iOS 14 – a new widgets has arrived
In the fall, as every year, a new version of iOS will be available for iPhone and iPad. This time in version 14. The first developer beta versions have already appeared, so i check what’s new. As always, in this early tests, i focus on any changes that require an update to apps published in the App Store, to know if we need to prepare for any changes or we may go ahead and postpone the update for a year.
For the sake of clarification – i know that the iOS system installed on iPads is formally called iPadOS. But while Apple’s marketing department would trying to convince everyone that it is a separate operating system, it is not really so. iPadOS is iOS with some minor interface changes for larger screens.
At first glance – after switching to the springboard (desktop) of the device – iOS 14 is no different from iOS 13. However, it is enough to perform the gesture of swiping the screen left or right to see that the changes have been made. These are not revolutionary changes that will require updating applications running on iOS 13. I didn’t notice any incompatibilities at the code level, so unless you plan on rolling out new features with iOS 14 to your users, you don’t need to schedule an update. The new things, that i mention, are new features visible just after the gesture of dragging the screen from the springboader to the right or left – new widgets and the so-called App Gallery.
App Gallery does not require any interference with the application code and is fully supported at the operating system level. The user may decide to not uninstall the application, but move it to dedicated thematically grouped directories available after swiping left from the springboard – the application icon is then removed from the desktop and placed in the App Gallery – in the directory corresponding to category, under which developer has published his application in the App Store, such as “Tools”, “Games “etc. This novelty can be safely described as a cosmetic change.
The more interesting things happen when you do the swipe right gesture from the springboard or point-hold your finger on the desktop – a new widgets arrives. iOS 14 introduces new widgets similar to those known from Android. They can be freely placed in the widget gallery, but also – which is new in iOS – arranged between icons on the desktop. It is worth noting that the older iOS 13 widgets are not compatible with the new ones. If your application has an older type widget, it will not function like the new widgets. Older widgets still work, but they can only be placed in a specific place – in the widget gallery and always at the bottom of the list in a separate section under new widgets. So if you want to offer your users a new iOS 14 widget, an update of the application will be necessary. The new widgets come in three sizes – small, medium, and large. At least in the beta they have quite significantly limited functionality compared to the older type of widgets. For example, you cannot perform certain actions in the application itself – rather they serve as a large icon that can be updated from the application code.
When looking at the new iOS, it is also worth paying attention to the changes announced by Apple in the App Store itself for the end of the year. As in Google Play, these are to be changes in user privacy and data use by applications. Contrary to Google, most likely no changes to the application code itself will be required, but a new privacy section is to appear in the App Store – an extensive privacy and data use form that every application owner will have to fill out if they want to publish a program update or release a new application.