iOS 14 leak reveals new Fitness app, iMessage and Apple Pencil upgrades

ios 14 is going to bring new iMessage perks and more
(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

iOS 14 is several months away from appearing on your iPhone or iPad (in its iPadOS guise), but an early version of the operating system has emerged and is giving us interesting sneak peeks into what Apple’s working on.

These rumors begin with a MacRumors story spilling the beans on a new Fitness app that will come to iOS 14, watchOS 7 and tvOS 14, which will offer workout videos and guidance on how to exercise.

The Apple Watch will be used to track your progress, with a second larger device acting as the display for any feedback or instructions the app gives you. It includes a wide variety of activity types based on the images found by MacRumors, and for the time being looks as if it may be entirely free to use.

A second MacRumors story showed off a pair of major changes coming iMessage. The biggest and possibly most messy of these features is retracting texts (as if you never sent them). They've also got an eye on @ mentions (familiar to Slack users) will allow users to tag each other, which would likely lead to new settings for only getting notifications in group texts when you're @-tagged.

A third MacRumors story revealed Apple adding a new feature to “PencilKit”, the software controlling how an Apple Pencil or other stylus behaves with an iPad. This new feature would allow developers to add handwriting text recognition to apps. Instead of a keyboard popping up, you’ll get a blank space to write in with your stylus, which is then converted into text when you’re finished.

Currently, only Apple’s Notes app has handwriting recognition, with no option for text conversion in any first-party app. This new feature works with any text input field, meaning all of Apple's own apps will be compatible, likely followed by others in future.

In addition, MacRumors describes a “MagicFill” function that allows you to draw symbols that your device will then replace with a set piece of text. This could be very handy for things like addresses, templates and other pieces of information you want to have readily accessible.

This isn’t the only thing found within iOS 14’s code. We’ve also found more evidence of Apple’s over-ear headphones, and that iPads will soon have an easier time using wireless mice for navigation.

Since this is only a development version of the next iOS, there’s a chance that these feature won’t make it to the final release. We hope it does though, as the Apple Pencil trick would make it easier to write with your iPad, and the new fitness and messaging features sound quite useful.

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.