IOS 14 beta has been released for general consumer use. If used it’s at your own discretion as it is beta software. The software is stable but if bugs appear Apple would appreciate a report of the bugs.
Major Change to the Interface
IOS 14 represents the most significant change to the interface in years, and it is a welcome change. There are three attributes around the changes that stand out:
- Widgets placed on any screen
- The ability to hide full screens
- The Library that stores your apps by category
All three aspects of the above are welcome and useful. It is the widgets though that stand out. Earlier, Apple provided widgets on the left of the first home screen and you scrolled down to see each one. This was useful but not as useful as being able to put a widget on any of your home screens. Now, information is immediately available at a glance.
Largest Change to IOS
IOS 14 is the largest change made to IOS. Some are saying do we need Android with all this new capability. One thought that has occurred is will this be a bit complex for the die hard IOS person who is used to a very straightforward array/grid of icons.
I think the changes in IOS 14 are most welcome. IOS 14 is really no harder to use than before but is richer in capability. Once you’re told about the library, widgets and hiding screens it is easy. However, the utility of the OS now has been enhanced significantly.
Those that like to keep their eyes on the day, weather and say a stock or the Stock Market can put the appropriate widgets on their first screen and have all this at first viewing. This is both a time-saver and a great convenience.
Being able to hide screens is a way of de cluttering quickly. If you put all your most important apps in say the first three screens and then hide the rest, this is all the less you have to look at.
Finally, your library is like Android’s app drawer. It holds all your apps, and they can be launched from there. Contained in areas or categories, it is now logical how you find an app.
The User and IOS 14
The end user is likely going to be delighted by IOS 14. With only minutes of training to learn about the new functions and functionality, they will reap the benefits for a long time. In many ways, widgets look nicer on IOS than they do on Android. The widgets on Android are numerous and have a deeper layer of functionality but how often is that tapped and what type of learning is required. The more complex something is, the greater the learning curve.
For some though, they will still find many advantages to Android that will keep this platform vibrant. They are a bit more similar now, and yet there are differences. The advantage of Android is the competitive market it creates. Android devices can be powerful and less money; they can have functionality that IOS users would love and some of that functionality is now on Android. Thus, there is a place for both platforms. The tight integration of the Apple ecosystems ensures many users would just not give that up. However, the deeper flexibility and customizability of Android will get other users to choose that platform.
For the end user though this has created extremely powerful smartphones. The price competitiveness keeps things from running Amok. Samsung made a huge mistake by introducing their s20 series of phones at a higher price than Apple’s phones. There is nothing to warrant this, and Samsung is smarting over the low adoption rate of the s20s.
Smartphone companies can come and go over one slight mistake. Users have long memories. Apple rarely makes any mistakes and prods along in a conservative fashion producing a high value phone well integrated into their product line.
Android has a bit more of a Wild West mentality as those that license Android have free rein to implement their own skin. Samsung’s OneUI is likely better and more powerful than that of IOS. A pricing guffaw though can ruin a company quickly. However, for many users these days when they think of a Smartphone they think of either the iPhone or the Samsung. Both are like the Kleenex of the tissue paper market, and this takes each one far.
Android competition has spurred on the iPhone and in IOS 14 great functionality is being released. The reverse is also true. Apple’s ecosystem is driving cross systems capability and that of a Samsung ecosystem. For the consumer, the end result is nothing less than beneficial.