Apple (AAPL - Free Report) made a slew of announcements at the first virtual WWDC 2020, its annual Worldwide Developers Conference. The company unveiled the new iOS 14 and a redesigned iPhone home screen, along with iPadOS 14, MacOS Big Sur, and updates to TVOS and WatchOS.
The latest major release of Apple’s iOS 14, includes a collection of long-awaited refinements to core user interface elements, as well as a few new features that address other omissions in the largely mature platform.
Notably, the latest version to the operating system will be released by the end of the year as a free software update for iPhone 6s models and later.
New Usability Features in iPhones
Transforming the iPhone experience, several of iOS 14’s changes impact iPhone’s display, including the Home screen with new widgets, phone calling interface, and App Store previews in addition to an array of new usability and privacy enhancements.
The revamped iPhone and iPad home screens will include widgets, which contain more information and are more functional than app icons. These have been a mainstay feature on Alphabet (GOOGL - Free Report) owned Google's Android since its inception in 2008.
Widgets are offered in multiple sizes, including squares and rectangles that can either be full-width or half-width on the screen, inserted directly into the Home screen or kept within the left-of-Home screen Day view. A new Widget Gallery lets users see different size and design options, taken in some cases from Apple Watch views. There’s also a Smart Stack that can appear at one place on the screen and shift between multiple views.
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