There are hundreds of new features in iOS 14, many of which are immediately obvious like the new Home Screen widgets, the App Library, pinned conversations and mentions in Messages, a compact UI for Siri and Phone calls, and more, but there are also tons of features that are less immediately obvious.
In this guide and accompanying video, we’ve rounded up some of the most useful hidden features you’ll find in the iOS 14 update.
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Sound Recognition is a useful Accessibility feature created for those who need help listening to their surroundings. When enabled, Sound Recognition allows the iPhone to listen for sounds like running water, a fire alarm, a dog barking, a baby crying, shouting, car horns, doorbells, and other related sounds.
When the iPhone detects one of these sounds, it sends a notification so you’re immediately alerted when something is wrong. In our testing, Sound Recognition has been accurate, making it a useful option for anyone who needs it. Note that when Sound Recognition is turned on, the iPhone is not able to listen for “Hey Siri” commands.
4K Videos on YouTube
With iOS 14, you can watch 4K YouTube videos on the iPhone, iPad, and most notably, the Apple TV. The iPhone and the iPad don’t have 4K displays, but do offer video that’s higher than the prior 1080p resolution limit.
Content on iPhone and iPad can be viewed in 1440p HDR or 2160p HDR, while the Apple TV supports full 4K video. You can choose quality when watching a YouTube video in the YouTube app by tapping on the cog-shaped wheel to adjust the settings.
Private WiFi Address
When you’re connected to a WiFi network in iOS 14, you can tap into the settings of that network and make sure “Private Address” is toggled on. Private Address is a privacy feature that helps to prevent the tracking of your iPhone across different WiFi networks.
This is a feature that’s enabled by default, and it’s one that’s particularly useful if you’re using open WiFi sources frequently. Apple will also provide a warning if Private Address functionality is not available, so you can know if a WiFi network has greater access to tracking capabilities.
Get to the Private Address settings by opening up the Settings app, tapping on WiFi, and tapping the “i” button next to the WiFi network that you’re connected to or that you want to connect to. From there, make sure Private Address is toggled on.
Mirror Front Camera
When you take a selfie with an iPhone with the standard Camera app, it flips the image so that it’s the opposite of the mirror image that’s shown in the preview (aka not a mirror image of you).
In iOS 14, you can choose to force the camera to capture mirror image selfies by opening up the Settings app, selecting Camera, and toggling on the “Mirror Front Camera” option. A lot of social networking apps use mirrored selfies so many people are more accustomed to mirroring functionality than the flipped selfies that the iPhone uses.
Toggling on Mirror Front Camera can provide a more unified selfie taking experience across multiple platforms.
Apple in an iOS 13 beta added an “Attention Aware” feature that tweaks your FaceTime video to make it look like you’re making eye contact with the person you’re chatting with even though you’re looking at the iPhone or iPad’s display.
The feature was ultimately pulled, but it made its way into iOS 14 as an “Eye Contact” option, which can be toggled on in the FaceTime section of the Settings app. Eye Contact lets you “establish natural eye contact” while using FaceTime by changing the appearance of where you’re focusing.
Navigation History Stack
If you’re deep into an app’s settings and want to quickly get back to where you were, there’s a new history stack feature that you can access with a long press.
Just long press on any back button and then use a finger to select the prior screen you want to get back to. This feature works in Settings, the Files app, and anywhere else that you might get lost in different menus and options.
There has long been an option to add captions to photos in the macOS Photos app to make specific images easier to find, and in iOS 14, that feature is also available on the iPhone and the iPad.
In the Photos app, just swipe up on any single photo you’re looking at to see additional details and then tap on “Add a Caption” and type in whatever you want.
Volume Up/Down Camera Controls
There are some useful new volume button camera controls in iOS 14, which expand on the camera button as shutter functionality. If you press and hold the Volume Up button while the Camera app is open, you can take a series of burst mode photos (a bunch of photos in quick succession).
If you hold down the Volume Down button with the Camera app open, you can capture a QuickTake video, which lets you capture video without having to take the time to swap out of photo mode. Volume Up for Burst needs to be enabled in the Camera section of the Settings app, but QuickTake with the Volume Down button is enabled by default.
Prevent Apps From Downloading to Home Screen
Since there’s now an App Library feature on the iPhone that lets you get to all of your installed apps, there’s no longer a need for apps to be downloaded to the Home Screen.
If you choose to, you can prevent newly downloaded apps from showing up on the Home Screen by opting to download them solely to the App Library. There’s a toggle for enabling App Library only downloads in the Home Screen section of the Settings app.
Hide App Pages
Again, with the App Library, there’s less need for specific app pages for organizing apps. If you want to get rid of a page of apps for a cleaner Home Screen and usage experience, long press on the Home Screen, tap on the series of dots at the bottom, and then uncheck whichever app pages you don’t want to see.
Picture in Picture Collapsed Window
In the iPhone’s new Picture in Picture mode, which works with videos on the web, FaceTime, and more, if you pull a Picture in Picture window over to the side of the display, you can hide the video while the audio continues to play.
The hidden video feature lets you continue to chat on FaceTime or listen to a video while giving you full access to your iPhone’s screen for whatever you need to do.
iOS 14 lets you pinch zoom much further into your photos in the Photos app, which is great if you have a photo where you want to see the detail up close.
Back Tap is an Accessibility feature that lets users double tap or triple tap on the back of the iPhone to perform various actions.
Back tap can be used to do things like access Control Center, Notification Center, the Lock screen, the Home screen, or the App Switcher, or it can change the volume, bring up Siri, mute the iPhone, take a screenshot, or access a Shortcut, and it can be set up to work with Accessibility features like Assistive Touch, Magnifier, or VoiceOver.
The Back Tap options can be accessed in the Settings app by tapping Accessibility > Touch > Back Tap. Tapping to trigger an action works well when the iPhone’s back is tapped in any spot on the device with either the double tap or triple tap gesture.
Hide Photos Albums
The Photos app on the iPhone has long had a feature for hiding photos from the main library, but all of those hidden photos are easily accessible in the obviously named “Hidden” album.
In iOS 14, there’s a toggle in the Settings app that lets you hide the “Hidden” album so it doesn’t show up in the albums list, making it harder to find hidden images. The Hidden album is, however, still available in the image picker in other apps.
More iOS 14 Info
For more on what’s new in iOS 14, make sure to check out our iOS 14 roundup, which has a detailed rundown of all of the features that are included in the update.
We’ve also created in-depth guides on many of the iOS 14 features, and those are listed below.
- iOS 14 Privacy Features: Approximate Location, Clipboard Access Warnings, Limited Photos Access and More
- iOS 14 and watchOS 7 Sleep Features: Sleep Mode, Wind Down, Sleep Tracking and More
- Safari iOS 14 Guide: Privacy Report, Built-In Translation, Compromised Password Alerts and More
- What’s New in iOS 14 Maps: Cycling Directions, Guides, Refine Location and More
- iOS 14’s New AirPods Features: Spatial Audio, Better Automatic Device Switching, Battery Notifications and More
- iOS 14: Apple’s Built-In Translate App That Works With 11 Languages
- iOS 14’s Compact Interface: Phone Calls, FaceTime, Siri and More
- Magnifier in iOS 14 Gets Overhauled UI and New Features, Can Be Added to Home Screen
- iOS 14: How to Use Picture in Picture Mode on iPhone
- iOS 14 Home Screen Changes: App Library, Widgets, Hiding Apps and More
- iOS 14: Everything New in Messages
- Car Keys: A New Feature That Lets You Unlock a Car With Your iPhone or Apple Watch
- iPadOS 14 Features You Need to Know
- Top iOS 14 Features: Compact Phone Calls, Back Tap, Widgets, App Library and More
Have questions about iOS 14 and or want to offer feedback on this guide? Send us an email here.
Microsoft’s Xbox Series X 1TB expandable storage priced at $219.99 – The Verge
Microsoft’s first 1TB expandable storage drive for the Xbox Series X / S will be priced at $219.99. Best Buy has started taking preorders for the accessory, revealing a final price that had leaked recently. These expandable storage cards slot into the rear of both the Xbox Series X / S to match the internal SSD speed and provide 1TB of extra storage.
Microsoft’s expandable storage solution is proprietary, and only Seagate has been announced as a manufacturer so far. Microsoft tells me more suppliers and additional sizes will be available in the future, but the $219.99 price will still surprise many potential next-gen Xbox owners.
The Xbox Series X ships with 1TB of SSD storage, and the Xbox Series S just 512GB of storage. Microsoft’s pricing means the $299 Xbox Series S jumps to nearly $520 if you want to add the additional storage and bring it up to 1.5TB overall. That may make the larger Series X more appealing to those who need the storage, particularly as games will start to require it once they’re enhanced for the Xbox Series X / S. Games for the Xbox Series S can be 30 percent smaller than the Series X, which will certainly help with storage options.
An alternative to this expandable storage is simply using any USB drive to store games when you don’t need to play them. If they’re not enhanced for Xbox Series X / S then you’ll even be able to run them direct from USB storage, or you can simply copy them and use drives as cheaper cold storage.
It’s difficult to judge the price of these expandable storage cards, simply because there aren’t enough comparable PCIe 4.0 NVMe SSDs out there. Sony has chosen to allow players to slot their own drives into the PS5, but these drives will need to meet the speed requirements of the internal SSD. Those speed requirements mean that PS5 owners will need the very best PCIe 4.0 NVMe drives that are starting to make their way into PCs. Samsung announced its 980 Pro earlier this week, which looks like it might be an ideal candidate for the PS5 due to its fast read and write speeds. Samsung’s 1TB option for the 980 Pro is priced at $229.99, but Sony has not yet revealed which drives will be compatible with the PS5.
The benefits of Sony’s more open approach is that pricing on compatible PCIe 4.0 NVMe SSDs will inevitably drop over time due to competition and lower manufacturing costs. Assuming Sony certifies most high-end drives, there should be a lot of options. Microsoft will need more manufacturers producing its expandable Xbox Series X / S storage cards for competition to take place and prices to be lowered over time. It’s going to be a waiting game to see exactly how Sony and Microsoft handle expandable storage options in the coming months, but it’s clear from Microsoft’s pricing that it’s not going to be cheap for early adopters.
Xbox Joins TikTok, And Their First Video Is A Good One – GameSpot
Xbox has become the latest big brand to join the viral app TikTok. The Xbox TikTok account posted its first video today, and it’s a treat.
The video features a narrator talking to themself and wondering aloud what they should post as their first video on TikTok. As the narration unfolds, the video cuts to the camera roll that shows a number of silly Xbox memes making fun of the Series S and Series X console designs. It’s a very self-aware joke, and it works. You can check it out below.
In other news about the next-generation Xbox consoles, here at GameSpot we now have the Xbox Series X in our hands and we’ll bring you lots of reporting on the console soon.
We have preview coverage lined up such as impressions, technical breakdowns, and discussions of the overall gaming experience, but that’ll be coming in the near future.
For more on Microsoft’s next-gen consoles, be sure to read our comparison of the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S, and if you want to get a closer look at how the two systems stack against other console, check out our size comparison with the official Xbox Series mockups.
Microsoft also made a big splash this week by acquiring Bethesda and all the game studios under the prominent publisher. And if you’re still looking to get one yourself, consult our Xbox Series X pre-order guide for help. You can also catch up w
Xbox Series X and S’s 1TB storage cards could cost as much as $260 – Video Games Chronicle
The first retail listings for Xbox” href=”https://www.videogameschronicle.com/platforms/xbox/”>Xbox Series X and S’s SSD storage expansions have priced a 1TB card at around $260 USD (£203), when converted from AUD.
The cards, which are manufactured by storage giant Seagate, have appeared for pre-order at multiple Australian retailers including EB Games, JB Hi-Fi and Mighty Ape, with prices ranging from $360 – $388 AUD.
The price points represent almost half the cost of an Xbox Series X in Australia ($750 AUD) and 70% the price of an Xbox Series X | S” href=”https://www.videogameschronicle.com/platforms/xbox/scarlett/”>Xbox Series S ($500 AUD).
The expansion cards are yet to be priced by any US or European retailers, despite Xbox Series X and S pre-orders opening earlier this week.
However, the spread of retailers and similar pricing suggests that the prices listed in Australia could be indicative of where the cards will eventually land elsewhere. It should be noted that the AU prices include tax.
Australian pricing for Xbox accessories is usually closely in line with other territories, and the suggested $260 expansion card price is also not significantly different from the current cost of similar 1TB NVMe SSD drives for PC” href=”https://www.videogameschronicle.com/platforms/pc/”>PC.
The Xbox Series X ($500 USD / £450) includes 1TB of internal storage, but the smaller Series S ($300 / £250) only ships with 512GB.
Xbox’s 1TB expansion cards slot into the back of the console and allow users to store next-gen games. Standard HDDs can be used for backwards compatible titles.
According to Xbox Game Studios (Microsoft)” href=”https://www.videogameschronicle.com/companies/microsoft/”>Microsoft, game install sizes will be approximately 30% smaller on Xbox Series S than on Series X.
Xbox director of program management Jason Ronald told IGN that because of the smaller resolution texture packages required for games on Series S, which will run software natively at 1440p as opposed to at 4K on Series X, install sizes will be significantly reduced.
“With a performance target of 1440p at 60 fps, our expectation is that developers will not ship their highest level mipmaps to Xbox Series S, which will reduce the size of the games,” he said.
“Ultimately the controls in the developer’s hands. We’ve had this technology for a while that allows developers to intelligently choose which assets to install on which device they’re playing on. So the flexibility is in the developers’ hands to make sure the right assets are there.”
Microsoft’s Xbox Series X 1TB expandable storage priced at $219.99 – The Verge
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