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iOS 14 shocker reveals new name and last-minute features

(Image credit: Ben Geskin)

Just days before iOS 14 is scheduled to debut at WWDC 2020, we're learning Apple may have a big name change in store for its mobile operating system.

This rumored name change to iPhone OS, shared by infamous Apple leaker Jon Prosser via Twitter, would let the iPhone operating system's branding match the rest of Apple's devices. Though the move could have been predicted based on the debut of iPadOS last year, this is the first time we're getting confirmation of what the software shipping on the iPhone 12 will be called.

When Apple first launched its proprietary mobile software, it was actually called iPhone OS. In fact, it stayed that way until Apple announced iOS 4, opting for an abbreviated name. 

At the time, the branding change was a big deal. And now, approaching the reveal of the 14th version of new iPhone features and revamped interface, the return is almost as staggering. Again, it was expected to some extent, but rebranding a leading operating system over a decade later is nothing to snuff at.  

iPhone OS (perhaps iPhoneOS, stylistically) will join the naming protocol of macOS, iPadOS, watchOS and tvOS. 

Along with a name change, new alternations reportedly coming to the mobile platform include a handy multitasking interface, complete with a list view for apps and the ability to assign default apps. iPhone owners may also be able to use apps without downloading them, enlist Safari for translation needs and even retract sent iMessages. iOS 14 is also expected to get home screen widgets, one of the biggest features that has set Android apart for years. 

Several last-minute leaks have also tipped off some additional upgrades. 9to5Mac reports that the Apple Podcasts app will get a major refresh that borrow's Apple Music's "For You" tab, allowing it to deliver more personalized recommendations based on your listening history. And a separate leak reported by AppleInsider shows that the sound effects for Apple's long-rumored AirTags item trackers have been found within iOS 14.

We may also see a refreshed Health app, or launch of a dedicated Fitness app that would presumably work with the new Apple Watch Series 6 and other compatible fitness trackers to provide insights on wellness goals.

We'll learn more on Monday at WWDC, where Apple could announce iOS 14 as iPhone OS 14.