Apple iOS 14 Changes iPhone Home Screen Layout, Adds Emoji Search
New iPhone, Mac and iPad operating systems were unveiled at WWDC20.
Apple successfully hosted the very first virtual edition of its annual Worldwide Developers Conference, a day-long event showcasing the tech giant’s upcoming software innovations. Several standout developments were announced during the 2020 keynote presentation, most notably, new operating systems for the iPhone, Mac and iPad.
Transforming the iPhone experience, iOS 14 features a redesigned homepage that allows users to adjust the size of app widgets and pin them to the Home Screen in a customizable manner. A new App Library, housed on the last page of a user’s Home Screen, organizes all downloaded apps in one place. Further fine-tuning the user experience, App Clips allows users to access a particular feature of an app without fully downloading it.
Messages, one of the iPhone’s most heavily used programs, will also receive a makeover. Users can pin conversations to the top of their messages list for easy access, as well as send direct replies to specific contacts within a group chat. Memojis will also support expanded headwear, face covering and hairstyle options. An additional update, picture-in-picture support will allow users to watch videos and conduct FaceTime calls while using another app.
Emoji fans will also enjoy an addition allowing users to search for specific icons using common words and phrases such as “heart” or “smiley face” straight from the emoji keyboard.
Apple also previewed upcoming desktop operating system MacOS Big Sur, which includes a dramatic update to web browser Safari. Users can customize their Safari start page with a background image, as well as resources such as their Reading List and iCloud tabs. Safari has been redesigned to show more tabs onscreen and provide a preview of said tabs when hovered over. Lastly, a Privacy Report feature will provide added transparency as to what trackers various websites use.
As the iPad quickly becomes a viable replacement for the traditional laptop or desktop computer, iPadOS 14 introduces a more compact design to facilitate productivity. Scribble, a new feature, quickly converts handwriting — which users can now input into any text bar — into typed text.
Watch Apple’s WWWDC20 keynote presentation and preview the new operating systems above.