We all know that keeping a device’s software up-to-date is essential. Current software can help limit the need for technical support while minimizing the risk of security vulnerabilities. Still, it seems like each new update (particularly with devices we use frequently) takes some getting used to. Apple recently came out with iOS 14, and iPhone users everywhere are slowly discovering the operating system’s newest features. In this week’s technical support tips feature, we explore the changes, additions, and tools you can use every day as part of the iOS 14 update.
Changes to FaceTime, Calls, and Messages
One of the most readily apparent changes (particularly for those who use FaceTime to keep in touch) is the addition of picture-in-picture displays. While the old iOS would pause your FaceTime video feed if you switched to another app (leaving audio still up and running), the newest iPhone update introduced a picture-in-picture feature. Now, if you’re on a FaceTime call and you switch to another app, your video feed will remain open in the corner of your screen. Another big change is the switch from full-screen call notifications to a small, simple banner. If you receive a call while using another app, a banner will appear at the top of the screen with caller ID and the option to answer or ignore the call, all without obscuring your screen.
Perhaps some of the most significant changes are to the iOS messaging system. This iteration of iOS has added mentions and inline replies, allowing users to mention others in group chats and reply to specific texts in a thread or group chat. The update also allows users to pin up to nine conversations to the top of their Messages screen for easy access.
A New Technical Support FAQ: What Does the Orange Dot Mean?
If you have an iPhone, you may have noticed an orange or green dot appearing at the top of your screen from time to time. It is typically present at the right-hand side of your status bar (which shows your battery level, wifi signal, and other information). These dots are a new feature designed to let users know when their iPhone’s microphone and camera are active. An orange dot means that your device’s microphone is on, while a green dot indicates that the camera (and often the microphone, too) is being used. Opening the Control Center menu after seeing these dots allows users to see which apps are gaining access. For example, a message at the top of the Control Center menu saying “Messages, recently” with an orange dot would mean that the Messages app recently accessed your microphone. If you see these dots appearing when they shouldn’t be, it may mean that one of your apps is collecting audio or visual data without your knowledge, and it might be a good idea to check in with a technical support professional.
Changes to Menus and Viewing Options
Another way that iOS 14 users can revolutionize their iPhone experience is by utilizing the updated widget features. Widgets (small boxes that contain information from specific apps at a glance) were initially restricted to Today View, the page to the left of your home screen. Now, users can add all kinds of widgets to any part of the home screen. Customizing your widgets can take some time, but it can help you keep your weather apps, calendars, and stock market info right at your fingertips.
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