We now know what new features will land on millions of iPhones later this year when Apple launches its next-generation operating system worldwide. Apple revealed everything during its WWDC Developers Conference last week and there’s some pretty exciting changes coming to these devices including new widgets which will transform the look of the homescreen, new ways to message friends and much quicker access to apps.
However, one of the best bits about iOS 14 is that Apple is continuing to support all of the devices that use iOS 13. That means if you have an iPhone 6s or older in your pocket you’ll be good to download and install this update when it becomes available later this year.
Despite all of the new advanced features, Apple is confident iOS 14 will run just as smoothly on both new and those much older phones. In fact, the Cupertino-based company says it won’t consider rolling out a new operating system to an older device if it impacts the performance – devices capable of running iOS 13 will only get the upgrade to iOS 14 if Apple can be sure it’ll continue to run at the same speed (or better).
iPhone 6s was released back in September 2015, which means it will have been around for half a decade by the time iOS 14 launches. By comparison, Google’s own Pixel-branded smartphones are guaranteed to get the latest Android updates for at least 3 years from when the device first became available on the Google Store. And that’s significantly better than most Android phones since Pixels are designed and made by the company behind Android itself!
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Android smartphones included in the Android One scheme, like those built by Nokia and Motorola, are only guaranteed to get two years of operating system upgrades. So, those handsets released back in 2015 alongside the iPhone 6s stopped getting Android upgrades in 2017, when Google debuted Android 8.0 Oreo worldwide.
Here’s all the devices compatible with iOS 14
iPhone 11 • iPhone 11 Pro • iPhone 11 Pro Max • iPhone XS • iPhone XS Max • iPhone XR • iPhone X • iPhone 8 • iPhone 8 Plus • iPhone 7 • iPhone 7 Plus • iPhone 6s • iPhone 6s Plus
iPhone SE (1st generation) • iPhone SE (2nd generation) • iPod touch (7th generation)
If you’re wondering exactly what’s included in the update then here’s a quick guide to all the new updates.
WIDGETS AND APP LIBRARY
Yes, you will soon be able to transform the homescreen with everything from weather widgets and emails to activity levels and music. You can even change these information-packed squares to any size and add as many of them as you like. And that’s not the only change as Apple is also adding something called App Library which allows you to hide those endless apps filling up your phone without actually deleting them.
MESSAGES AND PICTURE IN PICTURE
There will be a better way to message your mates with group chats making it easier to organise than before. For example you can type a name to send direct a message to someone and when you are mentioned, your name is highlighted.
The option to reply directly to a specific message in a group conversation is also added plus you can view replies in the full conversation or as their own thread for a more focused view.
Along with group chats there’s some fun new ways to spruce up your Memoji characters with additional hairstyles, headwear and accessories. iOS 14 also brings picture-in-picture video to the iPhone for the first time. So, you’ll be able to carry on watching the football while you surf the web or chat with friends on WhatsApp.
Finally, Apple has changed how some apps work on iPhone. Instead of downloading a dedicated application for every takeaway order or cinema ticket purchase, Apple is now letting you access the most important part of the app straight from the homescreen. Called App Clips this addition will make it much faster to interact with a range of products and services and means your iPhone won’t be full of apps you’ve only used once.
Most iPhone users already access the web via Safari but browsing the internet should feel faster, more powerful, and private in the iOS 14. Apple says this update will make things more responsive and capable than ever, while giving you new ways to help protect your privacy.
Another nice feature arriving in iOS is that Safari can now translate websites in seven different languages. So, when you come to a foreign website that Safari can translate, an icon appears. Just tap and the browser will turn into text you can read.
With Maps in iOS 14, it should be easier to discover new places to go and offer environmentally friendly ways to get there, including cycling directions.
Those who love travelling on two wheels can also now use Maps to get cycling directions using bike lanes, paths, and roads. You can even see elevation, busy streets, stairs, and steep passages when planning your trip.
There’s no official release date for iOS 14 but expect more news about when it will be available for your phone in September.