Braving Apple's iOS 14 Public Beta? 7 Cool Features to Try Right Away


Apple’s iOS 14 Public Beta is out in the wild and ready for a test drive. Back up your device, load up your iPhone and be sure to try these seven notable features.

With the iOS 14 public beta now available, I threw caution to the wind and installed it on my main iPhone. I wasn’t too worried, as the past few public betas from Apple have been surprisingly stable. But I did make an archived backup of my iPhone just in case, and I recommend other beta testers do the same.

It’s a safe bet that many if not all of the features present in the public beta will make it to the final release scheduled for this fall. After digging through and trying out all the features, here is a look at seven of the more notable ones you will want to try first.

One of the first things you can tweak to your liking are widgets on the home screen and in Today View. In addition to choosing from a variety of native and third-party widgets, you can adjust their size to show or hide relevant information and create your ideal home screen. Apple also adds a Smart Stack, which combines several widgets through which you can scroll. You can customize the Smart Stack or let Apple do the work and automatically select relevant widgets based on how you use your phone.

App Library Ditches Endless Pages of Apps

iOS 14 app libraryNo More Full-Screen Phone Call Notifications

call notification at the top of the screen in iOS 14Siri Gets Less Intrusive, More Informative

Siri icon at the bottom of the screen vs. a full takeoverVideo Picture-in-Picture

Video Picture-in-Picture on iphoneBetter Organizations for Messages

Apple is incorporating popular features from rival messaging apps into its own Messages platform. For example, users now have the ability to pin message threads to the top of the Messages stack for quick access to frequently used chats. Messages also adds better message filtering; sort through either All messages, Known Messages, or Unknown Messages. In-line replies to specific messages have also been added to cut down on conversation confusion.

Beefed-Up Privacy, Security Features

on-screen lights indicate when apps are actively using your camera or microphone

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    August 26, 2020
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