On Monday, June 22, Apple kicked off its 2020 Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) Keynote by previewing some of the biggest changes that'll be coming to its operating systems. This year, a good portion of the tech giant's presentation at the annual conference focused on iOS 14's new features that'll impact the appearance and functionality of users' devices, especially when it comes to the iPhone homepage. Apple's iOS 14 Home Screen updates, which will officially be rolling out when the system launches, include new widget technology and changes to how you can view and access your apps.
At this year's annual WWDC, Tim Cook and Apple demonstrated the company's renewed focus on helping customers' devices run more smoothly with the launch of iOS 14 for iPhones, iPadOs for iPads, and MacOS for Macs. Apple announced a slew of upgrades to some of the devices' existing layouts and functions, confirming rumors that Apple's latest operating system will include a redesign to the iPhone's Home Screen when it officially rolls out to the public in the fall.
For one, instead of the app grid view that dates back to the original iPhone, users will now have the option to look at apps in a scrolling list form through an App Library, which automatically organizes your apps into folders by category. The App Library, which will be located on the last page of your Home Screen, can help you keep things organized by housing all your apps and allowing you to hide some of the App Pages, so you have fewer pages to scroll through to get to the Library. In addition to an alphabetized list, which you can search and scroll through, you'll also be able to view Siri suggestions of your most used and recently added apps, which will be right at the top of your screen.
Speaking of organizational tools, Apple also announced it will be implementing new widget technology. In addition to a new Today View, which lets you customize the widgets that you want to see on a daily basis, Apple is introducing a Smart Stack that automatically shows users pertinent information, from their activity levels to the news for the day. With all these widgets, users can click through to customize them as well as their sizes.
Apple will also be nixing one of its arguably most annoying features. With both iOS 14 and iPadOS 14, incoming calls will no longer be full screen and take users out of whatever they're in. Instead, users will now see a banner alert that they're getting an incoming call and can choose to accept or decline the call by clicking on it, without interrupting what they were doing before the call came in. In addition to phone call updates, iMessages will also see some changes, including the ability to pin important conversations and mention someone specifically within a group message, so they get a notification whenever they're mentioned and can reply directly to the thread in the group message.
As for when you can utilize these updates, Cook said a developer beta of the operating system will be available on June 22, and the public will be able to access a beta version in July 2020. Customers will be able to try out all these cool features on their own devices when the new iOS 14 officially launches in fall 2020.