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Apple’s 6 best iPhone features in iOS 14 and how to use them now


We already find iOS 14 features that we absolutely love.

Patrick Holland / CNET

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After installation of iOS 14 on your iPhone ($ 699 on Amazon), you may be asking yourself, what now? Well, you’re in a treat. Apple’s update is full of new features that will change the way you use your phone – for the better. From an Android-like app drawer to iMessage enhancements and widgets for your home screen, there is a lot to like.

If you have not updated yet, Take some time to get your iPhone ready before you install the iOS update. Below you will find six of my favorite features and how to use them for iOS 14.

Read more: Apple One, new iPad Air and Apple Watch 6 and SE: Everything Apple has just announced

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First tag: iOS 14 and all its new features


Take a person in a text conversation

Apple’s updates to its Messages app focused primarily on group iMessage conversations.

What: You can now tag someone in a conversation when you want to get their attention (useful for large groups) and directly reply to a message and create a thread in your conversation. It should give you a timely answer.

How: Tagging someone in a group convo should be as simple as typing the @ symbol followed by their name when they are in the chat. An in-line reply is performed by long-pressing a message and selecting Reply.

2. Pin a conversation to the top of messages

What: Pinning a conversation at the top of your Messaging app means you do not have to scroll through the long list of contacts and group conversations to find your favorite contacts. This is especially useful if you have a go-to group, such as a family chat or a friends chat that you talk to every day, or if you are planning a long-term event such as a group surveillance party.

How: You can pin a contact or conversation at the top of your conversation list by swiping right over any thread.


Pin your favorite contacts or conversations to the top of your Messaging app.

Screenshot by Jason Cipriani / CNET

3. Apple now has its own Translate app

What: Instead of having to use Google’s Translate app on your iPhone, iOS 14 has a built-in Translate app that lets you convert text and even hold conversations with someone who only speaks another language. You can translate English, Mandarin Chinese, French, German, Spanish, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Arabic, Portuguese and Russian.

How: You have two options when you open the app. You can type the word or phrase you want to translate, or tap the microphone icon at the bottom of the screen to use speech-to-text. When done, the app will translate what you said into your chosen language. This is especially useful if you are also asking someone a quick question or also want to hear the pronunciation.

To make an ongoing call, turn the phone to landscape mode and press the same microphone icon – you do not have to press and hold.


Forget Google Translate, Apple now has its own app.

Screenshot by Jason Cipriani / CNET

4. A more organized home screen with App Library

Ever wanted it your iPhone had an app drawer like Android? Well, now it does. It’s called the App Library.

What: The App Library is a new screen that lives just to the right of your last home screen. It automatically organizes all the apps on your phone into folders based on app category. The purpose of this feature is to make it easy for you to find all the apps installed on your iPhone. It goes hand in hand with another new home screen feature that allows you to hide pages with apps that you rarely use.

How: Use the App Library when you want to open an app that does not appear on one of your home screens. To get to it, swipe from right to left to go past the final home screen. Either use the automatically organized folders to find the desired app icon, or use the search box at the top of the screen to find the app by name if you are not sure where it is located. Alternatively, you’ll find two folders at the top of the app library screen: Suggestions and Recently Added. Both automatically update and adjust which apps are in both folders, based on how often you use an app and what you have recently installed.

Here is more information on how to do it hide pages on the home screen to make it easier to access the App Library.


Apple’s App Library looks like an app drawer, but with folders.

Jason Cipriani / CNET

5. Widgets have a new look and a new home

You no longer have to be jealous of your Android user friends – iPhone can now have widgets on the home screen. It is true.

What: Instead of restricting widgets to Today View, which lives on the left of your home screen, you can now add widgets directly to your multi-size screen as an option. There’s even a Smart Stack widget that shows you information from multiple apps when it thinks you need it. For example, it may show you the weather widget followed by your calendar widget when you wake up in the morning.

How: You can see your Today View widgets, as you always have, on the left side of your main screen, or you can drag and drop a widget from Today View to your Home screen. Alternatively, when editing your app layout, you can tap plus log in in the upper left corner of the screen, download the widget gallery and see which widgets you can add to your device.

Widgets can be attached to your home screen and changed to your liking.

Animated image by Jason Cipriani / CNET

Picture in Picture is a handy tool you will love

The iPad ($ 285 at Back Market) has been able to play video in picture-in-picture mode for a few years now, and Picture in Picture is finally coming to the iPhone.

WhatPicture-in-Picture creates a thumbnail of a video that continues to play even when you are in another app or screen. It appears when you want to change gears to use another part of the phone, but you do not want to stop the video.

How: When you watch a video in a supported app, such as Twitch, and swipe to return to the Home screen, the video continues to play, just in a smaller window. You can drag PiP around the screen, adjust its size by squeezing and zooming, and even temporarily hiding it from the edge of the screen. When you are done, just press x to close the video. Oh, and let’s not forget – Picture in Picture also works with FaceTime video calling and these other apps. Huzzah!


You can keep a FaceTime conversation going in iOS 14 while looking at your schedule or any other iPhone screen.

Patrick Holland / CNET

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