One of Apple's key features for iOS was always its "what you see is what you get" philosophy. Sure, there were small tweaks and complicated workarounds to customize an iPhone, but, for the most part, all iPhones felt similar. These days, however, changing up your iPhone's look is much easier. In just a few steps, you can change one of the most visual parts about iOS — home screen app icons.
For the longest time, we were simply stuck with Safari on the iPhone. Sure, you could install a third-party browser, but Safari was always the default, so tapping on links would always open Apple's app. Times have changed, however, and now you can set third-party browsers like Chrome, Firefox, and Edge as your iPhone's default choice.
One of the most significant changes in iOS 14 is something we've wanted for a very long time, and it will change the way you use your iPhone. Since the very first iPhone OS 1 (yes, before it was even "iOS"), we've been stuck with Apple Mail as the default emailing app. That all changes now.
Since iOS 9, the iPad has had Picture in Picture mode, which lets you minimize a video that you're watching into a floating overlay so that you can multitask in other apps while it plays. But while there have been six Plus and Max size models over the years, the iPhone had never featured PiP windows — until now.
Have you ever watched a video on your iPhone but wanted to look at something else real quick? In past iOS versions, you had to choose between pausing the video or waiting until it's over — not exactly ideal for a device that's supposed to help you multitask. Well, iOS 14 just fixed it, giving us picture-in-picture mode to watch and perform other on-screen tasks at the same time.
Chief among iOS 14's excellent new features is the overhauled home screen. Now, you can add customizable widgets that live alongside your traditional apps, and both first-party and third-party apps can take advantage of it. Talk about an upgrade. They even work in the Today View and lock screen, so you can have the reinvented widgets for one or the other — or both.
How To: There's a New App Library on Your iPhone's Home Screen — Here's Everything You Need to Know About It in iOS 14
Are you tired of endless rows and columns of apps on your home screen? Before iOS 14, your only option was to hide apps in folders, uninstall them, or use some sort of elaborate workaround. You could hide a few stock apps easily enough, but that's it. Now, in the latest version of iOS, you can hide apps for real, and even hide entire home screen pages, and still access the apps in one convenient drawer.
Widgets have been available on the iPhone for a while now, but they were tucked away in the Today View or hidden in the quick actions menu for app icons on the home screen. Android had always had a leg up on Apple in the widget department because they were so much more versatile, but that changed with the introduction of iOS 14.
Whether you're using your iPhone to add graphics to a document, edit a photo, or sketch an idea, color plays a vital role in making your work look great. Apple's iOS 14 update introduces a system-wide color picker that lets you pick the exact color you want, save it to your favorite colors, and use it across a variety of apps to add that special touch to your work.
Before iOS 14, the date and time picker on the iPhone had been a scroll wheel for a very long time. Whether you loved or hated it, it was like second nature to use it. Now, you need to use a calendar and your keyboard to input dates and times. If you got so used to the old way and find the new method jarring, there's a trick to getting the scrolling date and time selector back.
There are plenty of reasons to upgrade to iOS 14, home screen widgets chief among them. With that in mind, it's ironic that Apple placed so much emphasis on "widgets" this year when the new update removes a fan-favorite widget of the past — the "Favorites" Phone widget, which was accessible via the Today View or quick actions on the home screen. Here's how to get it back.
Possibly the most popular feature in iOS 14, home screen widgets are here to stay. Apple created a ton for its own apps, and third-party developers keep building ones for their own apps. But home screen widgets go beyond that since you can make a widget for practically anything you want, from a custom news feed to an inspirational picture of the day — and this is how you do it.
It's not hard to let your iPhone's home screen get cluttered. Apps pile up one after another, and while you don't use every app every single day, you can't quite seem to part ways with even those one-use apps you've collected over the years. But you can apply the KonMari method to your home screen, getting rid of apps you don't love — without actually trashing any of them.
How To: Prevent Certain Apps from Using Cellular Data on Your iPhone to Stay Below Data Caps or Avoid Throttling
If you're on a cellular plan with a low data allotment, being thrifty with your data can help you avoid a higher bill. But even if you have an affordable unlimited plan from wireless carriers such as T-Mobile or Verizon, going over a certain amount of data may throttle your connection, leaving you with slow web speeds. One way to prevent hitting these thresholds is to keep certain apps in check.
How To: Use Apple's Translate Tool in iOS 14 to Convert Text, Speech & Full-Blown Conversations Between Two Languages
There have been third-party iOS apps for live conversation translations, and Google Assistant pushed out its own feature for iPhone last year. Still, iOS 14 now has a default translator for real-time multi-language talks in person. So you can finally chat with people who use a different language without missing anything or having to install any complicated apps on your device.
One of iOS 14's best new features is the ability to add and stack widgets on your home screen, which lets you check in with your favorite apps without actually needing to open them. Apple takes the concept one step further with "Smart Stacks," where iOS intelligently stacks widgets together based on how you use your iPhone.
One thing that always bugged me about the Notes app for iPhone is that every note starts with Big, Bold Text. Relevant in some cases, sure, but most of the time, I'm just trying to jot down some thoughts, and having one giant sentence is just unnecessary. Luckily, it's not that hard to fix.
Let's say that the screen on your iPhone is showing signs of discoloration, which makes the display annoying to use. You'll need a replacement display or a new iPhone as soon as possible. If you have one of the newer iPhone models, the cost to fix it might be more than your wallet can handle, but a warranty may still cover it, and there are ways to check quickly.
How To: Do This to Make Sure You're Not Getting Billed by Any Mysterious Subscriptions on Your iPhone
We hardly need to "buy" anything these days since games, music, books, news, movies, and TV are all available on the iPhone with various monthly subscriptions. Just set it and forget it so that your wallet does all the work for you. But if you're on a free trial or two and don't want to commit, you might get an unexpected charge if you forgot or don't know where to cancel. Here's how to avoid that.
How To: Battery Almost Dead? Here's the Best Way to Squeeze More Juice Out of Your iPhone Without a Charger
Your iPhone's almost out of battery power, there's no wired or wireless charger in sight, and you left your portable power bank at home. You don't want your battery to die, but you still need to use your iPhone. This is when Low Power Mode comes in handy, but you could be wasting valuable time and power if you're activating it the wrong way.