iOS 14: 6 big improvements we want from Apple in 2020

We can make an educated guess that iOS 14 is coming soon, and it’ll be the OS of choice on the next iPhone released later this year.

The actual iPhone aside, the announcement of the what’s coming in the next version of iOS is one of the most exciting parts of Apple’s year.

While it’s far too early to know exactly what Apple is planning, we can speculate on the features we’d love to see – within reason, of course.

1. The performance benefits we saw in iOS 12

iOS 12 wasn’t a release packed with features, instead it focussed on performance and made, especially older, devices feel fresh. iOS 13 undid a lot of this though, and it took numerous quick updates to bring the performance back.

After a rough year, Apple needs to once again focus on performance – and iOS 14 is the perfect time to do that.

2. A rejig to the home screen

While performance is key, there are some more general improvements we’d love to see with iOS 14 and a freshening up of the homescreen is one of our biggest requests.

The static grid of icons has been a mainstay since the first iPhone and it has begun to feel a bit stale. Especially as on the iPad we now have the ability to keep widgets locked in view at all times.

It would be handy to have some widgets always visible or have icons that could display changing information – sort of like how the ‘clock’ app shows the live time. This would be particularly useful for the weather app – which could show the actual temperature.

The classic iOS homescreen has been a mainstay since the original iPhone

3. More information packed into the lock screen

The lockscreen on iOS radically needs a rethink. Not only is it very light on useful information, but it also gets clogged up so fast when you get a bunch of notifications that it becomes a mess. We still think Android’s notification interpretation is far superior and the way it pushes more important ones towards the top works very well.

We’d also like some more subtle icons introduced to the lockscreen so it would be possible to quickly glance over and see how many unread messages you’ve got. 

4. The ability to set apps as default

Any Android users coming across to iOS will likely be surprised that they can’t replace Apple’s native apps as default with a third-party alternative from the App Store. While you can, of course, download various email clients, you’ll always automatically taken to Mail if you’re clicking links.

Allowing you to select Outlook, for instance, as the only email app recognised by the iPhone seems like such a basic and one that we’d love to see in iOS 14.

5. Quick access to the camera

Many Android phones let you quickly open the camera with a double-tap of the home button, ridding the need for you to bring the display to life before you can into shooting mode. We’d love Apple to adopt something similar.

iPadOS Slide Over

Much better multitasking is supported on the iPad

6. Split-screen multitasking and pop-out video player

It feels like we’ve been asking for improved iPhone multitasking for years and even though it’s been improved a lot on the iPad, the phone remains very rigid in what you can do. You still can’t have two apps open on the screen at once – something that would be perfectly acceptable on the larger 11 Pro Max display – nor can you watch a video while you’re, say, browsing Safari.

Adding these features seems so obvious, especially with how big these screens have gotten.

iOS 14 phones

An early iOS 14 rumour has suggested that every phone that was compatible with iOS 13 will once again be compatible with iOS 14. If this turns out to be it should come as a boost to anyone who owns an older iPhone – as long as the performance is acceptable, of course.

iOS 14 release date

We’re going purely off past releases here, but if Apple’s traditional iOS pattern repeats itself we can expect to see iOS 14 announced in June at WWDC, with a developer beta being available for download straight away. This will be then followed by a public beta later in the summer and then a full public release shortly before the iPhone 12 (or whatever it’s called) hits in September.

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