Wednesday, October 14, 2020

iOS 14 and 14.1

Federico Viticci:

Second, context is necessary because despite the pandemic and rocky rollout of iOS 13 and its many updates, Apple was still able to infuse iOS and iPadOS 14 with fresh, bold ideas that are tracing a path for both platforms to follow over the next few years.

On the surface, iOS 14 will be widely regarded as the update that brought a redesigned Home Screen and a plethora of useful quality-of-life additions to the iPhone. For the first time since the iPhone’s inception, Apple is moving past the grid of icons and letting users freely place data-rich, customizable widgets on the Home Screen – a major course correction that has opened the floodgates for new categories of utilities on the App Store. In addition to the upgraded Home Screen, iOS 14 also offers welcome improvements to long-standing limitations: phone calls can now come in as unobtrusive banners; Messages borrows some of WhatsApp’s best features and now lets you reply to specific messages as well as mention users; Siri doesn’t take over the entire screen anymore. There are hundreds of smaller additions to the system and built-in apps in iOS 14, which suggests Apple spent a long time trying to understand what wasn’t working and what customers were requesting.


We can see the results of this initiative in modernized system apps that take advantage of the iPad’s display with a sidebar, multiple columns, and deeper trackpad integration – new options that every iPad app developer could (and, according to Apple, should) consider going forward. Although some of the iPad’s oft-mentioned ongoing struggles remain unaddressed in iPadOS 14 (see: multitasking and window management), Apple is embracing the iPad’s nature as a modular computer this year, and they feel comfortable leaning into lessons learned with the Mac decades ago.

John Voorhees:

Among the Club-only extras this year are three eBooks, a set of stunning, widget-friendly iPhone wallpapers, advanced shortcuts, podcast episodes, and a special edition of MacStories Weekly.

Juli Clover:

Following the introduction of the iPhone 12 mini, iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Pro, and iPhone 12 Pro Max, Apple has released iOS and iPadOS 14.1 golden master betas for developers, with the iOS 14.1 update presumably coming pre-installed on the new iPhones at launch.


There’s no word yet on what’s included in these updates[…]


3 Comments RSS · Twitter

Hm. I would've figured 12.1 was a release exclusive to the iPhone 12 and possibly iPad Air 4, but clearly not. But if it only contains added support for new hardware, why release restore images for old devices in a developer seed?

Am planning to install iOS 14 once the dust has settled a bit more. Some basics I'm hoping they've revised, but I haven't seen mentioned anywhere?

* The updated text selection from iOS 13 and elimination of the loupe which has proven worse in day-to-day use.
* The confusing way that tap-and-hold is used both to initiate a drag and to show a context menu.
* The way that, after long pressing to bring up a context menu or the wifi/bluetooth list from control center, you can accidentally select a menu item if you slide & lift your finger off the screen, rather than requiring a separate tap. This makes these bits of UI feel fragile & unpredictable.
* The keyboard. Autocorrect. And swipe, which is so handy but too often invokes erroneously during traditional tap typing.

@Nigel: I installed iOS 14 on my SE 1st gen last week and am really liking it. No huge changes for me so far, but a variety of nice refinements (I've not taken the time yet to explore widgets and rearrange my home screens). The one regression I've found is the loss of the favourites widget, which I used frequently. To your points, unfortunately, none of this has changed:

* Loupe is still MIA, and cursor movement is still worse than in iOS <13.

* No change to tap-and-hold.

* Interesting you don't like this interaction. I can see how it can produce unpredictable results if you don't know about it, but once you do, I find it a great time-saver. I see it as analogous to the Mac's click-and-hold to select a menu item without clicking twice. I use tap-drag-release a lot to set timers or choose from a context menu on iOS.

* I don't know if this has improved. I found that a swipe keyboard wasn't much of a benefit to me: it was rarely if ever faster (I did spend some time with it to get used to it), and the accidental invoking was very problematic. Overall it slowed down my typing more than anything, so I turned it off several months into my use of iOS 13.

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