APPLE dropped the latest major iPhone update last week, adding a bunch of handy new features to its mobiles worldwide.
Tools introduced in iOS 14 include "widgets" for your home screen and a secret new button you access by tapping the back of your handset.
How to get iOS 14 on your iPhone
Apple announced iOS 14 last week and the update is now rolling out to users across the globe.
To get it, head to Settings > General > Software Update on your iPhone.
This will show you any available software updates, including iOS 14.
Don't worry if the update isn't there yet, it's still rolling out and may not have reached some regions just yet.
If the update is available, you'll need to download and install it, which could take some time depending on your iPhone model.
Your iPhone will automatically reboot and voila, iOS 14 is yours!
Remember to read and follow our guide on how to back up your iPhone before installing the update.
This will ensure you don't lose any data if anything goes wrong.
What is iOS 14? A quick guide
Dubbed iOS, Apple's mobile software is all the digital bits and bobs inside your iPhone, from your home screen to the settings and apps.
Each year, Apple releases a major new upgrade to this software with brand new features.
This year it's called iOS 14, and there are loads of new features to get excited about.
You can use virtual car keys that can be texted to pals, upgrade your Memoji with a face mask, and even speak in other languages through a live translation app.
iOS 14 new features
The first big change is the new App Library, designed to clean up your home screen(s).
All of your apps will be organised automatically inside the App Library.
If you’ve got loads of pages, you can tap your screen to hide some of them.
And then you can find those apps in the App Library.
It’s a major change (already possible on Android devices) that means you can have a much tidier mobile.
There are new widgets that look much better than the old ones.
iPhone tricks to try today
Here are some of the best…
- Typing cursor – When typing, hold down the space bar to turn your keyboard into a trackpad, letting you move around words and sentences more easily
- Close all Safari tabs – To do this in one go, simply hold the overlapped squares in the bottom right-hand corner, and press close all tabs
- Delete lots of photos quickly – Hold down on a photo and then drag your finger diagonally in Photos to select lots of images at once, then hit delete
- Convert currency quickly – Swipe down from the top of your Home screen (or swipe left to right on an iPhone X or later model), then tap in the bar and type a currency (like $200) and it will automatically covert to your local currency
- Check if you're due a battery upgrade – Batteries inside smartphones degrade over time. Just go to Settings > Battery > Battery Health, and check out the Maximum Capacity reading. Generally a battery is considered worn when you're down to 80% capacity. If you're below, you can buy a battery swap from Apple
- Move apps around faster – Hold an app until it starts wiggling, then (while still holding) tap other apps, causing them to stack so you can move them around easier
Better still, you can put these widgets on the home screen alongside your apps – rather than them being hidden.
For instance, you can have podcast or weather widgets, all obtainable through the Widget Gallery.
Apple has finally added a proper picture-in-picture mode that works across the device.
So you can play videos while doing other things, and audio will still play across the device.
Siri has received a major update.
Your iPhone can now run dictation on the device, so you can read out texts to the Message app.
Apple is also using Siri’s technology for a new app called Translate.
It lets two people who speak different languages have text conversations.
The app works offline, and is a clear rival to Google’s own Translate app.
Messages is getting an update.
You can now pin conversations to the top of the Messages app.
And there are 20 new hear and headwear styles for Apple’s animated Memoji avatars.
There are face coverings (because duh!), and new age options for Memoji too.
Apple has added “mentions” that let you tag people in group conversations.
And there are now in-line replies for miniature threads in group chats – a bit like in Slack.
Apple has also promised to reinvent the car key.
“They’ve become big, bulky and ripe for reimagining,” said Craig.
Your iPhone can now work as a digital car key on certain new car models.
The first car to support the tech is the new BMW 5-Series, available next month.
But Apple says it’s working with other car-makers too.
You can turn off the key remotely via iCloud if you lose your iPhone.
And you can even text your key to a pal temporarily if they want to borrow the car.
Eventually, the feature will let you enter your car without even taking your iPhone out of your pocket, just because the car knows the handset is nearby.
Apple also unveiled App Clips.
They’re “light and fast” pieces of apps, and work through virtual cards.
You tap your iPhone on a real-world NFC tag (or scan a QR code), and it launches an App Clip.
For instance, you could access a shareable scooter in the real world, or check a coffee shop menu.
You can also launch App Clips from the web too, including via text.
The new iOS 14 update will be available on September 16 so you don't have long to wait now.
In other news, the latest iOS 14 lets iPhone owners put widgets on their Home Screens.
The new Apple Watch Series 6 features a ‘blood oxygen scanner’ that could save your life.
And, Apple dropped a major hint that the next iPhone may be the first to come without a charger in the box.
What are your thoughts on iOS 14? Let us know in the comments…
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