- The iOS 14 is expected to roll out to iPhone users in the coming weeks.
- For Indian users, the iOS brings a SPAM filter for messages and features like songs grouped according to an actor.
- There are also multiple changes in the way iOS handles Indian languages.
In a few weeks from now, probably on the night Apple launches the iPhone 12, the iOS 14 will be rolled out to iPhone users in India. Currently the software is in public beta and can be used, though regular users will do better to wait for some more time. While local customisations have always been part of the iOS, this time Apple is adding several unique features that are tailor-made for Indian users.
Of all the India-specific features, the two that are likely to prove popular with Indian users are SMS filtering and creation of playlists in Apple Music on the basis of an actor.
Unlike in global markets where music is often categorised and searched on the basis of an artist, in India, because of the tradition of song and dance in Bollywood, music is often associated with an actor. So, Chaiyya chaiyya is a song we associate with Shah Rukh Khan and not Sukhwinder Singh. Many of the popular songs that Mukesh sang are recognised as songs of Raj Kapoor. With iOS 14, Apple is making it easier for Indian users to find and sort their music using the name of an actor instead of an artist.
The SMS filtering too is expected to make life easier for Indian users. The Messages app in the iOS 14 will categorise and filter SMS on the basis of the number they are using. This means the messages with OTP will go into a separate category and will not be mixed with messages from your friends. To create this feature Apple has fed thousands of phone numbers used by banks, delivery services, cab services etc into its system, along with alphanumeric sender id such as AX-ICICIB, and has created a smart filtering system. The messages in the iOS 14 will be put in Promotional, Transactional, and Junk folders. It sounds promising on paper and Apple says that the Messages app in the iOS 14 will be able to automatically filter and label SMS messages.
Other than these two features, there are a few other important India-specific updates in the iOS 14.
-- The iOS 14 comes with 20 new document fonts. The existing 18 fonts have also been improved and are given more weight and italics so there is a better choice of stylising text.
-- The iOS 14 will support email addresses in Hindi and other Indian scripts.
-- Another key feature update for Indian users in the iOS 14 is smart download. Indian users will be able to download Siri voices and software updates, as well Apple TV+ shows over cellular networks. No more Wi-Fi only requirement.
-- Talking of Siri, it gets a new Indian voice in iOS 14. This new voice will use neural text-to-speech technology to sound natural.