My thoughts after living on the iOS 14 public beta for the last month. TL;DR at the bottom.
Overall I really like iOS 14.
(TL;DR at the bottom)
The widgets look nice and fit in with the overall iOS aesthetic (as expected), but sometimes I feel it would be better to just have the app icon instead. But I also don’t love widgets, so that could be a bit biased. I just wish they were more interactive.
The Smart Stack is a good concept, but I want to see what developers do with widgets before making a final judgement on it. It’s nice that it figures out which ones you use at what times and brings them up automatically; but it’s not perfect. For example, the Maps widget will pull an address from either your next calendar event and have directions ready, or make a guess as to where you want to go based on previous activity if there’s none available.
I guess my main beef with widgets is that I wish they did things that were more specific. Like the Photos widget for example: I wish I could pick a specific album to display instead of just the suggested memories. They’re good overall, but they have some annoying quirks.
I like the changes to the Home Screen overall.
The ability to just hide specific home screens without having to move all the apps to the library is fantastic. It saves a lot of micromanaging having to select each individual app and remove it.
However; the fact that you can’t rearrange them from that screen is kind of infuriating. In order do rearrange them, you’d have to go do the micromanaging thing I mentioned before and either remove all the apps from the Home Screen to get that particular one to disappear, or move them to another screen.
Apple, if you’re reading this, allow me to move the frickin screens around!
The App Library is nice, but it takes some getting used to. Most app drawers just put everything alphabetically which is great. The App Library in iOS automatically organizes all the apps into categorized folders instead.
This is a great idea; but like I said, it takes some getting used to. It took me a bit to figure out which folder a couple specific apps went into; but other than that it was fine.
If you don’t like the categories, you can just pull down or tap the search bar at the top to get an alphabetized list.
Overall, the App Library takes some getting used to, but is implemented pretty well, IMO. I don’t use it much though, because I just use Spotlight Search to open apps not already on my Home Screen.
I like some of the changes here, but don’t like others. I do like that they changed the name of the app. It makes more sense; especially considering the announcement of Fitness+ today; which I’m sure was the reason for the name change in the first place.
I like that they combined everything into the two sections, but I wish they had kept the calendar part separate. To view the calendar you now have to open your activity for the day, and then open the calendar. I preferred having an overview of the month and then looking at each day from there. That’s purely subjective though.
Other than consolidating everything to the two tabs, not much has changed from what I can tell.
I love that you can now pin conversations in Messages. It’s something I’ve wanted for awhile. It’s not quite how I would have done it, from a visual standpoint, but that’s not a bad thing. It works well and I’m glad it’s here.
However, somehow autocorrect continues to get worse for me. I don’t know if this is just an issue for me, but autocorrect is straight up retarded. I’ll spell a word wrong by one letter, and not only does it not correct it; it tells me it’s wrong, but won’t suggest a replacement when I select it. Again; I don’t know if it’s just me, but it drives me crazy.
As for incoming calls; FINALLY they made it so the calls don’t take up the whole screen. It’s just like a regular banner notification that you can flick away. It’s about time, Apple!
Oh, Siri. I wish you were better.
I don’t use Siri for much. Mostly it’s just for reminders, timers, alarms, and the occasional text message. I wish I could use Siri for other things, but it can never seem to understand when I talk to it.
Siri will pick up entirely different words, not recognize contact names, give me answers that have nothing to do with the question I asked, and more.
As with the autocorrect thing; I don’t know if I’m doing something wrong, but I don’t use Siri hardly at all because it just doesn’t work right for me.
The new UI for Siri is great, but it’s not useful enough for me.
Widgets are good, they just need a couple things to be more useful. The App Library serves its purpose very well. There’s a lot of QoL improvements that I was waiting for that I enjoy immensely. Siri is… Siri.
Overall, iOS 14 is a great step forward, but needs a few tweaks to be the best version of itself.