- Apple’s iOS 14 iPhone update will bring a bunch of new changes, including new apps for fitness and augmented reality, mouse support, and a new iPhone home screen, according to leaks from 9to5Mac and MacRumors.
- Apple is also expected to make improvements to iMessage and the Apple Pencil with its next big software update as well.
- All told, if the rumors turn out to be accurate, it sounds like Apple will make some improvements to its own apps as it usually does, while also setting the stage for newer areas of interest like augmented reality and health.
Apple doesn’t usually unveil its next major software update for the iPhone until June, but a deluge of recent leaks claims to provide a comprehensive look at what Apple may be planning.
The company’s next major iPhone operating system version, expected to be called iOS 14, is shaping up to be a significant update that will bring changes to the iPhone’s home screen, fresh augmented reality features, a new fitness app, and much more, according to recent reports from MacRumors and 9to5Mac.
The websites claim to have viewed leaked code for the update, which revealed these new software features as well as a few hardware products that have been rumored for quite some time, like the successor to the low-cost iPhone SE and Tile-like tracking tags.
Apple is also reportedly planning to make some changes that would give users more choices when it comes to third-party apps and wallpapers, according to reports from Bloomberg and 9to5Mac.
Taken together, the rumored features suggest Apple may be planning to add features that users have been wanting for years — like mouse support and the option to set third-party apps as defaults – while also paving the way for forward-looking ambitions like augmented reality and health.
Apple typically unveils its new iPhone software in June and releases them in the fall.
Here’s a closer look at what we’re expecting from iOS 14 based on the recent leaks and rumors.
A new fitness app
Apple may be launching a new fitness app that would work across the iPhone, Apple Watch, and Apple TV, according to MacRumors. This app would provided guided workouts for Apple device users by displaying videos on the iPhone and Apple TV and showing guided steps for completing the workout on the Apple Watch. The app would be free and may be called “Fit” or “Fitness” when it launches, says the report.
A new home screen layout for the iPhone
Although the look and feel of the iPhone’s home screen may have changed over the years, the overall layout hasn’t. That’s expected to change in iOS 14, as 9to5Mac reports that the new software will bring the option to view apps in a list format. iPhone owners will also reportedly be able to filter apps in this list based on certain conditions, such as apps that have unread notifications and apps that have been recently used.
New iMessage features
Apple is reportedly planning to add several new features to iMessage with iOS 14, including the ability to unsend text messages, typing indicators for group messages, and a mentions feature that would let you tag other participants in a group chat.
The ability to turn handwritten Apple Pencil notes into typed text
Apple is also seemingly making an effort to boost the Apple Pencil’s value as a note-taking tool in iOS 14, according to MacRumors. The company is reportedly developing a feature that would allow users to write in any text field using the Apple Pencil and automatically convert that text into typed words. It sounds like this would work across Apple apps like Mail, Messages, and Notes among others, and third-party developers may be able to add such compatibility to their own apps as well.
A new AR app that can help you shop
Apple CEO Tim Cook has been talking about the potential he sees in augmented reality for years, and now with iOS 14, we might finally get a look at Apple’s vision for AR. The company is reportedly developing an AR application for iOS 14 that would allow you to learn about items and products in retail settings by simply pointing your iPhone at it, similar to Google Lens and Samsung’s Bixby Vision, according to 9to5Mac. Apple is said to be trialing this feature with Starbucks.
More accessibility-oriented features
Apple is adding more accessibility features to the iPhone with iOS 14, particularly those aimed at users with hearing loss, according to 9to5Mac. One such feature, according to the report, may be able to detect important sounds — like fire alarms, doorbells, and crying babies — and provide a haptic alert to the user. Another update would enable the iPhone’s camera to detect hand gestures, while another would enable those with hearing loss to better tune their AirPods and EarPods, says the report.
HomeKit updates, including a feature that enables compatible smart lights to gradually shift their lighting throughout the day.
Apple is also expected to make some tweaks to the available lighting options for smart lights enabled through its HomeKit platform in iOS 14. As 9to5Mac reports, Apple will add support for a feature that would make it possible for connected lights to automatically shift their color temperature to match the natural light coming from outside throughout the course of the day.
HomeKit-enabled cameras will also get an update that allows them to identify people, according to the report.
Apple may finally be adding mouse support to its mobile devices with iOS 14 — a step that could make the iPad a much more capable productivity device. 9to5Mac reports that system-wide mouse cursor support that will be similar the mouse experience of the Mac will be coming in Apple’s next big mobile software update.
It’s unclear if this will only be available on the iPad, considering Apple recently separated its iPad software from its iPhone operating system by branding in iPadOS.
Apple’s iPad software currently has an accessibility feature that lets you use a mouse as a pointing device, but it doesn’t really simulate the mouse experience that most people are accustomed to.
Improved stability and fewer bugs, especially at launch
Apple is reportedly overhauling the way it tests and develops new software to reduce the number of bugs and glitches, starting with iOs 14, according to Bloomberg. That should make the software more stable and reliable at launch, a revamp that comes after Apple’s iOS 13 update launched with several bugs and issues last September.
The ability to set third-party apps, like Google Maps or Chrome, as the default option on iPhones
Apple is reportedly considering allowing iPhone users to set third-party apps as the default option on iPhones, according to Bloomberg. Such a move would give rival app makers a bigger opportunity to claim a bigger presence on the iPhone, particularly after Apple and other large tech firms have come under criticism over whether their business practices harm competition.