone, iPad, WatchOS and Apple TV etc. WWDC 2020 was highly anticipated as Apple decided to go online due to the current COVID-19 scare. We know many of you didn’t have the time to watch the live stream but we’ve got you covered. Apple made many major announcements to iOS, macOS, WatchOS etc and also a break up with Intel. We have got the 5 best announcements from WWDC 2020 for you to look at:

Make way for iOS 14

iOS 14 is now available in preview mode to developers from today. Important to note, a public beta version is expected to roll out in July shortly. Lots of software updates are coming to iOS 14 and some of the best are covered by us. iOS 14 will feature an App Library or a new home screen page. This will help to classify your apps and will keep you informed about the apps that you use the most. Along with this, Widgets will now be available on home screen and not on Today screen like previous iOS versions. Moreover, iOS 14 will have a picture-in-picture feature on iPhone to switch between different apps while watching a video or during Facetime. This feature has been on the iPad since iOS 9 but now you can use it on the iPhone too.

Siri has been revamped in iOS 14 too. Now, Siri will no longer take the fullscreen and can do speech to text translation with privacy and speed. Also, you can now pin your most important conversations to the top of the list for ease of use and Memojis will now don a face mask. Because, why not?

MacOS Big Sur

The new version of macOS will be called the Big Sur. MacOS Big Sur will have some modifications to make it look and feel like iOS. Just like iOS, macOS will now feature a dropdown menu in the top right corner of the screen to control volume, display brightness, dark mode, WiFi controls etc. It will now be easier to use a revised Notification Center to clear more notifications in one go. Safari will now have a Privacy Report function which will show you what data has been captured by the site. Moreover, Apple Maps has been revamped in macOS Big Sur. It will now support functions like in-door maps, guides, favourite locations etc.

Changes for iPadOS

Though iPadOS will be able to use most of the features from iOS14 along with a few new features. Apple has revamped the iPad search – it will no longer be full screen. The iPadOS can now go into apps like Messages, Mail, Keynote and Files. Moreover, handwriting recognition is now enabled in any text field which allows you to scribble a quick note without putting the pencil down to type. It is very convenient to draw rough shapes like squares, arrows etc and convert them automatically into neatly designed shapes by holding your pencil for a few more seconds. iPadOS comes with the ability to understand different languages with ease too.

WatchOS 7

You can now set up your Apple Watch face according to your liking with the new WatchOS 7. Compared to earlier versions, you can also share your watch face set up with your friends via messages or email/safari. If the receiver doesn’t have proper set up, they will be guided how to access it easily. Sleep tracking is much better with WatchOS 7 and helps to keep a track of your sleep schedule periodically. The most relevant feature of WatchOS 7 is handwash detection. Your Apple Watch can now detect your hand motions through the accelerometer and sound of water to detect that you are washing your hands and it will start a 20 second timer to remind you.

Homekit

Homekit is now enabled to automatically change the brightness/temperature of your smart bulbs all throughout the day. Like user cooler lights during the day and warm lights during the latter part of the day to help you sleep. Homekit doorbell cams can now recognize your friends and relatives and notify you via Homepod/Apple TV. With Homekit, it is now possible to select activity zones for security cameras. With that, you can limit alerts to only a certain number of activities/ movements throughout the video and not every time when a car passes by your house.

Along with the above changes in multiple OS, there are other changes to improve security and enable a premium user experience. These changes will also change the landscape of mobile app development in 2020-21.