Over the weekend, we reported on a few potentially life-saving new features coming to Apple Watch that were leaked via an early look at iOS 14 code. Now, it seems that iOS 14 preview has revealed that not only are there still a ton of additional new features coming soon to Apple Watch, but that preview has also let the cat out of the bag early regarding iOS getting mouse cursor support and the existence of trackpad-enabled iPad keyboards. And we're very excited to let you know about the top 10 features leaked for the new iOS 14.
The iOS 14 code preview comes via 9to5Mac, and it revealed that Apple is planning a bug-fixing improvement to the Apple Watch ECG feature as well as the capability of analyzing blood-oxygen levels of the wearer. The latter is especially important because if those levels fall below 80% it could signal heart and brain impairment. Low blood-oxygen saturation can also lead to serious emergencies like cardiac arrest, which is why a new notification will be added to the watch in tandem with this feature’s launch that alerts the wearer whenever their blood-oxygen saturation is too low.
10 features leaked for the new iOS 14 are:
- Apple AirTags are slowly being discovered
- The Apple Watch Series 6 and Apple over-the-ear headphones
- Apple TV is getting a new remote
- New iPad Pro focuses on AR
- iPad Pro and “iPhone SE 2” are supported in iOS 14
- Apple TV and AirTags
- HomeKit in iOS 14
- New Accessibility Features
- Wallpaper Categories
- Trackpad Gestures
Apple AirTags are slowly being discovered
One of the more intriguing new Apple hardware launches for 2020 is actually one of the smallest, too. AirTags are widely believed to be the Cupertino firm’s entrance into the tracking space, standalone tags that can be attached to bags, bikes, and other items, and then tracked using an iPhone.
According to the iOS 14 leak, the AirTags will have replaceable batteries, which is something many tracker-buyers insist upon. That does often come with the downside of the tags being bulkier than sealed trackers with non-replaceable batteries, mind, and it can interfere with waterproofing too. Tile’s latest tracker range, for example, includes versions with both replaceable and sealed batteries, to satisfy both sides of that.
Apple Watch Series 6 and Apple over-the-ear headphones
These aren’t the first tidbits we’ve heard about courtesy of the leaked iOS 14 code. Apple’s upcoming over-the-ear headphones – another product long-rumored – have also been name-checked, seemingly suggesting that the time is almost here for AirPods and AirPods Pro to get some more traditionally-shaped cordless company.
The Apple Watch Series 6, meanwhile, is also expected to bring some big new features. Sleep tracking is one long-anticipated upgrade, though it’s unclear whether existing Apple Watch owners will be able to unlock that functionality with a watchOS update later in 2020. We’re also expecting to see blood oxygen detection, adding to the wearable’s health credentials.
Apple TV is getting a new remote
It’s fair to say that the current Apple TV Siri remote control isn’t exactly the most beloved of peripherals. Criticized variously for its lack of buttons and the fact that it’s tricky to figure out by touch alone which way around you’re holding it, there’s been no shortage of requests for an updated design. Now, according to the iOS 14 code, there’s some news on that front.
Exactly what the new remote will look like is unclear, but the leak does indicate that Apple has a new version. It’ll work with a new Apple TV, it’s expected, which has previously been leaked. With iOS 14, there’ll be new functionality to expand the set-top box away from its current focus on streaming.
New iPad Pro focuses on AR
Apple’s intention to use the iPad Pro as an augmented reality platform has been widely discussed, and the hardware that allows the upcoming tablet to do that is gradually taking shape. According to the iOS 14 code, the rumored triple camera array is, indeed, in place. That will also add a time-of-flight sensor. This is one of the most exciting out of all the 10 features leaked for the new iOS 14.
It’ll be a big step up from the photography functionality on the current iPad Pro. According to the leaks, there’ll be a regular wide-angle lens, together with an ultra-wide lens and a telephoto lens, as on the iPhone 11 Pro. To that, Apple will integrate a ToF sensor that can be used for more accurately measuring things like depth, which has applications both in augmented reality and in boosting autofocus.
iPad Pro and “iPhone SE 2” are supported in iOS 14
The iPad Pro lineup was previously rumored to have a triple-camera setup, which the code received by 9to5Mac reportedly confirms. The cameras in question will be the same as the iPhone 11 Pro, in terms that they will consist of wide-angle, ultra-wide, and telephoto lenses.
The cameras will also be joined by the also-rumored time-of-flight sensor. While it has the potential usage for augmented reality applications, more practically it may be used by the rear cameras for enhanced focus and zooming, and to perform more computational photography by collecting 3D depth data of the scene ahead.
Apple TV and AirTags
A new model of Apple TV has previously surfaced in rumors, but the code is claimed to mention a new Apple TV remote. No real data about the remote's features or changes were offered, aside from it apparently existing.
A previous report covered mentions in the code of exercise and workout coaching on the set-top box.
The similarly-rumored “AirTags,” Apple's Tile-like trackers, will allegedly have a user-replaceable battery. The code also suggests the accessories will be able to be configured in bulk, allowing multiple units to be set up by the user at the same time.
HomeKit in iOS 14
Night Shift, a feature in iOS that changes the color temperature of the display over the course of a day to ease a user's eyes, will apparently be coming to HomeKit. In cases where a smart bulb with color-changing functionality is in use, the bulb will be able to automatically and gradually adjust the color temperature through the day based on a schedule, with a similar ultimate purpose.
HomeKit Secure Video, added in iOS 13, offers some smart features for users, such as recognizing objects that appear in videos for easier searching through footage. In iOS 14, it is claimed the security feature will gain a face classification function, allowing it to identify individual people.
On the Apple TV, it is also claimed there will be a permanent option to enable a HomePod stereo pair to be used as the AirPlay 2 output for the set-top box.
New Accessibility Features
Apple is focusing on further improving the accessibility aspect of iOS with iOS 14. The OS will automatically detect sounds like fire alarms, doorbells, sirens, etc. and convert them into alerts for people with hearing impairments. Another new accessibility feature will allow the camera app to detect hand gestures. Audio Accommodations will also be there which “can improve audio tuning over AirPods or EarPods for people with mild to moderate hearing loss.”
Apple will offer improved categorization of wallpapers by adding new categories. More importantly, Apple will allow third-party apps to directly integrate with the Wallpaper option in the Settings menu in iOS 14. This means third-party wallpaper apps will be able to integrate and show their wallpaper collections right in the iOS 14 Wallpaper settings menu.
It was reported yesterday that Apple was working on two new Smart Keyboard models for the iPad Pro with a built-in trackpad. It has now been confirmed that this trackpad will have gesture capabilities. One of the gestures will allow users to easily switch between open applications.