Last year’s iOS 13 introduced a huge number of new features. But its buggy launch left many Apple fans disappointed. Fans are now looking forward to this year’s iOS 14. The tech giant has reportedly taken a series of steps to identify and fix bugs quickly with the upcoming software. Expectations from the iOS 14 are running high. Here we have gathered all the rumored features and expected release date.
iOS 14 release date
Apple is expected to unveil the iOS 14 alongside iPadOS 14 at its annual WWDC event in June this year. 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 ready for public release as early as the end of August. However, only after the general public release in September did Apple realize that 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. We expect the first public beta version of 14 to release not very long after the first developer beta in June or July.
Apple will then continue to release beta versions until the stable build is released to the public. The public rollout will probably be in the second half of September, possibly the third Thursday, which would be Sept. 18, 2020.
Of course, this depends entirely on when this year’s iPhones start landing in consumers’ hands. Apple usually releases new iOS versions the day of or the day before the release date of new iPhones.
When Apple releases a new iOS update, it drops some older iPhones from the list of supported devices. Last year’s iOS 13 ditched support for iPhone 5S, iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, and the sixth-generation iPod Touch. Consumers were expecting Apple to drop support for the iPhone SE and iPhone 6S with the iOS 14 rollout. But that might not happen.
French publication iPhonesoft reports that the upcoming iOS 14 will support all the devices currently supported by iOS 13, including the iPhone SE and iPhone 6S. The upcoming iPhone 12 series would run the iOS 14 out of the box. The rumored budget-friendly iPhone 9 or iPhone SE 2 will also get the iOS 14 update.
The report should be taken with skepticism. But if it turns out to be true, Apple will be supporting a long list of devices going all the way back to the 2015 iPhone 6S.
Here’s the list of devices the iOS 14 will support, according to iPhonesoft:
- iPhone 12 (5G)
- iPhone 12 Pro (5G)
- iPhone 9 / iPhone SE 2
- iPhone 11
- iPhone 11 Pro
- iPhone 11 Pro Max
- iPhone XS Max
- iPhone XS
- iPhone XR
- iPhone X
- iPhone 8 Plus
- iPhone 8
- iPhone 7 Plus
- iPhone 7
- iPhone 6S
- iPhone 6S Plus
- iPhone SE
The French publication added that Apple could still drop support for the iPhone SE and iPhone 6S. It will depend on how the software development progresses over the next several months.
Expected and suggested features
The iOS 14 is widely expected to support 5G technology. It still is early in the 5G game because mobile carriers are still building out their networks. That hasn’t kept smartphone makers from releasing devices equipped with 5G support — with a premium price tag.
Siri will also likely get an upgrade this year. Over the last few years, Apple has significantly improved its AI assistant. But it still lags far behind Google Assistant and Alexa. The Cupertino company could also integrate Siri more deeply into the operating system, including in app management.
The iPhone users are also hoping that Apple will finally allow them to set third-party apps as default apps. In iOS 13, if you click a link within an email or message, it opens in Apple’s apps such as Safari. Users can’t select a third-party app of their choice. Hopefully, the iOS 14 would remove that barrier.
The ability to insert links into emails without copying and pasting the entire link is another feature high on our wishlist. This would make sense from a business standpoint. More and more people are using their iPhones for work purposes and tasks. Apple could add this feature in its 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 contact list to voicemail without actually ringing the phone. It isn’t practical because everyone gets some calls from numbers that aren’t in their contacts, and not all of these calls are junk. Some carriers are offering their own spam call filters. But Apple could improve this feature by offering a number of options so you don’t get stuck 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 this 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.
A 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.
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. It isn’t possible with the iPhone currently. Apple Watch got an always-on display last 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.
Update to development process for iOS 14
There’s no denying that iOS 13 was a seriously botched version of the mobile operating system. Apple wants to prevent a repeat of that issue with iOS 14 this year. Apple’s software chief Craig Federighi is 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 matter, Bloomberg said in November that 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 features selectively through a new process and settings menu Apple is calling Flags. It 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
Recently, 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:
Feb.13, 2020: Updated the article with more new features users expect to see in iOS 14.