MacFormat UK|Autumn 2020
How can you boost your iPhone’s powers? No need to buy an app, Apple’s latest upgrade will transform your handset
Kenny Hemphill

One thing that characterises iOS 14, Apple’s latest OS for the iPhone, more than anything else is that it enables you to accomplish your tasks more easily. It does this both by better organising apps and features, and displaying them in ways that better fit with how most of us use our phones.

So, we have redesigned Widgets, Smart Stacks and App Clips. This last one is particularly intriguing as it enables you to access some of the functionality of an app without installing it.

Incoming call notifications now only take up part of the screen, which means they no longer feel like such an intrusion if you’re working in another app when they come in.

Siri has gained more smarts and can now suggest apps when you first pick up your phone, and there are plenty of improvements to the Camera app, Maps, and, as you would expect, to privacy in Safari and elsewhere.

Which devices will work with iOS 14?

>Most times when a new version of iOS is released, there are casualties in terms of the devices that can run it. However, this time around, there are none. If your iPhone or iPod touch can run iOS 13, it will be able to run iOS 14. The full list of supported devices is below:

iPhone 11

iPhone 11 Pro

iPhone 11 Pro Max

iPhone XS

iPhone XS Max

iPhone XR

iPhone X

iPhone 8

iPhone 8 Plus

iPhone 7

iPhone 7 Plus

iPhone 6s

iPhone 6s Plus

iPhone SE (1st generation)

iPhone SE (2nd generation)

iPod touch (7th generation)

Introducing iOS 14

Update your device with a whole new look

EXPLAINED... A new look >



Widgets, which you previously had to swipe to see, can now be viewed on your Home screen and appear above the grid of app icons.


Smart Stacks

Smart Stacks are ‘intelligently curated’ widgets that display automatically on the Home screen according to the time of day.


App Clips

App Clips are snippets of apps that enable you to access some of the features of an app without downloading it.


Clever Clips

Clips are designed to appear when you scan a code or tap an NFC device and for use in parking, renting bikes, paying for food, and more.

A new look

>Widgets, which in iOS 13 appear when you swipe right from the Home screen, can now be added to the Home screen itself and appear at the top, above app icons. Brand new in iOS 14 are Smart Stacks. These are widgets that appear automatically depending on how you use your iPhone. So, for example, if you usually check Twitter when you first pick up your iPhone in the morning, your Twitter client will appear in a Smart Stack.


Picture in Picture

Picture in Picture mode enables you to keep a FaceTime video call on screen while you use another app.


Shrunk Siri

Siri no longer occupies the whole screen, instead appearing as an overlay at the bottom of the screen, so you can keep doing what you were doing.



As with Siri, incoming call notifications now float at the top of the screen instead of commandeering the whole space.


Back to widgets

Notifications of calls in other apps, like FaceTime and thirdparty messaging apps, also now appear as widgets at the top of the screen.

HOW TO Customise your home screen >

1 Use the App Library

Swipe left across the Home screen until you see the App Library after the last screen of apps. Tap a large app icon to open the app. Or tap a small app icon to open that folder and display all the apps inside it.

2 Hide pages

The App Library means you no longer need pages full of apps. Tap and hold on any empty part of your Home screen. When the apps start to jiggle, tap the bar with dots in it at the bottom of the screen.

3 Choose pages to hide

You’ll see a grid of pages. Tap the tick mark to deselect pages, which will hide them and make accessing the App Library quicker. When you’re finished, press Done. You can unhide pages by reversing the process.

4 Add Widgets to Home

Tap and hold the centre of the screen, then press the ‘+’ at the top left of the screen. Tap the app or stack you want to add to the top of the Home screen, then swipe right to choose an option. Tap Add Widget.

5 Add a Smart Stack

Smart Stacks are groups of apps that change automatically depending on how you use your iPhone. Follow Step 4, but instead of choosing an app tap on Smart Stacks and choose an option. Tap Add Widget.

6 Use Smart Stacks

Once you’ve added a Smart Stack to your Home screen, swipe up or down over it to flip through the widgets in the stack. Tap a widget to launch it. You’ll notice that the contents of a Smart Stack change through the day.

Messages and Mail

Clarify your communications with smarter searching and suggestions

EXPLAINED... What’s new with the Mail interface >


Image picker

The image picker in Mail now uses the same smart search as is used in the Photos app to allow you to quickly find the photo you want.

Mail default

iOS 14 enables you to set which mail app you want to use as the default. (However, the option wasn’t present in the early beta versions.)


Search help

Mail gets the improved search features that pop up elsewhere in iOS 14, highlighting suggestions as you type.

Siri suggestions

When you’re sending an email to someone, Siri recognises potential reminders and suggests that you create them.

HOW TO Share tasks more easily in Reminders >

1 Find the list

Launch Reminders and send an invite to your chosen participants. Then, under My Lists, find the shared list that you want to add a reminder to. It must be a shared list, as you can only allocate tasks to people you have shared the list with.


You can read up to 3 premium stories before you subscribe to Magzter GOLD

Log in, if you are already a subscriber


Get unlimited access to thousands of curated premium stories, newspapers and 5,000+ magazines


Autumn 2020