As Apple promised during its “Time Flies” event in September, the company has released iOS 14, iPadOS 14, watchOS 7 and tvOS 14. All the updates add exciting new features, but it would be wise to wait at least a week or two before installing in case any major errors sneak through beta testing. Many developers were also surprised by Apple’s sudden announcement, so it may take a few days before your favorite apps are ready for the new operating systems.
The iOS 14 update adds the new app library (see “iOS 14’s app library: frequently asked questions,” September 9, 2020), home screen widgets, new compact user interfaces for incoming phone calls and Siri and more – see “iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 Echo Android and Newton ”(June 22, 2020) and Apple’s (mostly) full release notes, and of course you can learn about all the new features in detail in Take control of iOS 14 and iPadOS 14. I’m pretty happy with the condition of the book, but we’ll soon post a free update to address reader questions about the App Library and add some innovative information.
iOS 14 is compatible with iPhone 6s, first generation iPhone SE, seventh generation iPod touch and later.
The update weighs in at 4.79 GB on an iPhone 11 Pro. You can install the update by going to Settings> General> Software Update in iOS, via iTunes on Macs running versions of macOS before 10.15 Catalina, or through the Finder in 10.15 Catalina.
iPadOS 14 does not have the app library or home screen modules, but it does offer new features for Apple Pencil, such as the Scribble handwriting recognition feature and many redesigned apps. See “iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 Echo Android and Newton” (June 22, 2020), Apple’s iPadOS 14 feature list and Take control of iOS 14 and iPadOS 14.
iPadOS 14 runs on the fifth generation iPad, iPad mini 4, iPad Air 2 and newer, plus all versions of iPad Pro.
The update clocked in at 3.58 GB on a 10.5-inch iPad Pro and 2.16 GB on an original iPad Air. You can install the update by going to Settings> General> Software Update in iOS, via iTunes on Macs running versions of macOS before 10.15 Catalina, or through the Finder in 10.15 Catalina.
watchOS 7 already includes known features like sleep tracking and a handheld timer (see “watchOS 7 Introduces Sleep Tracking, Handwash Detection and More”, June 22, 2020), but Apple announced additional features at its “Time Flies” event, including many new dials for Apple Watch Series 4 and later, dial sharing, and the new Family Setup feature that lets you set up a watch for a family member who is missing an iPhone (even if they need an Apple Watch 4 or later mobile).
watchOS 7 is available for Apple Watch Series 3 and later.
To install the update, which was 987 MB on an Apple Watch Series 4, open the Watch app on iPhone and go to My Clock> General> Software Update. Note that not only will the download take a while, but the iPhone will then need to transfer the update to the Apple Watch via Bluetooth, which may take a couple of hours. Then, to finally install the update, the Apple Watch must be 50% charged or more and connected to a charger. We recommend doing this at night.
Last, and to be honest, at least (Apple did not even publish a page with new features, but tagged them to the Apple TV 4K page), tvOS 14 has some welcome features including a dedicated Home app, a picture-in-picture option which works with apps other than Apple TV, AirPod audio sharing, 4K video support for YouTube (assuming YouTube collaborates) and more (see “Here’s what’s next for tvOS 14 and HomeKit”, June 25, 2020). I hope to release an updated version of Take control of Apple TV soon, with another update Take control of Apple Home Automation later in the year.
tvOS 14 supports Apple TV HD and Apple TV 4K.
To install the update, go to Settings> System> Software Update, or just let it install on its own at some point in the future.