Related post: Our Comprehensive iOS Parental Control Guide is exactly as advertised. It includes updates related to iOS 14 and tons of additional details.
iOS 14 Updates – So far, So Good
The purpose of our post is to explain only those updates that pertain to kids and how they use an iPhone. iOS 14 changed hundreds of features on the iPhone, but 95% of them aren’t items kids or parents will care about.
But, if you have 30 minutes and want to read the most comprehensive iOS 14 roundup on the web, then check out MacRumors’ post. It’s ridiculously detailed (and long!).
iOS 14 was released on September 16, which means many families have already upgraded. We’ve been waiting to see how the upgrade impacted Screen Time settings, since iOS13 was so problematic – Screen Time just randomly quit working. So far, we’re happy to report that iOS 14 doesn’t seem to have these same issues.
Say Hello to iPhone Widgets
Widgets give quick information from apps and are highly customizable. Kids LOVE how they can customize their home screen. I watched my own daughter spend hours creating a more personalized home screen after upgrading to iOS 14. You can access available widgets by swiping right.
This Apple support article explains how to use widgets just in case you want to get creative.
Swipe left from your home screen until you get to the end of your apps, and you’ll eventually get to the new App Library. This is an interface that shows all of the apps on your iPhone to see everything at a glance, organized into a tidy folder system.
Parent note: kids can hide apps in their App Library. In other words, they can download apps form the App Store, but they don’t have to show them on their home or subsequent screens. If you’re concerned about your child downloading and hiding apps, then use Family Sharing, which is explained in detail under Layer 4 in our Comprehensive iOS Parental Control Guide.
If you want to know if your child’s phone is set to put new apps in the App Library, just go to: Settings -> Home Screen -> App Library Only, which means what it says. The default setting is “Add to Home Screen,” so you’ll know if it has been changed.
Key Apps Get iOS 14 Upgrades
- iMessage upgrades – users can now tag others with the @ in a group chat to notify them of a message specifically for them. Speaking of group chats, users can now use inline replies in order to “nest” a reply underneath a related conversation. Think of it as a reply. Finally, users can also pin an important iMessage to the top of the app.
- Translate app – a new Apple translation app accepts text or voice translations in 11 languages.
- Apple Maps – more details are now included for bikers and electric car drivers.
Other iOS 14 Updates Worth Noting:
- Memojis expanded – there are new hairstyles, headwear, age options, stickers, and you can even put a mask on.
- More default privacy settings – toggles that had to be found and enabled are now off by default for certain tracking. Users can also choose to only share their approximate (not precise) location with apps. This is explained in our Apple Privacy blog post.
Chris McKenna, Founder: A man with never-ending energy when it comes to fighting for the safety and protection of children. Chris practices his internet safety tips on his four amazing children and is regularly featured on news, radio, and podcasts for his research. His 2019 US Senate Judiciary Committee testimony was the catalyst for draft legislation and ongoing discussion that could radically change online child protection laws and earned PYE the NCOSE Dignity Defense Alert Award in 2020. The PYE team has performed over 1,700 presentations at schools, churches, and nonprofits and was featured in the Childhood 2.0 movie. Other loves include running, spreadsheets, nature, and candy.