iOS 14 release date, features and rumors

Jan 7, 2020 Update: Apple fans are starting to offer suggestions of what they would like to see in iOS 14 when it’s revealed later this year. One feature many have long been clamoring for is more optionality or personalization. Apple has long been making sure its products can only be used the way it wants them to be used, but fans would like to be able to personalize their devices a bit more. It seems unlikely that iOS 14 will offer more personalization features, but fans can certainly dream.

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Another feature many would like to see in iOS 14 is an always-on display. Apple hasn’t yet ventured into the always-on display arena like many Android makers have, so it’s lagging quite far behind. Those who have used a device with an always-on display appreciate being able to check the time and see notifications at a glance, which isn’t possible with the iPhone currently. The Apple Watch just got an always-on display this year, so it is possible that we will see one in an iPhone soon, either with iOS 14 or limited to this year’s newest models.

Previously: Given how many problems iOS 13 has brought since it was first released last month, it doesn’t come as a surprise that some Apple fans are already looking forward to iOS 14. Despite the many difficulties with every version of iOS 13 so far, through iOS 13.1.3, we don’t expect iOS 14 to be released until next September. However, there are plenty of rumors about it already circulating. We’ve gathered some of them here.

iOS 14 release date

Apple typically reveals some features of new versions of iOS at its annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) in June, and developers typically start getting their hands on the earliest beta versions of iOS during or shortly after the conference.

There was a bit of confusion with the iOS 13 release schedule because Apple released iOS 13.1 instead of Beta 9 for iOS 13. At first glance, it seemed like iOS 13 was already ready for public release as early as the end of August. However, after it rolled out to the general public toward the end of September, it became clear that it wasn’t actually ready because it was riddled with bugs.

Given the break with tradition with 13, predicting the beta release schedule for iOS 14 may be a bit more difficult. However, we would expect the first public beta version of 14 to be released not very long after the first developer beta. Apple will then continue to release beta versions until the iOS 14 release date, which will probably be in the second half of September, possibly the third Thursday, which would be Sept. 18, 2020.

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Image source: Apple/Screenshot

Of course, this depends entirely on when next year’s iPhones start landing in consumers’ hands because Apple usually releases new iOS versions the day of or the day before the release date of new iPhones.

Expected and suggested features

One of the big new additions to iOS 14 is expected to be support for 5G wireless technology. Of course, it still is early in the 5G game because mobile carriers are still building out their networks. However, that hasn’t kept smartphone makers from releasing devices equipped with 5G support — with a premium price tag to go along with the new feature even though 5G support currently doesn’t benefit very many people due to the lack of 5G networks.

One feature many Apple users would like to see is the ability to insert links into emails without simply copying and pasting the entire link. This would make sense from a business standpoint since more and more people are using their iPhones for work purposes and tasks. This feature could be added both in Apple’s own Mail app and in third-party email apps like Gmail.

The company would also do well to tweak its spam calls filter. The setting called “Silence Unknown Callers” sends any caller not in your list of contacts to voicemail without actually ringing the phone. However, it isn’t very practical because everyone gets some calls from numbers that aren’t in their contacts, and not all of these calls are junk. Some mobile carriers are offering their own spam call filters, but Apple could improve this feature by offering a number of options so you aren’t stock with all or nothing.

We would also expect iOS 14 to offer more augmented-reality features. Apple has been working on its AR features and ARKit for quite some time, but next year could be a great time to introduce even more AR features, possibly even with a new device like those AR glasses the company has long been rumored to be working on.

Update to development process for iOS 14

There’s no denying that iOS 13 was a seriously botched version of the mobile operating system, and Apple wants to prevent a repeat of that issue with iOS 14 this year. It was reported in November that Software chief Craig Federighi was overhauling the testing and development process for iOS 14 so that developers can spot issues quickly before new versions make it into the public release. But just how well will this process work?

Citing sources familiar with the planned changes for the iOS 14 development process, Bloomberg said the changes were announced at an internal meeting with Apple’s software developers. The new strategy will require developers to make sure each update or daily build will disable features that are buggy or unfinished by default. Developers can then enable the features selectively through a new process and settings menu Apple is calling Flags, which will enable them to isolate impacts from each individual feature and determine which ones are causing problems.

iOS 14 will be a big test on how well Apple’s new development process works, but it will be quite some time before we know whether it does indeed work. Apple probably won’t reveal iOS 14 until WWDC in June, ahead of a public release in the fall.

Split view concept for iOS 14

Earlier this month, a designer offered some ideas for another much-anticipated feature for iOS 14. The concept, shared via the YouTube channel Tech Blood, shows what split view could look like in Apple’s mobile operating system.

The concept shows what it might look like if an iPhone were capable of running two apps simultaneously side by side. It also demonstrates what it could be like to be able to drag and drop items from one of the apps into the other next to it. The idea is that the iPhone could have a hidden doc containing icons that could be pulled out to launch the apps next to one that’s already running. You can check out the full concept here:



About the Author

Michelle Jones
Michelle Jones was a television news producer for eight years. She produced the morning news programs for the NBC affiliates in Evansville, Indiana and Huntsville, Alabama and spent a short time at the CBS affiliate in Huntsville. She has experience as a writer and public relations expert for a wide variety of businesses. Michelle has been with ValueWalk since 2012 and is now our editor-in-chief. Email her at Mjones@valuewalk.com.