A leak of the future iOS14 system advances some of the functions that will reach the devices on the block.
We are used to beta versions of operating systems hinting at the direction that Apple or Google products will take, but the latest leak on new features and changes in iOS 14 – the operating system that will officially hit the Apple products in the fall – no precedent.
Both the 9to5Mac website and Macrumors have had access to one of the internal beta versions of iOS14, the operating system that will be used by the iPhone, iPad (iPadOS), Apple Tv (TvOS) and Apple Watch (WatchOS) later this year and there are various references to future products and services of the company.
What news are we going to see? There are many, but before continuing it is important to point out that these products and services that appear in beta versions are not always included in the final autumn versions . If Apple decides they are not ready, they can be delayed the following year.
The Coronavirus epidemic could also alter the schedule, as it has forced the company’s teams to work remotely, something that can slow down the implementation of some of these functions.
The Apple Watch could gain an important skill this year: the ability to measure blood oxygen concentration indirectly. This measurement is important for calculating in more detail the activity performed during sports training sessions and could also serve to alert the user to health problems in the same way that the heart rate sensor now alerts of possible arterial fibrillation.
It is not clear if it will be a function that the latest generation watches can have with the software update or if it is a function that will only be available in the new watch model that the company launches this year.
Several clues in the operating system code suggest that the Apple Watch could also finally gain the ability to monitor sleep quality , a feature that had been considered for this year’s model but was eventually discarded.
Apple Watch will also have new dial options, including one with a tachymeter, and parents will be able to set up and control their child’s Apple Watch from their iPhone.
Various references in the iOS14 code seem to point to a new remote control for AppleTV . The current one has been frequently criticized for its un ergonomic and confusing design, so it would be a welcome change.
One of the big bets of the year for Apple, however, will be a fitness-focused application that will include interactive classes that can be followed both on the TV with an AppleTV device and on the iPhone or iPad. Classes will also be synchronized with the Apple Watch to accurately measure the completion of the exercises.
Apple is working on a wide variety of types of activities, including treadmill, cycling, rowing, stretching, strength training, walking outdoors, dancing, or practicing yoga. In principle there is no in-app purchase system, known by the code name Seymour, so they could be offered for free.
Several major changes are coming to the iPhone this fall, and the leaked code also seems to confirm that we’ll see a successor to the small, low-priced iPhone SE 2 .
In the operating system there are references to an iPhone that would use the TouchID fingerprint identification system and is compatible with the Express Transit rapid payment system for public transport, which the iPhone 6 – the most affordable model for sale – does not offer. This phone should be announced in the coming months, but the coronavirus epidemic could delay availability.
With iOS14, users will be able to order the applications on the home screen differently , with a configurable list format to highlight, for example, which apps have notifications that should be attended or suggestions according to the user’s location. The operating system will also have a new wallpaper management system with collections from third-party providers.
Another important change will be the one suffered by the Photos app , which will now allow participants to participate in photography contests organized by Apple from within the application itself. The company will also introduce some changes to the Messages app , with the ability to tag people in multiple conversations and the ability to delete a message once it has been sent.
The most interesting news, however, is that Apple may be finally considering allowing the default apps to be changed . The user will be able to tell the system to use a third-party app to surf the web, open the mail or take a photo, a function that could help Apple avoid sanctions by antitrust agencies that in recent months have threatened to take a closer look at the manufacturer’s policy on this matter.
Many of the new features of iOs14 for iPhone will also be present in iPadOS, the operating system of the company’s tablets. This year, however, the iPad will receive a major change. Apple seems determined, at last, to add better native mouse support or even a trackpad .
The next version of the iPad Pro tablet could support a cover with keyboard and trackpad compatible with the same gestures that are expected today on a Mac computer, such as activating the ‘right click’ options when pressing with two fingers. The tablet will also allow writing on forms with the Apple Pencil and converting freehand writing to digital texts .
The new iPad Pro would also have a camera configuration similar to that of the iPhone Pro , with three cameras instead of two and with a ToF (Time of Flight) sensor dedicated exclusively to calculating the distance of the device to nearby objects.
This sensor will be used to offer a much more robust experience in augmented reality applications, which will be one of the focus of Apple for its devices this year. With the code name of Gobi , the company is developing a new app that will allow it to interact with virtual objects.
At first, the technology can be used both in Apple’s own stores and in Starbucks coffee shops and the application will also be available on company phones, not only on iPads.
Finally, several elements of iOS14 seem to refer to a product that had been rumored previously but has not yet made an appearance : AirTags smart tags.
These labels will work just like the ones Tile now sells. These are small devices with Bluetooth connection that are attached to any object or that can be used as a keychain and that allow you to easily find the objects to which they are attached in case of loss. The user will only have to look through the phone screen to find, for example, some keys that have fallen behind the sofa cushion.
You can also configure alerts so that the phone alerts you if you move away from an object, or mark one as ‘lost’ so that if another person passes near them with your phone, they can alert you of their position.