I’ve been testing out the iOS 14 beta for the last week, and I’ve been impressed by its relative stability and the vast amount of features packed inside. The sheer ridiculous amount of changes and features aside, I’m most impressed by the number of quality of life improvements found in iOS 14.

In our first hands-on iOS 14 video, we’ll step through over 250 changes and features, including all of the aforementioned QOL improvements such as Picture in Picture, Widgets, App Library, Compact call interface, and more.

Picture in Picture

My favorite new feature in iOS 14 is Picture in Picture video. I use PiP all of the time on my iPad Pro and have desired it on the iPhone for years. As a former jailbreaker, I’ve had firsthand experience with Picture in Picture on an iPhone, but it’s been years since I’ve used a jailbroken device as a daily driver.

Picture in Picture is a huge convenience feature. It allows me to consume videos while chatting in iMessage or while browsing in Safari. I especially like that it allows me to watch YouTube how-to videos while jotting down notes in the Notes app.

Hands-on with 250+ iOS 14 beta features

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Compact Call interface

In bringing a compact incoming call interface to iOS 14, Apple has addressed perhaps one of the most requested quality of life features for the iPhone.

A jailbreak tweak called CallBar solved this problem years ago, and I’ve been wanting Apple to include such a function natively in iOS for years.

In previous versions of iOS, receiving an incoming call would present a full-screen call interface and interrupt your current task. It was a jarring experience that I never fully got used to and it made me dislike receiving incoming phone calls.

In iOS 14, incoming phone calls are relegated to a small banner at the top of the interface. This allows you to keep reading, or browsing without worrying about being ambushed by an incoming call.

Compact Siri

Like the compact call interface, compact Siri allows users to interface with the virtual assistant without interrupting whatever current task you’re engaged in. Siri is now displayed as an overlay at the bottom of the screen, with Siri results appearing as a significantly less conspicuous banner at the top of the screen.

App Library

Apple’s App Library is another big win for iPhone users who have long lamented over the state of app management on iOS. Instead of being forced into adopting page after page of apps and folders, users can now add and remove app pages at will.

Regardless of what’s displayed on the traditional Home screen pages, the App Library is where all of the apps installed on your iPhone reside. There’s even a handy alphabetical list of all of the apps currently installed on your iOS device.

Improved Search

Search in iOS 14 is a big improvement over its predecessors, bringing smarter search results and launcher-like functionality to native iOS. New features include as-you-type suggestions and the ability to press the “go” button to take action and launch websites, web searches, and apps.

Of course, these five standout features are just the start when it comes to iOS 14. If you’re itching to know about all of the details, then watch our hands-on, 95-minute iOS 14 video walkthrough for the details.

For references, here’s a list of everything included in our iOS 14 beta features video walkthrough:

Initial setup

  • Downloading app data

Home screen

  • Slide through app pages
  • Enter edit mode from anywhere
  • New minus indicator for deleting apps
  • Edit Home screen pages
  • Six new iOS 14 wallpapers

App Library

  • Remove any app from Home screen
  • Automatic categorization
  • Suggestions
  • Widgets on Home screen
  • Edit a widget
  • Siri Suggestions widget
  • Differently sized widgets
  • Widget stacks
  • Edit a widget stack
  • Stack multiple weather widgets
  • Smart stack

Search

  • As-you-type search suggestions
  • Quick launcher
  • In-app search
  • Web search
  • Updated Siri Suggestions UI
  • Redesigned Siri Knowledge layout

Picture in Picture

  • Enable Picture in Picture
  • Customize and control Picture in Picture
  • Settings > General > Picture in Picture

Siri

  • Compact Siri UI
  • Send audio messages
  • Share ETA
  • Updated Siri Settings > Suggestions on Lock screen
  • Updated Siri Settings > Siri Feedback
  • Updated Siri Settings > Suggestions when Sharing
  • Updated Siri Settings > In Search settings
  • Updated Siri Settings > App Clips

Privacy

  • Manage app tracking
  • Approximate Location
  • Limited Photos library access
  • Recording/microphone indicator
  • Recently used indicator in Control Center
  • Notification when apps access clipboard
  • Privacy > Local Network
  • Use Private Address

Markup

  • New colors button
  • New eyedropper tool
  • Colors: Grid, Spectrum, Sliders
  • Opacity
  • Hexadecimal colors
  • Save colors as favorites
  • Shape recognition

Settings

  • Long press back button to go back levels
  • Settings > General > About > Carrier Lock
  • Settings > General > Customize Automatic Updates
  • Settings > TV > Cellular Streaming > Automatic Optimized based on data plan… Settings > iCloud > Media & Purchases
  • Rename Bluetooth devices
  • Search bar added to iPhone Storage
  • New Glyph when Bluetooth devices connected
  • AirPods now have their info in iOS Bluetooth Settings
  • All-new Field Test app

Family sharing

  • Family sharing shows avatars of all members
  • New Family Sharing Layout shows when joined, role, and access
  • “Shared with your Family” instead of shared features
  • Invite member now uses Share Sheet
  • Apple TV Channels are broken up individually
  • Ask To Buy
  • New Screen Time UI

Keyboard

  • Emoji search

Control Center

  • Updated Camera app glyphs
  • Home app CC toggle removed
  • Dynamic Home toggles added
  • Sound Recognition toggle
  • Hearing toggle shows decibel rating
  • Updated Control Center Settings

Accessibility

  • Headphone Accommodations
  • Accessibility Settings
  • VoiceOver
  • Magnifier
  • Spoken Content
  • Touch
  • Switch Control
  • Side Button
  • Audio/Visual
  • Siri
  • Accessibility Shortcut

Phone

  • Compact interface
  • Third-party VoIP calls compact interface
  • New audio picker
  • Updated tables and buttons in contacts
  • New contact photo options camera, photos, emoji, text
  • Updated Groups in contacts
  • Updated Settings > Phone > Incoming Calls
  • Updated Settings > Phone > Silence Unknown/Blocked/SMS call reporting

Messages

  • Pinned conversations
  • Now typing indicator in conversation list
  • Mentions
  • Inline replies
  • New contact photo avatar layout for group messages
  • Set group photo and name
  • Edit button replaces action button
  • Hide Alerts and Delete alerts changed to glyphs
  • Updated Detail view (Name, buttons, photos and links history)
  • Updated Audio Call UI
  • Move between 3D effects by sliding finger
  • Shooting star effect removed
  • New Memoji and Memoji Sticker icons
  • New hairstyles
  • New headwear styles
  • Face coverings
  • More age options
  • New Memoji stickers

Maps

  • Updated route UI buttons
  • Cycling
  • Guides
  • Updated Maps Settings > Cycling
  • Updated Maps Settings > Navigation & Guidance
  • Other upcoming Maps features

Translate

  • Voice translation
  • Conversation mode
  • Attention mode
  • Text translation
  • Favorites
  • On-device translation settings
  • Dictionary
  • Keyboard automatically added when typing a foreign language

Home

  • Redesigned UI
  • Suggested automations
  • Home controls
  • Adaptive Lighting for smart light bulbs
  • Face Recognition for video cameras and doorbells
  • Activity Zones for video cameras and doorbells
  • Recording options

Safari

  • Web page translation
  • Website Privacy Report
  • Performance
  • Password monitoring

App Store

  • App details
  • App Store search typo suggestion
  • Shared in-app purchases for third-party apps
  • Updated App Store settings

App Clips

  • App Clips

Apple Arcade

  • Continue playing
  • Filter all games
  • Friends suggestions
  • Achievements
  • Game Center in-game dashboard

Camera

  • Updated quick action shortcut glyphs
  • Improved shot-to-shot performance
  • QuickTake video on iPhone XR and iPhone XS
  • Quick toggles in Video mode available to all devices
  • New chevron button for settings
  • Updated Night mode capture experience
  • Exposure compensation control
  • Capture burst photos and QuickTake video with volume buttons
  • Mirror photos taken on front camera
  • QR code reading enhancements
  • Updated Camera settings

FaceTime

  • Compact mode
  • Improved video quality
  • Updated FaceTime settings
  • Sign language prominence
  • Eye contact
  • Animoji renamed Memoji

Files

  • APFS encrypted drive support
  • Updated sidebar
  • More consistent glyphs
  • New action button for easy folder and file management
  • Now sort and change list view when searching
  • New Shared Documents folder

Health

  • Customized sleep schedule
  • Wind Down for sleep
  • Sleep mode
  • New Health data types
  • Updated profile page
  • Health Checklist
  • Hearing health

Clock

  • New system-wide time picker
  • Bedtime removed
  • Change Sleep Mode alarm on one-time basis

Mail

  • VIP Star color now gold and no more separator
  • Mark shortcut now features flag
  • New accounts setting location

Measure

  • Updated quick action Level and Measure glyph

Magnifier

  • Updated Magnifier app

Music

  • Listen Now
  • Updated now playing background
  • Updated album page
  • Autoplay
  • Improved search
  • Library filtering
  • Scrubber when in lyrics view

News

  • Dark Articles in Dark Mode

Notes

  • No more textured paper background
  • New table view for list of notes
  • Enhanced actions menu
  • Collapsible Pinned section
  • Top Hits in search
  • New headings for formatting
  • Quick styles
  • Enhanced scanning

Photos

  • New actions button
  • Filter and sort
  • Easy, fluid navigation
  • Zoom in further on photos
  • Add context to photos and videos with captions
  • Memories enhancements
  • Redesigned image picker in apps
  • Recently deleted photos now displayed in reverse
  • Less intrusive “Rendering Video” message

Podcasts

  • Smarter Listen Now

Reminders

  • Assign reminders
  • New reminders from the lists screen
  • Enhanced calendar picker
  • Revamped Details view with colors and glyphs
  • Edit multiple reminders at once
  • Personalized lists with emoji and new symbols
  • New Assigned to Me list
  • Organize smart lists
  • Improved search
  • Settings > Reminders > Assignment Notifications

Shortcuts

  • Show on Apple Watch
  • New Shortcuts Widget
  • Brighter colors
  • New Automation Triggers
  • Time of day recurrence
  • New actions

Books

  • Updated Books settings

Game Center

  • User details at top
  • Friend Suggestions
  • Achievements By Game
  • Profile Privacy

Voice Memos

  • Light recording button area in light mode
  • Enhance recording
  • Favorites
  • Smart Folders
  • Folders

FindMy

  • Will integrate with third parties

Weather

  • Next-hour precipitation
  • Air Quality meter
  • Multi-day precipitation forecast
  • Slide between locations
  • View locations without adding

Fitness

  • Renamed from Activity to Fitness
  • Consolidated Summary tab

What are your top five iOS 14 beta features? Sound off down below in the comments with your thoughts.

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