The keynote of the WWDC – Apple’s developer conference, which is only online because of Corona, naturally allows us to take a look at iOS 14, which brings some innovations.
The WWDC starts today and as we knew since March, the Apple developer conference this year will only take place as an online event. It is quite possible that this will remain the only fully digital WWDC of all time, at least we hope, of course, that the company, developers and the press can be brought together again in the future.
At the beginning, we also see Tim Cook in an empty hall, addressing some of the current issues by addressing both Covid-19 and racism. In between, of course, you kept tapping yourself on the back for your achievements and knocking a few superlatives around your ears, but it was right and important for me, to have briefly addressed these important topics at the beginning.
Then, of course, it went straight to iOS 14, which we all knew we would see today. In fact, a lot has changed in the Cupertino mobile operating system. Some things seem really innovative, some of which we have known from Android for a long time – everything as always.
The most striking thing is probably the new homescreen, from which Apple would like to put more order from now on. To make this work, apps will now have to be bundled automatically within the new app library. Reminds of course a bit of the app drawer on Android and if we are already on Android: The widgets are now also on the homescreen and can be placed in any size.
So Apple has finally listened to the many iPhone users who have wanted this change and ensures that there is more order on the iPhone and more variety through the widgets. With the new Smart Stack you can scroll through the widgets and find them faster. In particular, users with a particularly large number of apps will be happy about the innovations on the home screen, which should make it significantly easier for them.
Another new feature on the iPhone is the picture-in-picture function, which you already know from iPadOS. This way you can continue watching or facetiming a video while using another app.
Siri has also been screwed on for iOS 14. The voice assistant has become more intelligent and can now also send audio messages, but above all it has become more subtle. Siri is much more compact than in the well-known full-screen view, which has completely overlaid other content.
“Translate” also introduces a new translation feature that can translate into many languages and even complete texts. I simply ignore the reference to Android and Google Translate. In any case, it also works completely offline. Initially, eleven languages are supported, including English, German, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, Mandarin and Japanese.
Messages have also been revised and today introduced “conversations”. More important conversations are at the top, you can also pin a desired conversation at the top. Otherwise, you have made sure that things work that you already know elsewhere, for example, you can react in groups to certain messages within a thread and address certain people with @replies.
Apple also addressed its memojis, which have been further expanded with new looks. As in any other software, I think this feature is actually negligible and not very spectacular.
The next step was to pre-button Apple Maps in the keynote and again not to save with superlatives and self-praise. Since I don’t use Apple Maps myself, I can’t judge for myself whether the UI is actually more intuitive to use than the big competitor Google, but in fact Apple Maps has undergone a great development since its difficult early days.
What is new in iOS 14 is that charging stations are also displayed for e-cars and cyclists are happy about the bicycle navigation system and the display for cyclists, how many vertical meters have to be mastered on a route and how packed the streets are. However, this will initially only be the case for some large cities. We were also promised better map material, which is initially intended for the USA, Great Britain, Ireland and Canada.
So that you can quickly get to the most worth seeing and relevant places everywhere, Apple not only looks better under iOS 14 – you also find restaurants etc. simply better.
When it came to CarPlay, there was nothing great to report – new wallpapers really don’t knock anyone off their feet. What’s more exciting is that Apple showed us its CarKey for the first time. With this (and because Apple joined the Car Connectivity Consortium), your iPhone mutates into a car key. The first car that works with it and which we also saw in the video is the new BMW 5 Series.
To start the car, you put the iPhone on the charging pad. If you like, you can share your car key with other people and even limit it in time. Very practical if the child is allowed to go shopping with the cart, but is not supposed to use it to heat the club at night.
The last innovation that I found exciting was the so-called “app clips”. These are parts of apps that are only very small (not larger than 10 MB) and that always only represent the part of an application that is currently required. If you want to rent an e-scooter, for example, you can scan a QR code or connect to the scooter via NFC and you will only see the part of the application that you need to pay for or activate the scooter. If you wish, you can reload the entire app from the clip at any time. However, the entire app is not required for payment via Apple Pay or for login.
In fact, Apple has shown a lot for iOS 14 today, including a few nice things, but the majority of them were features that had been waiting for a long time and had to be implemented to be up to date again – at least in my opinion to. It was not clear whether iOS 14 would also become more stable or faster, but I simply assume that the boys and girls from Cupertino also had that in mind.