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Six standout features in iOS 14

Apple's iOS 14 is here and there a few things you might want to know to get the most out of it.

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The official release of iOS 14 is upon us. Like most major iOS releases, there are a lot of tweaks to both design and functionality. Here are a few that we think you'll find particularly useful:

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Widgets

What was old is new once more with Apple's decision to add home screen Widgets to iOS 14. The addition of widgets imbues users' home screen with a whole lot of customization options. You can add a weather tab that shows real-time updates, a more pronounced calendar blob, and for the first time, you can customize app icons. This last addition has already lead to some pretty interesting results...

Shazam integration

Two years ago Apple acquired music recognition app Shazam for $400 million. At the time it was unclear exactly how Apple planned to use Shazam, but now it's integrated it into iOS 14. Add a Shazam button to Control Center that allows them to use the service with one tap, and then play the track in Apple Music.

App Library

The Android faithful likely let out a collective groan when they heard about iOS 14's addition of an App Library, but that doesn't stop the feature from being new to iPhone users. The App Library houses your apps in one place and attempts to avoid clutter and constant swiping between screens. Conveniently, the App Library also uses "automatic grouping" to aggregate similar apps into categories, making them easier to find.

FaceTime eye contact

Eye contact is important, but when you're FaceTiming, there's one major problem; the screen you're looking at doesn't quite align with the front-facing camera, meaning you're left to choose between looking at your phone's lifeless lens or your now eye-contactless companion on-screen. A new AI feature in iOS, however, auto-corrects one's gaze to make it appear as though they're looking directly into the camera.

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Picture-in-picture

On its surface, picture-in-picture might not seem like something to write home about, that is until you factor YouTube videos into the equation. With iOS 14's picture-in-picture feature you can now browse the web and use other apps while continuing to watch videos on YouTube

Default apps

It's official: you can finally get rid of Apple Mail. For the first time in iOS history, you can now set your own default apps for launching email, web-browsing, and more. The addition of this feature isn't really ingenious design as much as it is Apple finally coming around to interoperability. Nonetheless, it will delight Gmail and Outlook users everywhere.

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