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Apple Finally Adds Widgets With iOS 14

Apple has rolled out its iOS 14 update, which adds features new to iOS devices including widgets.

Widgets, which have been a feature of Android phones since 2008, have been added to the newest version of iOS. They can be customised with Smart Stacks, which allow different widgets to be displayed based on time, location, and activity; for example, news widgets in the morning and fitness in the evening.

Also new to iOS 14 is the App Library – essentially an app drawer that can be found at the end of the home screen, which organises apps into categories and suggests apps that might be helpful – as well as App Clips, which allow users to access parts of an app when they are needed.

Apple has also redesigned the incoming call and Siri interfaces, making them more compact and unobtrusive when using different apps; additionally, with picture-in-picture, users can now take FaceTime and video calls without losing the use of the entire screen.

According to Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president of Software Engineering, iOS 14 “reimagines” the iPhone experience.

“Together with iPhone, iOS is central to how we navigate our lives and stay connected, and we are making it even more powerful and easier to use in iOS 14, with the biggest update ever to the Home Screen.

“We are thrilled to see the incredible ways developers are taking advantage of widgets and App Clips to create new experiences that we think customers are going to love,” he said.

Other new features include updates to Messages and Maps; new privacy features including the ability to share approximate location with app developers rather than exact location; seamless switching of AirPods audio between devices; and digital car keys for NFC-enabled vehicles.

iOS 14 is available as a free update for owners of iPhone 6s and later models.

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