6 iOS 14 Features to Try As soon as you install Apple’s update on your iPhone

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We are already finding iOS 14 features that we love. Patrick Holland / CNET

This story is part of Apple event, our comprehensive coverage of the latest news from Apple HQ.

After installation d’iOS 14 on your iPhone ($ 699 at Amazon), you may be wondering, where to start? Well, you are going to enjoy it. Apple’s update contains a host of new features that will change the way you use your phone – for the better. In many ways, this is Apple’s most involved visual facelift in years.

From an Android-style app drawer to iMessage enhancements and widgets for your home screen, there are a lot of things to use right away.

If you haven’t updated yet, take the time to prepare your iPhone Before you install iOS update. Below are six of my favorite features and how to use them on iOS 14.

Read more: Apple One, new iPad Air and Apple Watch 6 and SE: everything Apple just announced


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First take: iOS 14 and all its new features

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1. Tag someone in a text conversation

Apple’s updates to its Messages app mainly focused on iMessage group conversations.

What: You can now tag a person in a conversation when you want to grab their attention (useful for large groups) and directly reply to a message, by creating a discussion thread in your conversation. It should get you a quick response.

Comment: Tagging someone in a group convo should be as easy as typing the @ symbol followed by their name when chatting. An online response is made by long pressing a message and selecting Reply.

2. Pin a conversation to the top of messages

What: Pinning a conversation to the top of your Messages app means you don’t have to scroll through the long list of contacts and group conversations to find your favorite contacts. This is especially useful if you have a favorite group, like a chat with family or friends, that you talk to every day, or if you are planning a longer term event like a group watch party.

Comment: You can pin a contact or conversation to the top of your conversations list by swiping your finger right on any thread.

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Pin your favorite contacts or conversations to the top of your Messages app.

Screenshot by Jason Cipriani / CNET

3. Apple now has its own Translate app

What: Instead of having to use the Google Translate app on your iPhone, iOS 14 has a built-in Translate app that will let you convert text and even converse with someone who only speaks a different language. You can translate English, Mandarin Chinese, French, German, Spanish, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Arabic, Portuguese and Russian.

Comment: You have two options once you open the app. You can type the word or phrase you want to translate, or tap a microphone icon at the bottom of the screen to use voice-to-text. Once you are done, the app will translate what you have said into the language of your choice. This is especially useful if you are asking someone a quick question or want to hear the pronunciation as well.

To have an ongoing conversation, put the phone in landscape mode and tap the same mic icon – you don’t need to press and hold.

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Forget Google Translate, Apple now has its own app.

Screenshot by Jason Cipriani / CNET

4. A more organized home screen with the application library

Never wished that your iPhone had an app drawer like Android? Well, now it is. It’s called App Library.

What: App Library is a new screen that sits just to the right of your last home screen. It automatically organizes all the apps on your phone into folders based on the app category. The purpose of this feature is to make it easy for you to find all the apps installed on your iPhone. This goes along with another new home screen feature that lets you hide pages of apps that you rarely use.

Comment: Use the app library when you want to open an app that doesn’t appear on one of your home screens. To access it, slide your finger from right to left to go to the final home screen. Use the automatically organized folders to find the icon for the app you want, or use the search bar at the top of the screen to search for the app by name if you don’t know where it is. Alternatively, at the top of the App Library screen, you’ll find two folders: Suggestions and Recently Added. Both will automatically update and adjust which apps are in either folder depending on how often you use an app and what you’ve recently installed.

Here is more information on how to hide home screen pages for easier access to the application library.

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Apple’s app library is similar to an app drawer, but with folders.

Jason Cipriani / CNET

5. Widgets got a new look and a new home

You no longer have to envy your friends using Android – iPhone can now have widgets on the home screen. It is true.

What: Instead of widgets being limited to the Today view which is on the left side of your home screen, you can now add widgets directly to your screen, with multiple sizes optional. There’s even a Smart Stack widget that will show you information from multiple apps when it thinks you need it. For example, it can show you the weather widget followed by your calendar widget when you wake up in the morning.

Comment: You can display your widgets in Today view as you always have, on the left side of your main home screen, or you can drag and drop a widget from Today view onto your screen reception. Alternatively, when changing the layout of your app, you can tap the plus sign in at the top left corner of the screen, open the widget gallery and see which widgets you can add to your device.

Widgets can be pinned to your home screen and resized to your liking.

Animated by Jason Cipriani / CNET

6. Picture in Picture is a handy tool that you will love

The iPad ($ 284 at the back market) can play video in picture-in-picture mode for a few years now, and Picture in Picture arrive enfin sur l’iPhone.

What: Picture-in-Picture creates a thumbnail image of a video that continues to play even when you are on another application or screen. It will appear when you want to change gears to use a different part of the phone but don’t want to stop the video.

Comment: Whenever you watch a video in a supported app, like Twitch, and swipe back to the Home screen, the video continues to play, just in a smaller window. You can drag PiP across the screen, adjust its size by pinching and zooming, and even temporarily hide it on the edge of the screen. When you’re done, just tap the X to close the video. Oh, and let’s not forget – Picture in Picture also works with FaceTime video calls and these other applications. Huzzah!

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You can continue a FaceTime conversation in iOS 14 while viewing your schedule or any other iPhone screen.

Patrick Holland / CNET

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