iPhone’s iOS 14.3: why you really need it (we believe)
This season, as they have been saying forever, is upon us, and whatever life throws at us, we’ll still do our best to make the winter holidays as merry (and Apple) for our good trusty audience as possible. On this particular occasion – by helping you master one of the latest gifts you’ve got this year from the said company; the iOS 14.3. This newest version of iPhone / iPad platform was introduced to the market earlier and is already showing its shining colors.
So let’s take a closer look at them and pick those shining the brightest.
For starters, your already-rich home screen has just got richer with the App Library where you can put all your seldomly-used applications. Particularly good about it is the balance it makes between cleaning the display from those cluttering icons and still keeping them at hand for you. Just one slide of your finger to the left will take you to this “depot” of the on-hold applications you may suddenly need. Plus, now you can use this freed-from-cluttering screen space for any widgets you are now able to place there. Moreover, you can change their looks! Show-offs, rejoice.
And now that we mentioned widgets, the grip of Apple’s proprietary Smart Stack has been released in this new platform. You can combine them yourself now, in a folder, the same way you do it with applications.
Plus, speaking of releasing a grip, the iPhone owners are no longer bound to the Apple’s browser and mail applications. Believe it or not, but substituting both Safari and Apple Mail with some alternative browser and mail software is now really, truly possible. Just change your Default browser / mail app in the settings and voila.
As for the apps themselves, the new Shortcuts option lets you change their appearances too, by the way of downloading a different-than-default icon and ditch the existing one for it, so your Reader, Messenger or whatever else will take on a fresher, prettier or cuter form. Granted, it takes some while, but it’s doable and effective.
Now, for something of more substance, let us draw your attention to the App Clips. This deceptively small addition opens to you a door to something really novel, and this will save you not just a visual screen space, but those invaluable resources of your storage. In short, those very small icons you’ll find there are, in fact, actual applications you can really use (if in a limited way)… without downloading them on your device. Yes, that’s right: you can use some of this software remotely. Just don’t forget, once you’ll use this feature first, to look into the aforesaid App Library for it next time.
And how could we forget those who are seriously into photography? After all, they are part of the Apple phones’ reason for existence. Seriously, though, raw photo making is also a very big and valuable update, which may attract even those previously not that interested in anything more than a regular selfie. So take a note of this new “ProRaw” addition in the list of photo format choices.
On top of the above, iOS 14 brings about two more camera-related novelties. Selfie-wise, you can turn your front camera into a mirror by activating the according mirror, before making this decisive shot, and this way prevent embarrassing blunders and cut the amount of attempts. And there are some improvements for the rear camera as well, like guiding crosshairs for taking better pictures after the sunset or a new dial-like control for exposure.
Also, the new platform offers a handy (and rather timely) add-on to your Apple Watch in the form of Fitness Plus. By connecting to the watch, it keeps the score of the user’s exercises and steps per day and, on top of it, every week supplies you with training videos from which you can choose the one best-geared to your level.
Oh yes, and from now on you don’t have to switch between reading and video viewing on your phone. Picture-in-picture, formerly exclusive to iPad, has finally become available on iPhones as well. And it’s enough to return to the home screen and initiate the feature to have your moving pictures in your browser or your document. Alas, not every moving picture though: you better check the Picture in Picture feature in General Settings for supported apps to avoid disappointment.
And of course, for Apple to overlook something as important as privacy while improving their platform, would be wildly out of character. So in addition to all protection iPhone owners already have, there are extra location sharing settings, narrowing your visibility to others (you can only let them see the overall area you are in and nothing more precise), and your own grip on your camera and microphone has been tightened with new controls and alerts.
Another fine and interesting iOS 14’s improvement is a new fun way to access some of your device’s capabilities: it lets you communicate with your iPhone not just via the screen, but from the back as well: now it doesn’t matter for an app on which side of it you will tap, it will still start (even you’ll have to tap more than once for that). And you can create a screenshot the same way.
Moving over to other Apple devices, this new iOS version also widened the array of AirPods Pro and (of course) iPad options. The former’s new Spatial Audio will send the audio after your head however you turn it (and yes, it will work with phones and tablets alike). And the latter has acquired the option called Scribble, so you can, well, scribble with Apple Pencil not just on your phone, but on your iPad, too. Besides, it looks like some steps towards merging the tablets and the notebooks are being made, what with new MacBook-style changes in the way Apple tablets work.
And finally, a word of warning about a small dark lining under this silver cloud: as opposed to so many things that have been made easier, there is one (and, we sad to say, not unimportant one at that) which has become a little less convenient. Long-pressing on the unwanted app, followed by short-pressing the “x” sign is no longer enough to get rid of the thing. The long-pressing will now call up a menu where removing the application is just one of several options. In addition, you can press even longer, which will give you – through the “-“ symbol (instead of the old familiar “x”) – yet another alternative: moving the app into that very AppLibrary we talked about earlier instead of removing it completely. Which, coming to think of it, may not be that bad, especially to those of us who are prone to second thoughts… and for those for whom a broader choice is worth a little more time and additional effort (if you can call it that). After all, having more choice is something we all could do with as soon as possible, is it not?
- About iOS 14 Updates – Official Apple Support
- Trade your Apple iPhone online – iGotOffer
- Everything About Apple’s Products – The complete guide to all Apple consumer electronic products, including technical specifications, identifiers and other valuable information.
iOS 14.3 features / changes! What’s new? [Video]
Video uploaded by 9to5Mac on December 8, 2020