I've been using Apple's new iOS 14 for a few days and while there's useful updates to Messages, the App Library is disappointing

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I've been using Apple's new iOS 14 for a few days and while there's useful updates to Messages, the App Library is disappointing
  • Apple held its annual hardware event virtually on September 15 and released iOS 14 the next day.
  • The update had added changes to the home screen, Messages, Siri, and more.
  • Messages updates are already proving useful, but the App Library feels more like a band-aid than anything helpful or new.

Apple just released iOS 14, with some major updates like home screen widgets and Siri, along with dozens of more minor adjustments. The beta version was released back in July, so many have had a few months to get acquainted with the new software. Some updates, like changing the default browser and email app, have been anticipated by iPhone owners for years.

Every year with the new version of iOS, some of the coolest features debuted at WWDC end up being mostly inconsequential, at least to me, while other minor ones make daily tasks easier. After only a few days, I'm already a fan of changes Messages, while the new App Library didn't seem like anything special.

The many small new features in Messages add up to one of the most useful updates in iOS14 for me, because it's probably the app I use the most throughout the day.

The many small new features in Messages add up to one of the most useful updates in iOS14 for me, because it's probably the app I use the most throughout the day.
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Pinning conversations is a minor change, but it's also super helpful to easily reach the people and group chats I return to the most.

Pinning conversations is a minor change, but it's also super helpful to easily reach the people and group chats I return to the most.
iOS 14 Messages. Mary Meisenzahl
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Pinning a conversation puts it at the top of the Messages app. For me, making the photo larger rather than the text makes it easy to quickly find my important conversations.

Pinning a conversation puts it at the top of the Messages app. For me, making the photo larger rather than the text makes it easy to quickly find my important conversations.
iOS 14 Messages. Mary Meisenzahl
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Messages got some other common sense updates, like tagging people in a group message, and threading messages.

Messages got some other common sense updates, like tagging people in a group message, and threading messages.
iOS 14 Messages. Mary Meisenzahl
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To start a thread, just hold down on a message and the "reply" option will pop up.

To start a thread, just hold down on a message and the "reply" option will pop up.
iOS 14 Messages. Mary Meisenzahl
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Then you can view just the thread, which can be helpful in a fast moving group chat.

Then you can view just the thread, which can be helpful in a fast moving group chat.
iOS 14 Messages. Mary Meisenzahl
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Threading and tagging people seems so obvious, I have to wonder why Apple did not implement them earlier, like many other messaging apps have. Still, I'm glad they're here, and they make handling the multiple group chats I use to stay in touch with friends and family that much easier.

Threading and tagging people seems so obvious, I have to wonder why Apple did not implement them earlier, like many other messaging apps have. Still, I'm glad they're here, and they make handling the multiple group chats I use to stay in touch with friends and family that much easier.
iOS 14 Messages. Mary Meisenzahl
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The ability to search the emoji library is, again, very simple, but it makes life just a little bit easier.

The ability to search the emoji library is, again, very simple, but it makes life just a little bit easier.
iOS 14 Messages. Mary Meisenzahl
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Between emoji search and the QuickPath swipe keyboard introduced in iOS 13, I can finally stop using the custom Google keyboard and stick to the built-in Apple one.

Between emoji search and the QuickPath swipe keyboard introduced in iOS 13, I can finally stop using the custom Google keyboard and stick to the built-in Apple one.
iOS 14 Messages. Mary Meisenzahl
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One tiny update I predict will be super useful is a notification about what was pasted into Messages or any other text field. Who among us hasn't accidentally sent the wrong link?

One tiny update I predict will be super useful is a notification about what was pasted into Messages or any other text field. Who among us hasn't accidentally sent the wrong link?
iOS 14 Messages. Mary Meisenzahl
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So far I'm less impressed with the App Library, which automatically organizes apps into categories when you swipe left past all the other screens.

So far I'm less impressed with the App Library, which automatically organizes apps into categories when you swipe left past all the other screens.
App Library. Mary Meisenzahl
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To me, the categorizations don't make very much sense, and they aren't nearly as useful as the organizational system I've already created for myself where I can access, for example, all my social media or music and audio in one spot.

To me, the categorizations don't make very much sense, and they aren't nearly as useful as the organizational system I've already created for myself where I can access, for example, all my social media or music and audio in one spot.
App Library. Mary Meisenzahl
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The "other" categorization also makes me wonder how well these apps are really categorized. Maybe it will prove to be useful later, but for now, the App Library just seems like a way to hide away the disorganized, non-customizable mess of apps.

The "other" categorization also makes me wonder how well these apps are really categorized. Maybe it will prove to be useful later, but for now, the App Library just seems like a way to hide away the disorganized, non-customizable mess of apps.
App Library. Mary Meisenzahl
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