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iOS 14.4’s best options: 17 things you should be using on your iPhone every day


Feb 23, 2021


iOS 14 adjustments the iPhone’s dwelling display. 

Patrick Holland/CNET

Apple retains making iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 even higher by including helpful new capabilities and options. Most lately, Apple launched iOS 14.4, including a brand new exercise to Fitness Plus for Apple Watch house owners. It additionally added a brand new Unity watch face to celebrate Black History Month. The replace additionally included a collection of safety fixes for vulnerabilities that have been actively being exploited. Yikes. 

iOS 14.4 follows the addition of Apple ProUncooked photographs to the iPhone 12 Pro and 12 Pro Max. Those new options be part of an already spectacular listing of capabilities that Apple dropped at its cell units with the discharge of iOS 14 in September. iOS 14.5 is at present obtainable in beta and is shaping as much as be a major replace for iPhone house owners. 

For instance, you can personalize your iPhone’s dwelling display by creating customized app icons and putting new widgets wherever you need. And a brand new Scribble characteristic within the iPad replace now lets you use the Apple Pencil ($125 at Amazon) to put in writing in any textual content area, and the pill will convert it to textual content, as a substitute of all the time pulling up the keyboard. And that is only the start. 

Here are the best ideas and methods we have found for iOS 14 and iPadOS 14. We’ll ceaselessly replace this put up, so test again for extra incredible ideas. 

Read extra: How to put in iOS 14 and iPadOS 14


App Library is the iPhone’s new app drawer. 

Jason Cipriani/CNET

1. Check out the brand new dwelling display options

The iPhone now has an app drawer-like characteristic known as App Library, which acts as a warehouse to retailer all the apps you do not usually use. You can entry the App Library by swiping from proper to left on your display previous all of your present dwelling screens. Another first for the iPhone is the flexibility to position widgets on the house display. Apple offered builders with the instruments to create a brand new fashion of widget that is positive to make your Android buddies jealous. We go into extra element concerning the dwelling display adjustments right here

2. Create a customized Smart Stack widget

Speaking of widgets, you’re not locked into using Apple’s curated Smart Stack widget. You can create your personal stack of widgets using the identical approach you’d use to create an app folder. Seriously, it takes longer to determine which widgets you can embrace than it does to create it. 

Just hold stacking widgets till you’re pleased. 

Animated picture by Jason Cipriani/CNET

3. Make your personal app icons

Apple additionally added new options to its Shortcuts app, with the most well-liked addition being the flexibility to create your personal app icons and totally customise the look of your telephone. So as a substitute of the Apple Mail app icon, you can obtain an icon that replaces it with an image of a cute cat or the Gmail icon and use that to launch the app. The course of is considerably tedious, but when you desire a dwelling display that is in contrast to another, it is effectively value your time. 


Custom icons are all the fashion proper now. 


4. Use apps with out putting in them, because of App Clips

Think of App Clips as miniature apps that solely present you a portion of what the complete app can do. For instance, a Yelp App Clip might present you enterprise hours and the menu for a particular restaurant and nothing extra. Want to attempt one? Open the Apple Maps app on your iPhone, seek for Panera Bread, faucet on a location after which choose Order Food. Pretty cool, proper? After using an App Clip, you can entry it once more within the App Library within the lately added folder. 


iOS 14.3 brings with it ProUncooked picture assist on the iPhone 12 Pro and 12 Pro Max. Once you allow ProUncooked, you’ll see a brand new “RAW” button on the highest proper facet of the native digital camera app.

Patrick Holland/CNET

5. iPhone 12 Pro and Pro Max can take uncooked photographs

This is definitely a characteristic for images buffs, however one that can hopefully pique the curiosity of those that want to get a bit extra out of their iPhone digital camera. The launch of iOS 14.3 provides Apple’s ProUncooked picture format, which permits you to take photographs using the “raw” images format, and make adjustments to it with none picture degradation, as is the case when the picture is transformed to a JPG (the usual for Apple’s digital camera app). 

For many extra particulars and directions on the place to seek out the brand new setting, try our full ProUncooked information.


Apple’s Fitness Plus app is on the market on the iPhone, iPad and AppleTV. 

Vanessa Hand Orellana/CNET

6. Work out at dwelling with Fitness Plus

With gyms closed or operating at restricted capability, now’s the time to work out at dwelling. Apple’s Fitness Plus service is constructed instantly into your iPhone, iPad ($273 at Amazon) and Apple TV ($180 at Best Buy), and it makes use of your Apple Watch to trace your exercise. The guided video exercises are launched weekly, with choices for all totally different health ranges. Read our hands-on with the brand new service after which allow us to stroll you via everything you have to know to set it up.

Read extra: How Apple’s Fitness Plus solves the Netflix forever-browsing drawback


You can view particulars of what every session is about, together with preview the songs which can be included. 

Jason Cipriani/CNET

7. Time to take a stroll

Speaking of Fitness Plus, iOS 14.4 and WatchOS 7.3 added a brand new exercise known as Time to Walk. Apple has enlisted celebrities who go on a digital stroll with you, telling tales that should be inspiring, intertwined with private music selections. You’ll want to put in updates on your watch and telephone earlier than you can use it. Here’s easy methods to arrange and use the brand new exercise.  

8. Picture-in-Picture involves the iPhone

You’re not pressured to determine whether or not you need to watch a Twitch stream or browse Reddit on your iPhone. With iOS 14, you can do each on the identical time now that Apple has added picture-in-picture mode to the iPhone. The iPad has had this characteristic for a few years now, so it is good to see the iPhone get it as effectively. When you begin watching a video you solely want to go away the app and return to the house display to set off PiP. There are some apps, like YouTube, that do not assist the characteristic. You can view a listing of all of the apps put in on your telephone that assist it by going to Settings > General > Picture in Picture. Read extra about picture-in-picture to get a greater concept of when and the place it really works. 


Picture-in-picture is extremely helpful. 

Óscar Gutiérrez/CNET

9. Deleting apps can be complicated now

With the addition of the App Library, there’s now an additional step relating to deleting an app from your telephone and for long-time iPhone customers, it is by no means simple. But it would not need to be too complicated; we stroll you via the brand new steps

10. Ditch Apple Mail and Safari

Apple added the flexibility to delete its personal apps from your iPhone a couple of years in the past, however you nonetheless could not set apps like Gmail or Outlook as your default e-mail app. Now you can, however Apple has restricted this new characteristic to solely the e-mail and net browsers. It solely takes a couple of faucets to make the change, after which you will not need to cope with Apple’s apps ever once more. 


It’s true, you can set some default apps on iOS 14. 

Screenshot by Jason Cipriani/CNET

11. AirPods Pro has a brand new audio characteristic

The iPhone and iPad aren’t the one units that acquired an enormous replace. Apple’s AirPods Pro additionally obtained a small firmware replace that added a brand new characteristic known as Spatial Audio. You’ll, in fact, want to make use of an iPhone or iPad operating iOS 14 to make use of the characteristic. With each units up to date, each time you’re watching a video the sound will comply with the actions of your head, adjusting with every twist and switch. CNET’s David Carnoy described it as an “out-of-bud experience.” And he isn’t improper. 

12. The iPad appears extra like a Mac than ever

iPadOS 14 contains a number of new options and enhancements that convey its interface nearer to trying and dealing like a Mac. Or is it the Mac that is beginning to appear to be an iPad with MacOS Big Sur? Either manner, you’ll need to be taught all you can concerning the new iPad options in iPadOS 14


Can’t discover that emoji you want? Search for it. 

Jason Cipriani/CNET

13. Hidden options are the best options

Not to be overlooked, there are a number of hidden options in iOS 14 that do some really superb things. For occasion, a brand new again faucet characteristic lets you faucet on the again of your telephone two or 3 times, triggering a process like taking a screenshot or launching an app. We’ve discovered a complete of 9 hidden options value sharing with you up to now and plan to maintain including to the listing. 

14. New privateness options 

Keeping your info non-public is considered one of Apple’s foremost advertising and marketing factors, and iOS 14 goes even additional to assist hold your info non-public. There are new location sharing settings that can restrict whether or not an app sees your precise location or a extra basic space. There’s additionally a brand new notification dot that can inform you when an app is using your telephone’s digital camera or mic, and finer controls over which photographs an app has entry to. Check out all the new privateness options and easy methods to use them.


You haven’t got to inform apps precisely the place you are if you do not need to. 

Screenshots by Jason Cipriani/CNET

15. New digital camera methods 

There are a number of refined however essential new options within the Camera app. For instance, when taking a photograph at evening, there is a new information to remind you to maintain nonetheless. You’ll see crosshairs that present you the place to maintain the digital camera. There’s additionally a brand new publicity adjustment dial, and you can snap a number of photographs a lot faster. Learn easy methods to use and the place to seek out the brand new options, full with animated pictures. 

iOS 14 makes it so you can take consecutive photographs quicker. There’s much less time from one picture to a different.

Patrick Holland/CNET

16. Up your selfie sport

Another new characteristic within the Camera app is a brand new setting for the front-facing digital camera that’s positive to assist your selfies shine. The new mirror mode forces the digital camera to behave extra like a, effectively, mirror, which might make it simpler to ensure your shot is framed and lined up the best way you need. We present you the place to seek out the brand new setting

17. Still need extra? We gotcha

As a bonus spherical, we have compiled a couple of extra tricks to do much more, like tag somebody in a bunch dialog within the Messages app and use Apple’s new Translate app to hold a dialog in two utterly totally different languages. We stroll you via these two ideas, plus a couple of extra of our favourite options

There’s nonetheless a lot extra to be taught and work out in iOS 14 and iPadOS 14, so we’re simply getting began. Just getting began with a brand new iPhone 12? Here’s easy methods to set it up. After that is finished, be positive to test these settings. Finally, do not forget to switch your Google Authenticator accounts to your new telephone. 

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iOS 14 ideas and methods


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