iOS 14 is the biggest software update to ever come to iPhone — and there’s a lot to get excited about. From a completely new home screen (with widgets, finally!) to much-needed improvements to iMessage, a brand-new translation app to more immersive AirPods, we’ve rounded up all the best new features to get you prepped and ready.
Note: iOS 14 is supported on the iPhone 6s and later, which is every iPhone that has been released in the last five years.
1. The Home screen now has widgets, finally
iOS 14 delivers the biggest redesign of the iPhone’s Home screen, and the chief reason for that is widgets on the Home screen. This is something that Android smartphones have been able to do for years (and iPads as of more recently), and they allow your favorite apps, like Calendar, Photos, Podcasts and Weather, to display more information directly on the Home screen. Widgets come in three sizes: small, medium and large.
Not every app can be come a widgets (or be able to put in “Widget mode”). However, many of Apple’s first-party apps can, like Calendar, Photos and Fitness. Additionally, Apple is working with third-party app developers so that more apps have widget experiences. Since these Widgets will take up more real estate, your Home Screen won’t have the same, neat app gridlock look, for better or for worse.
2. Stacks of widgets
Apple also introduced a feature called Smart Stack. It’s a widget just like the others, except it houses multiple apps instead of just one that you can swipe between. For example, you can place the Smart Stack on the Home Screen and then swipe between various apps like Calendar, Fitness and Mail, without leaving the Smart Stack widget. The neat thing is that the Smart Stack widget is intelligent enough to learn which apps you use at different times of the day, and display them at that exact time.