Apple today seeded the first public betas of upcoming iOS and iPadOS 14 updates to its public beta testing group, two weeks after first providing the updates to developers after the WWDC keynote and a day after seeding the second developer betas.
These builds can be downloaded on compatible iPhones and iPads which are registered to run public beta versions of Apple’s mobile operating systems. The first public beta versions of iOS 14 and iPadOS use the same builds as iOS 14 Developer Beta 2 and iPadOS 14 Developer Beta 2.
iOS 14 brings changes to the Home Screen, including widget support. Widgets can now be placed right next to your apps, and with the focus on widgets, Apple has introduced new widgets from default apps and is allowing them to be customized in three sizes.
Along with widgets, Apple has introduced an App Library, which is an interface that shows all of the apps on your iPhone both in smart folders that are created automatically and in an alphabetical list.
With the App Library providing access to all your apps, there’s now an option to hide entire app pages from your ?iPhone?, so you can avoid a cluttered Home Screen.
iOS 14 Beta 2 and iPadOS 14 Beta 2 updates bring a new icon for the Calendar app and also shows a task in the smaller-sized Tasks widget instead of just showing remaining tasks. The Files app now has a widget to quickly access recently opened files. There’s also a setting to manually disable animated cover art or limit it to Wi-Fi only in the Music app.
Apple has worked to make the iPhone’s interface more compact, and incoming phone calls and Siri requests no longer take over the whole screen and are instead presented in a banner style, a feature also available on iPadOS.
There’s also support for picture-in-picture mode and a smaller call UI. New Siri UI is now much smaller and doesn’t take up the whole screen. The Messages app gets support for more emojis, Memojis, Memoji Stickers, mentions, and the ability to customize a group’s profile picture.
iOS 14 also brings App Clips and the option to change the default email and web browser apps. iPhones also get the new Translate app, cycling directions, multi-device switching for AirPods, Digital CarKey support, and support for third-party products in the Find My app. iOS 14 focuses a lot on privacy as well, with Safari offering detailed reports on trackers and cookies.
The Health app supports the Sleep Tracking feature added in watchOS 7, and the iPhone will support the Sleep Mode and Wind Down features designed to help you get a better night’s sleep. There’s also a new Health Checklist that makes it easier to manage health and safety features like Emergency SOS, Fall Detection, and Medical ID.
AirPods can now seamlessly and automatically switch between devices, and AirPods Pro gain a new spatial audio feature for surround sound complete with dynamic head tracking.
As for iPadOS 14, it includes most of the new iOS 14 updates, except the Home Screen redesign. The biggest change is the new Scribble feature that lets you use the Apple Pencil to write on any text field, with the written text converted to typed text.
Scribble works throughout the operating system so you can use the Apple Pencil for Safari searches, adding new items in Calendar and Reminders, sending Messages, handwriting in the Notes app, and more.
iOS and iPadOS 14 beta 2 introduced a handful of tweaks and changes such as a new Calendar app icon, a Files widget, tweaks to Control Center, and more.