The newest iPhone OS update to come out is one of the most exciting ones in a while and it packs a big punch as far as productivity.
It’s almost as if the developers heard everyone’s frustrations about using their phones and worked to address them in this latest update.
Common user irritations include things like… “I can’t find that group text that I need to respond to!” Or “Why do I have to page through tons of apps, isn’t there a better way to do this?”
You’ll be happy to know that not only have those items been addressed, there are several other features that make using your iPhone much easier and more productive. They might also just save you from a trip to the Apple repair shop after you’ve slammed down your phone in frustration.
Cool New Stuff You Can Do in the New iOS Update
If you haven’t yet seen the iOS 14 update pinging your phone, then you’ll want to go to the settings and choose, General > Software Update.
Here are the best new productivity-boosting features. (PS: All images are from Apple.)
Pinned Text Conversations
Instead of having to scroll down your list of text conversations to find the one you’re looking for, you can now pin important people or group texts to the top of the Messages screen.
iOS also now gives you the capability of adding an image to a group text, so you can easily tell the difference between your soccer team conversation and the one related to your latest work project.
To pin a text conversation to the top, just open Messages, click “Edit” at the top of the screen, and choose “Edit Pins.”
Use Widgets to Put Your Most Important Items Front & Center
One of the most exciting new updates is to the widgets that iPhone uses. You usually get to these by scrolling to the far left of your Home screen.
Now, widgets can be brought over to your main Home screen, so you can see them as soon as you pick up your phone.
For example, you can put a weather widget on your Home screen that will tell you the temperature and if any rain is expected in the next hour.
Or add a calendar widget that tells you what meeting you have coming up next.
Some of the capabilities you have with the widgets in iOS 14 include:
- Ability to size widgets in small, medium, or large
- Stack widgets, so you can scroll through several on one widget window
- Add as many widgets as you like to your Home screen
Finally! Organized Apps with an App Library
Trying to search for the right app can be time consuming because the “search” bar doesn’t always bring up what you want if you’re not calling it the name your phone recognizes.
That grouped apps feature helped a little, but still makes it difficult to see which app you are trying to find and requires an additional click.
As soon as you upgrade to iOS 14, you’ll want to scroll past all your app screens. To the far right, you’ll find that iPhone has magically organized all your apps for you into neat little categories. And you can click any app within a category just once to open it.
The great part is that you don’t have to do anything to make this category organization happen, it’s automatic. It makes your apps much easier to find without continuous swiping.
What you will most likely want to do is remove those additional app screens so that your App Library screen can be accessed with just one swipe right from your main Home screen.
To do this:
- Press and hold your finger on any blank part of your Home screen.
- Click the dots at the bottom.
- From the “Edit Pages” screen, uncheck the circle under any pages you want to hide.
- You can get them back by repeating this and checking the circle.
Siri Suggestions Widget
Siri has gotten several upgrades in this OS, including being able to answer more questions. One of the most productive updates is the ability to anticipate what you’re going to do and suggest things to you.
For example, say that as soon as you get to work, you connect your iPhone to a Bluetooth speaker and turn on Pandora for some background music. Siri is going to recognize this habit, and the next time you open your phone to look for Pandora, the Siri widget is going to have it up and suggest it for you, saving you an extra swipe.
Adding this widget to your home screen can save you seconds per action that add up to minutes per day that add up to hours a month.
This is one of the most powerful productivity upgrades because Siri can make all types of suggestions, such as:
- Suggesting who might be calling based upon information in your calendar or emails
- Suggesting people to add to an email or calendar event
- Offering up app suggestions based on your iPhone habits
The Siri Suggestions widget can turn your phone into a personal smart gadget assistant!
Need Help with Apple Device Setups or Repairs?
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Contact us today for an Apple device consultation! Call 920-256-1214 or reach us online.