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  • Camruinn Morgan-Rumsey

iOS 14 is Out Now

So here's what I've learned using the beta for the last few months.

I've been using the iOS 14 beta for a few months now, and I've learned a few cool tips and tricks for putting the new iOS to the best use. I figured today would be a good day to share that.

If you don't already know, iOS 14 dropped today. It's a little surprising; usually Apple drops the new iOS with the new iPhone, but obviously COVID or something (this is a blog, not a publication, okay?) has made that impossible this year. So what does this mean? Well, if you haven't read my previous blog on iOS 14, the new software comes with a new app drawer, redesigned widgets, and a lot of cool Messages updates. This can be a little overwhelming for people, especially if they aren't super nerds like I am, which is why I've decided to write this blog explaining the few things I've learned over the past little bit.

So how do I use iOS 14? Well, honestly, I've taken a pretty simple approach. I use 3-5 widgets consistently, have shaved down my Home Screen, and have taken advantage of the new Messages features, but that's about it. Firstly, my screens and widgets.

My Home Screen

I use two widgets on my main screen and one on my secondary screen, but in a special way. My first Home Screen is where I keep all the apps I use often. It's a place where I can muscle memory my way into pretty much any app I use multiple times a day. Social media, email, and my productivity apps all have a place here. In addition to these apps, I have "two" widgets. The first is the clock widget. I use this to always have the time readily available, and to also set timers and alarms (which I tend to do often). Is it the most information-packed widget out there? Maybe not, but it's useful to me. The second widget is a Smart Stack that I like to call my "daily stack." The stack consists of the Weather, Calendar, and Reminders 1x1 widgets. This stack allows me to know at a glance what the next portion of my day looks like, from individual tasks and big events all the way to whether or not the weather is going to be nice.

My Secondary Screen

Page two is something special, though. I spend a lot of time (regrettably) on Twitter, so when Guilherme Rambo suggested that one fill up a page with the Siri Suggested widget, I was all in. The Siri Suggested widget is a widget that allocates two rows of apps to whatever Siri thinks you use often. I’ve filled my entire second page with three of these widgets, and have found that 9 times out of 10, Siri knows exactly what I want when I want it. It's like a custom App Library. A place for me to glance at when I need a B-tier app so I can quickly access it. It's probably one of my favorite things about iOS 14.

Messages has also received a plethora of well-deserved updates. I won't post any screenshots in the interest of privacy, but I've pinned a few chats I often spend time in to the top of my app, as well as the thread I have with my girlfriend. It's a small thing, all things considered, but having a place for me to store all the threads I use daily is incredibly convenient.

So yeah, that's it. My iOS 14 tips. I learned a few key things that I think a lot of people can use to make their phone experience a lot better, and I hope you're one of them.

Until next time.


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