iOS 14 is a big talking point amongst Apple fans, especially considering the less-than-polished state of iOS 13 at launch. Despite offering new features like Dark Mode and an overhauled Photos app, iOS 13 has had a bad run of bugs, seeing multiple updates from Apple in a relatively short amount of time to try and improve performance and stability of its latest operating system.
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iOS 14 is set to break that trend – if a recent report is to be believed – with the introduction of new internal measures to help flag and squash bugs before public release. But what does that mean for the iOS 14 release date schedule? And will Apple sacrifice potential iOS 14 features in favour of performance enhancements, as it did with iOS 12?
Here we outline all you need to know about iOS 14 right now, including the expected release date schedule, information on the new internal development system and a list of all the features we’d like to see introduced in iOS 14 when it makes its debut in 2020.
When will iOS 14 be released?
We’re admittedly still quite some time away from the announcement and eventual release of iOS 14, but we can look back at previous versions of iOS to give us an idea of the release schedule – after all, Apple tends to keep the same broad yearly release schedule, especially when it comes to software releases like iOS, iPadOS and macOS.
iOS updates tend to be released in mid September, a week or so after the iPhone launch event.
- Based on previous years we expect Apple to release iOS 14 between 14 and 18 September 2020.
Here are the past five iOS release dates.
- iOS 13: Thursday 19 September 2019
- iOS 12: Monday 17 September 2018
- iOS 11: Wednesday 20 September 2017
- iOS 10: Tuesday 13 September 2016
- iOS 9: Wednesday 16 September 2015
But that won't be the first time we hear about the new iOS. Apple will announce it's plans for the upcoming software updates across its range of products at its annual developer-focused WWDC event, which takes place every June – usually in the first week of the month.
Following the reveal, developers get early access to the software to make sure their apps are up to scratch by the time it’s released to the public, which generally happens in mid-September every year.
- The first beta release of iOS 14 will come following the WWDC keynote, which could fall on 8 June 2020 despite this being a UK bank holiday in 2020!
You’ll also be able to get early access to iOS 14 in the form of a Public Beta, a program that lets eager Apple fans trial the software and help report any bugs before general release. The Public Beta usually kicks off a few weeks after the developer build is released, giving Apple a bit of time to correct any OS-breaking bugs that developers and Apple insiders might find in the initial build.
- We anticipate that the first public beta will arive around 29 June 2020.
We also have rumours about the next version of macOS here.
According to French site iPhonesoft, who claim to have spoken to a contact who works for Apple (Maps), iOS 14 will be compatible with the same list of iPhones as iOS 13 was (although they left the latest iPod touch out of their list).
Here’s a complete list of iOS 13-compatible devices:
- iPod touch (7th gen)
- iPhone 6s & iPhone 6s Plus
- iPhone SE & iPhone 7 & iPhone 7 Plus
- iPhone 8 & iPhone 8 Plus
- iPhone X
- iPhone XR & iPhone XS & iPhone XS Max
- iPhone 11 & iPhone 11 Pro & iPhone 11 Pro Max
If the rumour is correct at least it means the iPhone SE and the iPhone 6s will still be supported.
The iPhone 6s range made its debut back in 2015 and will be five years old by the time iOS 14 drops – around the age where Apple tends to discontinue support. It was a similar story with the iPhone 6 range, which came out in 2014 and missed out on the upgrade to iOS 13 in 2019, five years later.
Reliabilty & bugs
iOS 13 has a reputation, and it’s not a good one. Between the initial release of iOS 13 at the end of September 2019 and by the end of December 2019, there had been eight updates pushed out to iOS users around the world to address various issues, be it visual glitches, crashing apps and even missing features. Why? Because iOS 13 is a buggy mess, and Apple knows it.
In fact, the company is so aware of how badly iOS 13 has been received that it’s planning to completely overhaul the way it internally develops operating system updates – according to a report from Bloomberg, anyway.
Per the site, Apple will apparently introduce software flags in daily iOS builds that’ll help the company isolate bad code before it reaches the hands of developers and consumers. It’s a process already utilised by most big tech companies including Google and Microsoft, and should hopefully avoid overly-buggy iOS releases in future.
It’s not the first time Apple has focused on performance over new features – iOS 12 was released with very few changes compared to iOS 11, but it was certainly a lot more responsive.
We’re hoping to see the same improvements here, although hopefully not at a cost of new features – bar a handful of new features like Dark Mode, it has been a slow few years for iOS, especially when compared to the early days of iOS where every iteration would have a game-changing addition.
It’s early days for iOS 14, and as such, there are no confirmed – or even rumoured – features, but we can take a look at the ever-growing library of iOS 14 concept videos to keep us entertained. We really like the look of this iOS 14 concept with new features, updated icons and always-on display functionality for OLED-enabled iOS devices.
Concept videos aside, we’ve comprised a wish list of our most-desired features of iOS 14. If we’ve missed out your sought-after feature of iOS, drop us a line on Twitter and let us know.
Banner-based call notifications
When you get a call on your iPhone, the alert takes over your entire screen – and has done since the birth of the iPhone in 2007. But while phone calls were one of the primary functions of phones in 2007, smartphones have evolved over the years. We now use our smartphones to text, take photos, record videos, play games and consume media content as well as call people, so why are incoming call notifications put on such a high pedestal?
With this shift in focus, we think it’s about time to ditch full-screen incoming call notifications, especially when you’re playing a game or watching a YouTube video. Instead, we’d like to see the introduction of Android-esque incoming call banners that act in the same way as most other banner notifications on iOS, but with Answer and Decline icons that can be quickly tapped.
Redesigned notification system
We’d love for Apple to take another look at the notification system in iOS 14 as, for the most part, we’re not a fan of how notifications are currently handed in iOS.
Our biggest issue is that the notification drop-down now mimics the lock screen – a design decision that we’ve never really understood, to be honest. We don’t need the time and date taking up a big portion of a notification shade, especially when iOS displays the time in the top-right by default. The previous design, offering a semi-transparent dropdown with access to notifications, worked much better from a visual point of view.
We’re also longing for the return of automatic notification grouping on a per-app basis, an extremely valuable feature for notification management that was available in the early days of iOS but was removed in subsequent updates.
Currently, notifications will display in the order that they were delivered to your smartphone. That’s great for most users, but for power users with a lot of notifications, it quickly becomes a mess – especially with multiple notifications from multiple apps.
iOS 13 takes steps towards that with manual notification grouping, a feature that takes all notifications from an app and groups them together, allowing you to, for example, clear all Instagram notifications with a single tap while leaving Twitter and Messages notifications on display.
That’s exactly what we want, but there’s no way to select this as the default for all notifications – you have to go into each individual app and toggle the setting on, a process that can take quite some time if you’ve got a lot of apps installed. Please, Apple, let us apply this option to all notifications in iOS 14. Please.
Easy access to App Store updates
With the introduction of Apple Arcade in iOS 13, Apple removed the Updates tab from the App Store on iPhone, making it more difficult for iOS users to quickly access and install a list of pending app updates.
To be fair to Apple, you can access Updates via a tap-and-hold shortcut on the App Store app and by tapping your profile icon in the top-right of the App Store, but it’s not as accessible as it has been in previous iterations of iOS – especially for the less tech-savvy amongst us.
We’d like to see Updates return to the tabs on the App Store – after all, it’s important to keep your apps up-to-date.
Animoji filters in the Camera app
This one seems like a no-brainer. Animoji has been a highlight of the core iOS experience since its introduction on the iPhone X in 2017, allowing you to send cartoon-esque videos of yourself to friends – complete with accurate facial mapping. You’ll often see Animoji videos shared on social media, which begs the question; why has Apple limited Face ID to the Camera function of the Messages app?
We’d love to see Animoji effects made available in the main Camera app, allowing you to take longer Animoji-themed videos for sharing with friends and family. It’d certainly be easier than the current method of creating Animoji videos and sending them to yourself to save and share, that’s for sure!
The Clock app functions as we’d expect for the most part, but there are a couple of tweaks that could perfect the overall experience.
First up, we’d love the ability to tweak the Bedtime routine on a per-day basis for days where you regularly get up a bit earlier or later than usual – if you work from home a couple of days per week, for example.
It’s admittedly not a headache having to manually change the Bedtime routine when required, but it’d be nice to have it automated, especially when the feature is already available for standard alarms and has been for quite some time.
We have alarms set up for every day of the working week, allowing us to go to bed at night without having to set an alarm for the following morning. It’s a great feature, but not when you’re on holiday and are rudely awoken at 6am by your work alarm.
We’d love the ability to snooze alarms, or even groups of alarms, for a day, a week or even a month without having to turn them off (and then back on) manually. It’s a small feature, but one that we think would make a difference to users around the world.
We're not that sure that any of the voice assistants, Alexa, Google Assistant or Siri are all that great to be honest, but Siri certainly has a lot of room for improvement just in terms of what he/she can do for you other than tell a joke or perform a web search. At one point will Siri move from being a gimic to something we actually rely on.