iOS 14 design shows biggest iPhone change in a decade

(Image credit: Parker Ortolani)

Apple's iOS 14 is rumored to feature fully-fledged widgets for its suite of apps, and thanks to a design concept we can get a feeling for what it'll look like. 

A design by Parker Ortolani (via 9to5Mac) helps to suggest what Apple is doing, or at least should be doing, with the next version of its mobile operating system. This is based on recent news that Apple is working on adding Android-like widgets to iOS 14, a first for iPhones and no doubt iPads too when iOS 14 is adapted into iPadOS 14.

Using a feature named "SpringKit" by Ortolani, iOS 14 app developers will be able to set three different versions of an app's icon: a standard static image, a live icon that updates itself with useful information, and an extended widget that displays even more. 

The images show how this could work for Apple's own Weather, Camera and Activity apps, giving you key facts at-a-glance or providing quick shortcuts to important features.

iOS 14 widget concept

(Image credit: Parker Ortolani)

Widgets aren't entirely new to iOS, as in iOS 13 a swipe right takes you to the Today View panel, which contains widgets with snippets of information like the latest news and weather. But unlike Android, iOS 13 widgets can't be added to anywhere on the home screen or beyond the Today View panel.  

With Android 11 in development, it is about time that iOS matches this feature so it can better compete with the Google OS in terms of user interface flexibility. However, Apple may still decide to ditch the new widgets in favor of other features, since there's time for things to be cut before the new version of iOS is locked down for bug fixing and final launch preparations.

iOS 14 should debut, as previous major iOS and other Apple operating system updates have, at WWDC. With this now an online-only event taking place in July, we'll likely be waiting a while for the reveal at a virtual keynote address. Hopefully, we won't see a delay in the rollout of the new version of iOS, which normally goes live with the launch of the new iPhone in fall.

Richard Priday
Assistant Phones Editor

Richard is based in London, covering news, reviews and how-tos for phones, tablets, gaming, and whatever else people need advice on. Following on from his MA in Magazine Journalism at the University of Sheffield, he's also written for WIRED U.K., The Register and Creative Bloq. When not at work, he's likely thinking about how to brew the perfect cup of specialty coffee.