How to use some of the best new features in iOS 14

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How to use the best features in iOS 14
Learn how to use widgets, the App Drawer, and more.
Image: Apple/Cult of Mac

iOS 14 is finally out and packed full of awesome new features that make being an iPhone user even greater. We’ve got real Home screen widgets, a useful new App Drawer, Picture in Picture, and more!

If you were able to avoid the iOS 14 beta and all these things are still brand-new to you, you might be wondering how some of them work. Well, don’t worry — Cult of Mac has how-to guides on all of them.

Find out how to use some of the best new features in iOS 14 right here.

iOS 14 is perhaps the biggest leap forward for iPhone since the original iPhone. It not only adds new features that many of us have been longing for for years, but it makes huge improvements to the basics.

The Home screen is better than ever thanks to real widgets; the App Drawer lets you keep things neat and tidy at all times; Sound Recognition listens out for things so that you don’t have to, and more.

We’ve published guides that will help you make the most of these features, and we’ve rounded up a few of them here so that you can start enjoying the best of iOS 14 as quickly as possible.

Setup Home screen widgets

Android has had them since the very beginning. iPhone owners have been asking for them for as long as we can remember. We’re talking, of course, about Home screen widgets, which finally arrive in iOS 14.

They’re not completely perfect — you can’t interact with them in the same way you can with those on Android — but they’re certainly a great addition to iOS. The Home screen has never been so useful.

Keep things tidy with the App Drawer

Trying to keep your Home screen tidy can be a real pain — especially if you install a lot of apps and games. But with the App Drawer in iOS 14, that’s no longer the case; organization can be taken care of for you.

You can make it so that all your App Store downloads are sent directly to the App Drawer where they’re all grouped by category, easy to find, and easy to search for.

Switch up your default apps

The ability to select your own default apps is another feature iPhone users have long been calling for. And in iOS 14, it’s possible to select your own web browser and email client for the first time.

There is a catch: Only apps approved by Apple can be set as default. But there are already some great options to choose from, such as Google Chrome and Microsoft Edge.

Translate sites in Safari

Apple now offers its very own app for language translation, and it’s surprisingly great, despite being a brand-new service. It really shines inside Safari where it can make foreign sites easy to read.

Watch videos in Picture in Picture

Picture in Picture is no longer exclusive to iPad. This terrific feature, which lets you watch videos in their own little window while you continue to use other apps, is now on iPhone.

What’s more, the Picture in Picture window can be resized, and with some simple tricks, you can even enjoy it with YouTube videos.

Let iPhone listen with Sound Recognition

iOS 14 brings Sound Recognition to iPhone for the first time, and it has the ability to recognize all kinds of noises, such as breaking glass, crying babies, barking dogs, door bells, and shouting.

The feature is ideal for those who like to put on their headphones and block out the rest of world without missing a deliver — or an intruder. And, of course, it’s a great addition if you have hearing impairment.

Assign tasks in Reminders

Sick of doing everything yourself? Delegate tasks to others by using the new assign feature in the Reminders app. It’s easy to setup and use, and negates the need for third-party task managers.