The new iOS came with a bunch of interesting user scenarios where consuming information was made easier than before. More information: https://www.apple.com/ios/ios-14-preview/features/
- Widgets come in three sizes: small medium and large
- Widgets are interactive and can be placed on your home screen
- Widgets can be stacked and scrolled through, like a website slider. It has two stacking options smart and custom.
- Understanding use-cases where users might want to have your widget on their screen to either consume information or quickly access your app. For instance, adding a new to-do list item, or controlling music and podcasts. A new feature doesn't necessarily have to be implemented unless it actually helps the user with a task.
- Designing widgets in three sizes for the platforms. Apple has done a good job of creating a full set of guidelines for the widgets here. A quick scan highlights certain areas to think of
- Widget interactivity
- Dark mode
- Placeholder content
- Continuous user-flow to the app
2. App Library
Continuing with the theme of making content easier to consume, apple realized that users tend to use only 5-10 apps at max in a day and search for other apps usually. Ironically, Android was always designed this way with widgets and app drawers.
- No new interaction to reach here. Instead it is placed at the end of your home screen pages.
- Apps are arranged based on their app store categorization
- Includes Siri Suggestions, recently added and a search bar.
P.S. This is where the really tiny app icons are being used
- Your app maybe now hidden much deeper, because a user can remove all the home screen pages and just keep you in the app library making not readily available on the outside.
This is probably the most exciting thing in the whole list of features. It brings multi-tasking on your iPhone to another level. I can be talking to my family and browsing photos to send them, or send them a calendar invite.
- Supports FaceTime, Video based Apps and videos run on Safari.
- Picture and Picture can be enlarged by pinch and zoom, or swiped out of the current view.
- Third party apps will have access to the API.
- A user maybe more distracted now than ever while using your app, as you can see in the image above. A user can be talking while setting up their calendar appointment or adding a new to-do, which means all that the whole screen may not be visible at all times.
- On the good side, users are going to use apps, in even more specific contexts. Like adding a to-do, or taking down notes while talking to someone, or taking to a friend, and creating that recipe.
- With shared apps like lists or calendars, it will be basically like collaborating on the same thing while being in a meeting.
4. App Clips
App clips are basically a preview of the app that are allowing users to have the app for a specific work-flow.
- AppClip can be triggered from multiple different places, such as
- NFC Tags
- QR Codes
- Safari Link
- The AppClips will support Signing in Apple, and Pay with Apple
- The App is used literally during that one instance and will go away after that, you can access them in the recently added from the app drawer
- A AppClip is 10MB or less in size
- An example that Apple provided was "When using a scooter" you can just tap the NFC chip, use the AppClip and start using the scooter, signing and payment can be handled via Apple APIs
- You can allow users to access the essential functionality even when they don't have the app installed. This can be quickly browsing, paying money, ordering food or other uses cases that haven't been discovered yet.
Misc iOS Features
A user can now be using your app and transition into a phone call without leaving the interaction.
- Pinned users
- Group Photo
- Inline replies
- Cycling directions
- EV Charing Stations
A new app that allows you to have live conversations with folks form different languages.