As it promised during its online launch event yesterday, Apple has released new software updates today for its mobile devices, TV boxes, and wearables.
All supported devices are iOS 14, iPadOS 14, tvOS 14, and watchOS 7.
iOS 14 brings widgets to the home screens, as well as the App Library (don’t call it an “app drawer”) which categorizes all your apps, allowing you to declutter your home screens. This is the biggest change to the iOS home screen since the initial release. You can also change the default browser and email apps.
Incoming calls and Siri get a new compact UI that doesn’t take up as much of the screen real estate than before, and you can watch a video or take a FaceTime call while using another app with Picture-in-Picture. App Clips load only the parts of an app that are needed, while Messages now lets you pin conversations to the top of the list for easy access.
Maps have cycling directions, electric vehicle routing, and the new Guides provide a curated list of places to visit in a city. You can choose to only share approximate location with apps and not precise location, and you get more transparency regarding an app’s use of your mic and camera. Starting next year, all apps will be required to obtain user permission before tracking.
Weirdly enough, widgets are still limited to the Today View in iPadOS 14. With the tablet-specific version of Apple’s new software, you do get Apple Pencil enhancements, new app sidebar designs, and the same compact call and Siri interface.
Scribble automatically converts your handwriting to text when you write in any text field, and you can also scratch to delete and circle to select. iPadOS 14 recognizes dates, addresses, phone numbers, and email addresses in handwriting too, allowing you to easily use these.
tvOS 14 brings better integration with HomeKit accessories, support for 4K videos in YouTube, and improved multi-user (now working for Apple Arcade and Game Center too) and Picture-in-Picture video.
watchOS 7 has long-overdue support for sleep tracking, watch face sharing, and of course, some new watch faces. Multiple complications are now supported for a single app, and Wind Down lets you establish a bedtime routine.
Sleep Mode automatically turns off the screen of your Apple Watch and enables Do Not Disturb. When you wake up, you get a haptic alarm and weather report. Handwashing detection is built-in too, and the newly renamed Fitness app has a better UI (in expectation of the launch of the Fitness+ service later this year).