At an online-only WWDC event, Apple officially took wraps from the latest iOS 14 operating system. The next iteration of iOS is full of welcome additions such as App Library, redesigned home screen with widgets, Apple Maps enhancements, Privacy controls, and more. We have already covered every possible new feature in a separate post. In this post, we are going to talk about major hidden elements in the iOS 14. These improvements may not seem like a big deal on a first glance but on a whole, they make a strong case a seamless iOS 14 experience.
iOS 14: Hidden Features You Should Know About
As the title suggests, this article is only about small and hidden features. If you want to know about every single feature in iOS 14, take a look at our continuously updated iOS 14 features guide. While you are at it, don’t forget to check out the best features in iPad OS14 and iOS 14.
1. Pin Multiple Conversations in Messages
iOS 14 lets you pin your important conversations on the top. Swipe right on a conversation and select the Pin option. It makes sense for a single conversation but what if you want to Pin/Unpin several conversations on the go? For that, you can tap on the menu above and select the ‘Edit Pin’ option. It will allow you to Pin/Unpin multiple conversations quickly.
2. Filters in Messages
The new Filters menu in Messages automatically organizes messages based on Known Senders, Unknown Senders, Promotions, Transactions, Promotions, and Junk. We have seen similar implementation on the Android side. It’s good to see Apple taking steps to declutter the messages inbox. This feature is only available in India though.
3. Sleep Mode
The Bedtime Mode in iOS 13 is now replaced by the new Sleep Mode in iOS 14. You can set the Sleep goal in the Health app and it will turn on Do Not Disturb Mode during the set time. Sleep mode can simplify your Lock screen at your scheduled Bedtime. You can turn on/off Sleep Mode from the Control Centre.
4. Wind Down
Wind Down is related to Sleep mode. It will reduce distractions and help you relax before going to bed. You can set a time to enable Wind Down before starting Sleep Mode.
5. New Siri Automation for Charging and Low Power Mode
In iOS 14, Siri Shortcuts has received some welcome changes. Now you can set automation when the device is charging or using Low Power Mode. For example, you can set Siri to turn off DND, Bluetooth, reduce brightness, turn off location, and more when the iPhone goes into Low Power Mode.
6. New UI in Shortcuts Gallery
The ready-to-go Siri Shortcuts in the Gallery menu now shows bigger thumbnails and more information. I like how Apple has played with different colors to differentiate the shortcuts.
7. Security Recommendations
In iCloud Keychain, iOS 14 warns users about the data breach and potential password leaks. It will display the account and provide you the link to change the password on the website. Apple calls it Security Recommendations and its a part of iCloud Keychain.
8. Mirror Front Camera
iOS 14 now lets you capture mirror selfies. What you see is what you get in the final results from the front camera. It’s disabled by default. You can enable the options by going into the Setting app on the iPhone. Scroll down to Camera and enable the ‘Mirror Front Camera’ option.
9. Smart Stack of Widgets
The widget functionality isn’t limited to the home screen and resizing. You can place a stack of widgets on the home screen. Based on the time and day, iOS 14 will cycle between the widgets for you. For example, it will showcase Maps widget in the morning, Calendar in the noon, and Health widget at night. Smart Stack saves space on the home screen and serves the purpose. You can also swipe up and down on the stack to go through the added widgets.
10. Add an App to Library
In iOS 14, when you try to delete an app, the system will offer you the option to add the app to the App Library menu. That way, you can remove the app from the home screen but it stays on the device in the App Library.
11. Smart Downloads in India
Starting with iOS 14, you can download India Siri voices and software updates, as well as download and stream Apple TV+ shows over cellular networks for the first time.
12. New UI for Adding Time and Date
You will find a new bubble-style User Interface for adding time and date throughout the Operating System.
13. Notify Me in Messages
When enabled from the Messages Settings, the Notify Me option will bypass the muted conversations and send you a notification when someone mentions you in a group chat.
14. Back Tap in Accessibility
This one is really cool. With iOS 14, you now double-tap or triple tap on the back of the iPhone to quickly access the home, app switcher, notification center, Siri, take a screenshot, and more. It’s buried inside the Settings > Accessibility > Touch > Back Tap menu. The good news is, the back tap even works if you have a case on your iPhone. Currently, I have set the OS to take a screenshot when I double tap on the back.
15. Group FaceTime Add-on
This is part of accessibility improvements. FaceTime can now recognize when someone is using sign language and make them prominent in a group call.
16. Banner Notification for Bluetooth Device Connection
This is a welcome change. iOS 14 now showcases a small banner notification at the top with the Bluetooth device name connected option. No need to go back to Control Centre to see which device got connected over Bluetooth.
17. Indicator When An App is Using Camera or Microphone In Background
With iOS 14, Apple is doubling down on privacy. The system will showcase a tiny Green dot beside the Wi-Fi icon when an app is using the device camera. You will see an orange dot at the same place when an app is using a microphone in the background.
18. Long-press the Back Button to Bring Up the History Stack
With iOS 14, if you’re deep in a navigation stack and want to quickly head back to a level, you can long-press the back button to bring up the history stack. It can be useful when you are deep inside the Settings app and want to move back to the main home page with a single click.
19. Change Video Format in the Camera App
For years, users have been asking Apple to allow them to change video resolution and format from the camera app. Apple finally listened to them with the iOS 14 update. Now, you can change video resolution and format from the video UI in the Camera app. Just tap on the video format and frame rates at the upper right corner to switch between the available options.
The option was already available on iPhone 11 devices running iOS 13.3 but now with iOS 14, Apple is adding it for all iPhones.
20. Swipe Away An Incoming Call to Hide It
As I mentioned, iOS 14 has added support for new caller UI as a banner notification. You can swipe it and the OS will put it in an upper left corner. The gesture won’t decline the call though. For that, you will have to tap on the End button in the banner notification.
21. Reminder to Charge AirPods
iOS 14 will send you a notification as a reminder to charge your AirPods. It’s a neat add-on and adds more value for the iPhone and AirPods users.
22. Privacy Report in Safari Browser
In iOS 14, when you visit a website and tap on the font menu in the address bar, it will showcase the Tracking Report option. The report displays the Known trackers prevented, websites that contacted trackers, and more.
23. Precise Location Toggle
In iOS 14, certain apps can ask your precise location. The option is automatically enabled for ride-hailing apps such as Uber and food-ordering apps like Swiggy and Uber Eats. If you disable the option then the apps can access your approximate location.
24. Notification When An App or Widget Reads Your Clipboard Data
iOS 14 will display a banner notification on the top when an app or widget reads your clipboard data. For example, if you copy text from Notes and open the Google Chrome app, a notification appears that says “Chrome pasted from Notes.” The notification disappears after a few seconds.
iOS 14 is shaping out to be an excellent upgrade for iPhone users. The official update for the general public will be available later this year. If you are feeling adventurous then you can go ahead and download the beta profile on your device for free. While you are at it, do let us know about your favorite additions in the iOS 14 update.