Whats In IOS 14 Beta! Review And Features Of Beta Version OF IOS 14! - Tech Tips - Tech can be complex; we make it easy

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Monday, July 6, 2020

Whats In IOS 14 Beta! Review And Features Of Beta Version OF IOS 14!

So iOS 14 is here. Well, it'll be here this fall, but it's announced and developers can try it right now plus there's going to be a public beta in July. So when you do get to install it, your iPhone is going to look totally the same and it's gotta look the same 'cause Apple's not gonna move your stuff around on your home screen but apple is finally changing what you can do on your home screen. Is it a little bit more like Android or Windows Phone? Yes, there are widgets that you can put right in your home screen and there is this app drawer.

They call it an app library thing but it's also different. And you know what, you know me, anytime I see a big user interface change, I need to talk about it so here's the question, why did Apple finally let the iPhone home screen get a little complicated. Alright, so obviously the big headline news is widgets. You can put them wherever you want on any home screen. They're not just trapped in this vertically scrolling today view that you have right now. I still have the today view actually but now you can put them anywhere, you can intersperse them with your icons and your folders. So it's just like Android, except not really for a couple of reasons.


The first reason is, I just think these widgets look better than Android widgets and widgets they're not that well supported. And I don't know, I just have a sense that these are all gonna just be a little bit nicer on the iPhone. The other reason I don't think it's like Android is because it's more like Windows Phone. All of these widgets they basically come in three different sizes,small, medium, and large. They all sort of fit into rectangles or squares, which means that they fit into a grid that feels a lot more like a lifestyle home screen Windows Phone than android home screen does. Okay, so widgets how do you use them? Well, it's pretty simple.


You can long press on them on the today view and then drag them out to where you wanna put them on the home screen and then you can put them anywhere you want on your home screen. Except not because Apple still forces icons and folders and widgets to flow in from the upper left and then across and down. You can't just put an icon on the bottom of your Home screen like you can on Android because Apple apparently hates people having their icons or they can reach them more easily with their thumb or, but hates people seeing you know their wallpapers. I don't get it. Anyway, there's one other way to get at widgets and that's actually the more fun way and that's to go into jiggly mode.


So we should talk about jiggly mode for just a second. You long press anywhere in the home screen to get into jiggly mode and I'm saying jiggly mode because that's officially what it's called now in my opinion because Apple itself called it jiggly mode in the keynote and when you're in jiggly mode, you get the minus buttons as usual, and I'll get to those in a second but you also can tap this little plus button in the upper left hand corner to get to the gallery of widgets. You can search for them,you can tap on an app to see the available sizes for that apps, widgets and then you can grab one of them with a long press, drag it out and then move it anywhere you want, anywhere you want on your home screen. But jiggly mode actually has one new really interesting feature that I wanna get to really quick.


If you tap on the dots that represent all your different pages on your iPhone, it opens up a view of allof your pages on one screen and you can turn them on and off so you can uncheck them and then they aren't there scrolling on your iPhone or you can go back into jiggling mode, go back into those pages and turn them on. So in theory, you could have a page that's like, specifically for work and you turn it on when you're at work and then you uncheck it to turn it off for the weekend so you don't get out there when you're scrolling through your iPhone. You can do the same thing with social media apps, if you're afraid you're gonna look at them too often. It's really, really clever.


The other thing I love about Apple's widgets is you can stack them. You can have them all in a stack and swipe through them with your thumb to getto the one that you want. Now, this does mean that developers have to redo their widgets so the old widgets that you currently have in your today view won't automatically work on the home screen. That's for battery life, but it also brings upon an interesting feature with these stacks. There's a smart stack so when the App Makerremakes their widget, they're able to put a timeline on it that says, well, you should update my app at 4:25, there's a storm coming and it's really, really important and so that smart stack will look at all the widgets in the stack and see which one thinks it's most important and then float that one to the top which is really clever.


I hope nobody abuses the priority thing, we'll see. So that's widgets but to me, the bigger change for the iPhone is this thing called the app library. See on Android, there have historically been two places where your apps could show up. There's the home screenwhere all you know, you rearrange all your apps and put them in folders and put widgets there and whatever. And then Android also has the app drawer which is usually just an alphabetical listing of all of your apps and so Apple is now doing the same thing. Your apps might not be on your home screen if you choose not to put them there. They might instead be in the app library or in both places like Android.


So that is a bit of complication that wasn't really therebefore on the iPhone. Now the app library, the way Apple implemented it, it's interesting. You can swipe down to get an alphabetical list of all of your apps if you just wanna find something that way or Apple puts them inthese little categories and it figures out on its own. So there's suggestions in the upper left and that is four apps that Apple thinks you might wanna launch and I don't know, we'll see how accurate that is, often it's not. There's a recently added box for all the apps that you've just installed and then the rest are just categories that Apple decided on. I think they're based on the store categories. I don't love them. So for example, my WiFi utility app, eero is in the lifestyle category for some reason, the Apple Store is in the lifestyle category which I guess makes sense but the productivity category has my banking apps which I don't love and you can't actually customize any of this.


And so it's not so much that Apple stole this idea from Android as they kind of stole it from Samsung because Samsung has an app store but they kind of try and customize it for you with all these little categories and it's just a little bit too confusing. We'll see how this goes. I think that eventually, you'll learn where your stuff is and if you can't remember where your stuff is, well guess what, you can put it on your home screen. The interface is also interesting because it shows three big icons and then for little icons and they do different things depending on if you tap on it, if you just tap on one of the big icons, it doesn't open a folder it like opens the whole app which is like surprising.


If you tap on the little icons, you get a listing of everything inside that category but there's no obvious way to get out of it. You have to know to sort of tap on a blank space on the screen or swipe up to go back just like going home. So the app library is fascinating to me because it is the first real time that Apple has added real complexity to the iPhone home screen. The third application is called App Clips and these are just like instant apps on Android. They're little baby versions of an app that you don't technically like go through the full Apple Store install process. You can install just a little baby version of the app on the fly when you needit and then it sits there inside your app library, the little dotted line around it and eventually goes away or if you want the full version of the app, you can tap on the app clip and then you can install the full version of the app from the App Store.


The idea behind it is actually really clever. Sometimes you wanna do a thing that only an app can do but you just don't want the whole damn app sitting there on your phone forever. So a good example of this is if you're renting a smart scooter or paying for parking, I don't know I go to a random city, they have their own custom parking app. I don't, I'm gonna, I don't want that app. I'm gonna delete it. I'm gonna forget to delete it. I'm gonna be annoyed and might track me and I don't know. Just having an app clip for that thing is really smart but I don't know how much use this thing is actually going to get because if you think about it, you've got webpages for stuff that you just wanna look at and you want to go away pretty much right away and you got apps for things that you wanna be permanent and App Clips live in the middle for things that can do things that webpages can but you don't want them to stick around like full apps and I just don't know howmany things live in that the middle zone like parking meters, renting scooters, maybe you know paying for like certain things or like a, I don't know, amusement park app or something but really that's about it.


You install them using QR codes or NFC codes or maybe it'll be some custom URLs but we'll have to see just how much developers really adopt this kind of thing because on Android it's sort of been seen that many of them. Alright, so let's review the ways that I think Apple has made the iPhone home screen more complicated in iOS 14. There are widgets that you can put anywhere on the home screen and you can scroll through them into little stacks that might algorithmically try and figure out which one should go at the top at any given moment. There's the new jiggly mode which lets you go to the app pages view and turn app pages on or off if you don't wanna have to see them at a certain time of day or whatever.


There's the app library which means that your apps are potentially in two different places: the home screen or the app library and your home screen folders in your app library folders work a little bit differently, and last but not least there are App Clips which is a whole new kind of app and you need to know what that means or what the dotted line around an icon means. And that those apps might go away in 30 days if you don't use them. Oh, and there's actually one more complication. There's now a setting for the home screen where you can go in and decide whether app badges show up in the app library and whether new apps show up on your home screen. So that's a lot of complication and it probably sounds like I'm complaining about all that complication but I'm actually not and don't get me wrong, I can complain about complications on Apple's platforms.


I think that Apple has made the iPad way too complicated when it comes to selecting text or knowing what's going on when there are multiple windows especially multiple windows from the same app. But on the iPhone, I think it's different and that's because the defaults on the iPhone are not complicated. You don't have to learn any of this stuff, the widgets, jiggly mode, even the app library you could ignore even though it's over there. The defaults are still the classic grid that you're used to and you can just keep using your iPhone in the same old way that you always have. So well Apple makes you understand the new iPad OS interface.


They've made it more complicated. With the iPhone, Apple let's it get complicated. You get to do this new stuff if you want to or you can ignore it. If you don't know me, obviously I'm a power user. I wanna use all this new stuff and I'm really excited to try a bunch of it out and make this thing just feel a little bit more like it's mine and a little bit more like it's customized to the way that I wanna use smartphones and so it's great that I have that option but if you don't, I think it's also great that you don't have to. Everybody, thanks so much for watching. Let me know what you think of the iOS 14 home screen stuff down in the comments and I know I said I wouldn't cover everything in iOS 14 and I meant it but I do have to point out that there are this new feature and accessibility where you can double-tap the back of the phone or triple-tap it to do custom action. So just for fun, I did what everybody else is doing and I map double-tap to launch the Google Assistant 'cause why not?