Messages is arguably the most important app on your iPhone, which is why it's always exciting when Apple pushes out new features for it. With the iOS 14 update, there a few critical changes as well as interface improvements and customization options that make the experience even more personalized than it already was.
How To: Make Perfect Shapes in Notes, Drawings & Annotations with iOS 14's New Shape Recognition Tool
There's a set of drawing tools that have been available for a long time on the iPhone that helps you create handwritten notes and sketches. It's great when you need a free-form way to capture your ideas, and now it's even better. Apple added shape recognition in iOS 14 so that you can now draw geometrically perfect shapes using finger doodles, giving the older shapes tool a run for its money.
It's not hard to let your iPhone's home screen get cluttered. Apps pile up one after another, and while you don't use every app every single day, you can't quite seem to part ways with even those one-use apps you've collected over the years. But you can apply the KonMari method to your home screen, getting rid of apps you don't love — without actually trashing any of them.
Widgets have been available on the iPhone for a while now, but they were tucked away in the Today View or hidden in the quick actions menu for app icons on the home screen. Android had always had a leg up on Apple in the widget department because they were so much more versatile, but that changed with the introduction of iOS 14.
Directing a message at a specific person in a group conversation, or to a select few people in the group, can be difficult if you're in a particularly active or hectic chat. Notifications and badges on your iPhone can help you keep track of important messages, but it's still easy to miss one meant for you and not the entire group — which is why you can now mention contacts, or get tagged, in Messages on iOS 14.
Your iPhone's home screen just got a whole lot more exciting thanks to iOS 14, which is finally giving Android a run for its money in terms of home screen customization. What's new? Widgets in three different sizes, a new searchable App Library, and most importantly, the ability to hide entire home screen pages.
How To: There's a New App Library on Your iPhone's Home Screen — Here's Everything You Need to Know About It in iOS 14
Are you tired of endless rows and columns of apps on your home screen? Before iOS 14, your only option was to hide apps in folders, uninstall them, or use some sort of elaborate workaround. You could hide a few stock apps easily enough, but that's it. Now, in the latest version of iOS, you can hide apps for real, and even hide entire home screen pages, and still access the apps in one convenient drawer.
How To: Prevent Certain Apps from Using Cellular Data on Your iPhone to Stay Below Data Caps or Avoid Throttling
If you're on a cellular plan with a low data allotment, being thrifty with your data can help you avoid a higher bill. But even if you have an affordable unlimited plan from wireless carriers such as T-Mobile or Verizon, going over a certain amount of data may throttle your connection, leaving you with slow web speeds. One way to prevent hitting these thresholds is to keep certain apps in check.
Apple always finds a way to sneak in tiny, inconspicuous features that improve the iPhone experience. And with iOS 14, there's a hidden, unannounced gesture that makes it possible to navigate apps and menus faster than ever before.
How To: Use Your iPhone's Volume Buttons to Shoot Photo Bursts & QuickTake Videos in iOS 14 & Earlier
When you can't touch the shutter button on the screen in the Camera app, your iPhone has another way to snap a picture or take a video — just press the Volume Up or Volume Down button. But when it comes to bursts and QuickTakes, however, things are a little bit trickier in iOS 13 and iOS 14.
Whether you're using your iPhone to add graphics to a document, edit a photo, or sketch an idea, color plays a vital role in making your work look great. Apple's iOS 14 update introduces a system-wide color picker that lets you pick the exact color you want, save it to your favorite colors, and use it across a variety of apps to add that special touch to your work.
Before iOS 14, the date and time picker on the iPhone had been a scroll wheel for a very long time. Whether you loved or hated it, it was like second nature to use it. Now, you need to use a calendar and your keyboard to input dates and times. If you got so used to the old way and find the new method jarring, there's a trick to getting the scrolling date and time selector back.
If you're asking yourself where your newly installed iPhone apps are, you aren't alone. Upgrading to iOS 14 offers many beneficial features, but it also can stop new apps from appearing on your home screen. Sure, they're always in the App Library, but that shouldn't prevent you from accessing your favorite apps the old-fashioned way. The good news is that you can make iOS set things back to normal.
One of iOS 14's best new features is the ability to add and stack widgets on your home screen, which lets you check in with your favorite apps without actually needing to open them. Apple takes the concept one step further with "Smart Stacks," where iOS intelligently stacks widgets together based on how you use your iPhone.
How To: Do This to Make Sure You're Not Getting Billed by Any Mysterious Subscriptions on Your iPhone
We hardly need to "buy" anything these days since games, music, books, news, movies, and TV are all available on the iPhone with various monthly subscriptions. Just set it and forget it so that your wallet does all the work for you. But if you're on a free trial or two and don't want to commit, you might get an unexpected charge if you forgot or don't know where to cancel. Here's how to avoid that.
According to Apple, Siri serves 25 billion requests per month — an enormous number for a feature that was only released nine years ago. But when you think about how much work Apple has put into Siri over the years, it makes sense that the virtual assistant is being used more and more by users with iOS, iPadOS, macOS, watchOS, tvOS, AirPods, and HomePod.
How To: Battery Almost Dead? Here's the Best Way to Squeeze More Juice Out of Your iPhone Without a Charger
Your iPhone's almost out of battery power, there's no wired or wireless charger in sight, and you left your portable power bank at home. You don't want your battery to die, but you still need to use your iPhone. This is when Low Power Mode comes in handy, but you could be wasting valuable time and power if you're activating it the wrong way.
You might be giving out your name to every stranger you see, and you don't even know it. That iPhone of yours has a name — generally a combination of your first name and device model — and it broadcasts it to others via AirDrop, Personal Hotspot, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and other connections. Sure, it's useful to keep your device name simple and to the point, but there are upsides to changing it.
You might be using Zoom on your iMac, playing a Steam game on your MacBook, or completing a work assignment on your iPad, when suddenly you get a phone call on your iPhone. If the same Apple ID is used on all of your Apple devices, the call won't ring on your iPhone only — it'll ring on every damned device.
If you have a limited mobile data plan on your iPhone, you know how tricky it can be to stay within your given allotment. Large app installs and updates, 4K resolution videos, and photo backups can waste precious data resources in no time. And apps like Apple News, Facebook, Mail, and Netflix eat data like it's candy. But you can nip the problem in the bud by restricting data hogs from your cellular network.