A week with iOS14 – My thoughts

Over a week ago, Apple launched it’s highly anticipated iOS14 to the general public and after what seemed like a huge delay in this appearing in software updates around the world, I managed to download and install the software on my device in around 40 minutes. 

There are a plethora of new features on iOS14, some more noticeable than others. These range from the subtle changes in the Music app, the light that appears in the top right hand corner of the screen to notify you if an app is trying to access your camera and/or microphone, to the long awaited widgets (And yes, Android users, we know you’ve had them for years!).

I’ll be honest, other than the widgets, I don’t think there’s anything ‘major’ or exciting about this release. In all honesty, some of the hype surrounding iOS14, in my view, has been a little over the top. 

A look at the new widgets in iOS14

For example, the widgets are pretty cool and, whilst they may look more aesthetically pleasing than those found on Android devices, they’re not entirely functional. A case note to this would be the music and podcast widgets – they simply show your last played song or podcast. They’re not intuitive enough (yet) to give you a play/pause/skip button, instead sending you directly to the app to do that. Whilst that’s fine, I’d like them to be a little more intuitive. 

So what do I actually like about iOS14? Well, I’ll contradict myself slightly and say as much as the widgets aren’t intuitive, they’re certainly a welcome addition. Swipe left on my iPhone from the home screen and I’ve got some of my most handy widgets. I tried to put them on my home screen, but it just didn’t feel (or look) right to me. 

I absolutely love the App library. No longer do I, or anyone else for that matter, need to have pages upon pages of apps. My home screen now plays host to the apps I use the most, leaving my app library to host everything else. I’ve found this extremely easy to use and Apple’s automatic sorting of apps into folders is accurate.

There’s also been a few subtle changes to Apple Music which I’m enjoying. Most notably is the colourisation of the now playing screen based on the album artwork. The new ‘Listen Now’ section is impressive and suggests things I would genuinely be interested in listening too, while the search function has improved, enabling you to now delve into categories which I felt were somewhat hidden in previous versions of Apple Music.

Having videos and FaceTime calls use picture-in-picture mode is pretty awesome too. Being able to FaceTime whilst check on emails, or other bits and pieces is handy, though I’ve only used it once so far. 

Aside from the other changes, including Siri not taking up your entire screen when you ask her something, FaceTime and phone call notifications appearing at the top whilst you’re using your phone and the plethora of changes to Messages, including the pinned conversations, I haven’t noticed much in the way of a performance upgrade yet, but I have noticed the battery depleting a little faster than it usually does, but that could also be because I’ve been using my phone a little more during the last week.

I’m sure there will be many more updates to iOS14 over the coming months which will only enhance the user experience, but I’m now eagerly awaiting the anticipated macOS Big Sur update due in a month or so. Big Sur is the biggest change to macOS across all levels for years and I can’t wait to give it a try.

Back to iOS14, if you haven’t updated, perhaps you’re holding off to iOS14.1 or you’re afraid of apps not working, don’t be. Just get it updated, get it done. Chances are it won’t take you 40 minus like it did me on release night. Remember, the more up-to-date your phones software, the better protected it is against security threats etc.

Have you updated to iOS14 and changed your home screen layout? Share your screenshots and your thoughts on the new iOS14 in the comments below.