Apple recently released a public beta of the new iPhone operating system. This free upgrade lets you try out all the new features that you’ll get with iOS 14 before it officially comes out. However, it is important to note that these early releases are often buggy, and they can cause your iPhone to crash. But, if you just can’t wait to see what iOS 14 has in store, here’s how to download and install the iOS 14 public beta, and how to use all the best new features.
If you want to know more about iOS 14, check out our article about Apple’s WWDC event here. Plus, check out our firsthand look at macOS 11 Big Sur to find out about the best new features coming to Mac computers this fall.
How to Hide Pages in iOS 14
You can now hide your home pages in iOS 14 by tapping and holding any app until you see a drop-down menu appear. Then select Edit Home Screen and tap the dots that appear at the bottom of your screen. Finally, uncheck the pages that you want to hide and tap Done.
Then, when you swipe left on your Home Screen, you won’t see those pages anymore. With this new feature, you can remove all the apps from your Home Screen that you don’t use very often, without having to delete any of them.
You can unhide those pages at any time by going back to Edit Home Screen. Then select the dots that appear at the bottom of your screen, and check the pages that you want to unhide.
An Easier Way to Find Apps
With iOS, it’s easy to find any of your installed apps using the new App Library feature. All you have to do is swipe left past your last Home Screen, and you will see all your apps grouped in categories.
The new App Library also has a helpful search bar at the top, which makes it easy for you to find any app on your iPhone. Tapping it shows you a list of all your apps in alphabetical order. You can also search for apps by name to narrow down the list.
How to add Widgets to the Home Screen in iOS 14
To add widgets to your Home Screen in iOS 14, tap and hold any app until you see a drop-down menu appear. Then select Edit Home Screen and tap the plus sign in the top-left corner of your screen. Finally, select a widget, pick a size, and select Add Widget.
You can also combine several widgets in one space by dragging and dropping them on top of each other. However, you have to select two widgets that are the same size for this to work. This will allow you to scroll through several widgets, without taking up too much room on your screen.
With iOS 14, you can choose from lots of different widgets that come in three sizes. These widgets are like shortcuts to certain apps on your iPhone, but they also show you live information. For example, the Calendar app widget shows you your upcoming meetings, while the Weather app widget shows you the forecast.
The battery widget is a welcome addition to any iPhone 11 users, since the most recent iPhones don’t show your battery percentage on the Home Screen anymore. This widget will also show you the battery life of your wireless headphones or any other connected Bluetooth devices.
There’s also a news widget that cycles through the most popular stories in Apple News. You can also change the news widget to show stories centered around certain topics, like technology or US politics. You can even enter your own topic, as long there are enough stories on Apple News on the subject.
There’s also a Music widget that lets you play your most recent albums with a single tap, and a Photos widget that lets you put your most prized photos on your Home Screen. Plus, the Maps widget displays your frequently visited locations, so you can quickly get directions to work from your Home Screen.
How to Use the Picture in Picture Mode in iOS 14
Apple also introduced a feature in iOS 14 that lets you watch videos or have FaceTime calls while using other apps. The new Picture in Picture mode takes a video that’s playing on your screen and moves it to the corner, where it is less distracting. This is a perfect feature for anyone who wants to multitask while video chatting or watching videos.
To use the new picture in picture mode, simply tap the video and then select the icon with a big rectangle turning into a smaller rectangle. You can then close the app you’re using or move the video to another corner of your screen by tapping and dragging it.
With Picture in Picture mode, you can pause the video, fast forward, rewind, close it, or bring it back to full screen. However, this feature does not appear to work with YouTube videos at this point, at least the public beta version.
How to Pin Contacts in the Messages App
With iOS 14, you can “pin” certain contacts to the top of your Messages app. This will put their profile picture at the top of your Messages app, so you don’t have to search for them every time you want to text someone.
To pin a contact in the Messages app, tap and hold their icon in the app and select Pin [Contact Name]. You can also swipe right on their last message and tap the yellow thumbtack icon. To unpin a contact, tap and hold their pinned profile picture and select Unpin [Contact Name].
However, you can only pin 9 contacts at once, so make sure to pick the people that you text a lot.
New Security Recommendations in iOS 14
If you’ve been using the same password for different websites and apps on your iPhone, you’ll love the new Security Recommendations feature in iOS 14. This feature will tell you when you’re using the same password to log in to different websites and apps on your iPhone. Using a different password for your apps will make it a lot harder for hackers to steal your personal information, such as your bank details.
This feature can also tell you when your passwords are too easy to guess, or when your passwords have been leaked. Apple will let you know if your login credentials were found in a database of recent security breaches. If hackers were able to steal your username and password, you will be given recommendations about how to make a new password.
To use the new Security recommendations in iOS 14, go to Settings > Passwords. Then select Security Recommendations to see your high priority risks. You can also select a site or app from the list below and tap Change Password on Website or Delete Password.
If you have trouble remembering all your passwords, check out our list of the best password managers here.
How to Download and Install iOS 14 Public Beta on Your iPhone
To download and install the iOS 14 public beta on your iPhone, go to Apple’s Beta Software Program website and sign in with your Apple ID. Then tap Download Profile and Install. When your iPhone restarts, go to Settings > General > Software Update > Download and Install.
Before you begin installing the public beta on your iPhone, make sure to back it up so you won’t lose any data in case something happens. If you want to know how to back up your iPhone, check out our step-by-step guide here.
- Using Safari on your iPhone, go to beta.apple.com/profile. This won’t work if you use any other web browser, such as Google Chrome.
- Then enter your Apple ID and Password. If you don’t remember your password, you can tap Forgot Apple ID or password?
- Next, scroll down and tap Download Profile. You will see this under the sub-headline that says, Install profile. Then make sure to click Allow when you see the pop-up message.
- Next, tap Install. You will see this in the top-right corner of your screen. If you do not see this, you can close Safari and go to Settings > Profile Downloaded and tap the downloaded profile.
- Then enter your passcode. This is the same passcode that you use to open your iPhone when you turn it on.
- Follow the on-screen instructions and tap Restart in the pop-up.
- Once your iPhone restarts, open Settings.
- Then go to General > Software Update.
- Finally, tap Download and Install and enter your passcode again. Then wait for the update to install.
If you have any problem when installing the iOS public beta, check out our step-by-step guide on how to restore your iPhone from a backup.