A MAJOR iPhone update is coming to your handset very soon – but you can get all of the new features early.
For Apple fans who just can't wait, we reveal how to get the iOS 14 update right now.
iOS 14 release date – when is it out?
Apple formally unveiled iOS 14 last month, which means the release date clock is now ticking.
Typically, iOS 14 will launch around the same time as the next iPhone.
That means you're probably looking at the middle of September, though this hasn't been confirmed.
However, Apple has now released a public beta that anyone can download – if they know how.
This will be a test version of the software used to iron out any kinks before the official release.
How to get iOS 14 beta – download right now
First, you'll need to head over to Apple's beta website using the Safari web browser on your iPhone.
From there, you'll be able to download a file that prompts your iPhone to install public beta updates.
These will replace regular updates that come to your iPhone, so be sure you're committed before opting in.
Once you've got the file, reboot your device then go into Settings.
And from there, you'll be able to download the iOS 14 public beta.
Should you install iOS 14 now?
Here’s what you need to know…
- New versions of iPhone software include brand new features, and the beta test will get you them before everyone else.
- However, remember that early beta versions are usually very buggy – and so you shouldn't install it on your only device.
- If something goes wrong, you could lose data with potentially no way of retrieving it.
- And using the device might be a horrible experience until any and all bugs are squashed.
- It's important to back up your iPhone before installing a beta version of iOS, as a safeguard if anything goes wrong.
- For regular users, anyone without technical know-how or multiple device, it's probably worth waiting for the July public beta – or even the general release in September.
What is iOS 14? A quick guide
Apple's mobile software – from your home screen to the settings and apps – is called iOS.
Each year, Apple releases a major new upgrade to this software with brand new features.
This year it's called iOS 14, and there are loads of new features to get excited about.
You can use virtual car keys that can be texted to pals, upgrade your Memoji with a face mask, and even speak in other languages through a live translation app.
The full version of iOS 14 will likely arrive in the next few weeks, although a firm date hasn't been revealed yet.
iOS 14 new features – what's coming in the next big iPhone update?
The first big change is the new App Library, designed to clean up your home screen(s).
All of your apps will be organised automatically inside the App Library.
If you’ve got loads of pages, you can tap your screen to hide some of them.
And then you can find those apps in the App Library.
It’s a major change (already possible on Android devices) that means you can have a much tidier mobile.
There are new widgets that look much better than the old ones.
Better still, you can put these widgets on the home screen alongside your apps – rather than them being hidden.
For instance, you can have podcast or weather widgets, all obtainable through the Widget Gallery.
Apple has finally added a proper picture-in-picture mode that works across the device.
So you can play videos while doing other things.
And audio will still play across the device.
Siri has received a major update.
Your iPhone can now run dictation on the device, so you can read out texts to the Message app.
Apple is also using Siri’s technology for a new app called Translate.
It lets two people who speak different languages have text conversations.
The app works offline, and is a clear rival to Google’s own Translate app.
Messages is getting an update.
You can now pin conversations to the top of the Messages app.
And there are 20 new hear and headwear styles for Apple’s animated Memoji avatars.
There are face coverings (because duh!), and new age options for Memoji too.
Apple has added “mentions” that let you tag people in group conversations.
And there are now in-line replies for miniature threads in group chats – a bit like in Slack.
Apple has also promised to reinvent the car key.
“They’ve become big, bulky and ripe for reimagining,” said Craig.
Your iPhone can now work as a digital car key on certain new car models.
The first car to support the tech is the new BMW 5-Series, available next month.
But Apple says it’s working with other car-makers too.
You can turn off the key remotely via iCloud if you lose your iPhone.
And you can even text your key to a pal temporarily if they want to borrow the car.
Eventually, the feature will let you enter your car without even taking your iPhone out of your pocket, just because the car knows the handset is nearby.
Apple also unveiled App Clips.
They’re “light and fast” pieces of apps, and work through virtual cards.
You tap your iPhone on a real-world NFC tag (or scan a QR code), and it launches an App Clip.
For instance, you could access a shareable scooter in the real world, or check a coffee shop menu.
You can also launch App Clips from the web too, including via text.
The new iOS 14 update will be available in the autumn, like in September.
In other news, a major new iPhone update is available from today.
Check out our guide on how to install iOS 14 on your iPhone.
And read our guide to the hidden secrets of FaceTime on your iPhone.
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