91Mobiles and Ben Geskin (a leaker and concept image creator) have shared images and videos claiming to be from an internal build of iOS 14, which show an app switcher that displays four recently used apps in a grid, with more visible if you swipe horizontally.
It’s a look that’s very similar to the one found on iPadOS, though on an iPhone the apps look a lot smaller and arguably cramped, especially compared to the current iOS 13 app switcher, which shows almost a full screen image of each app.
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So this change – if it happens – would mean you can see more apps on a single screen, potentially letting you jump to them or close them faster, but you won’t get as clear a view of them.
Another detail that we can see in this layout is a padlock, which appears when swiping an app closed. It’s likely that this hints at an ability to pin an app, so it can’t accidentally be closed.
Finally, another image in this leak shows that this is just one of four app switcher options. This one is called 'Grid Switcher', but there's also apparently 'Deck Switcher' (which is likely the current layout), along with 'Automatic', and 'Minimum Viable Switcher'.
Here's that internal 'App Switcher' settings. Not a jailbreak tweak. pic.twitter.com/Ft6qvZ6NGiFebruary 23, 2020
May not ever make it to iPhone
So it might be that you’ll be able to choose what kind of app switcher screen you want with iOS 14, which would make a certain amount of sense, since as we’ve noted above there look to be both up and downsides to this new layout.
That said, the 'App Switcher' heading in the image above is slightly cut off by the iPhone's notch, which seems unlikely to happen even in an internal build, so we'd take all of this with a pinch of salt.
Plus, even assuming this really has appeared in an internal build that doesn’t necessarily mean it will be available in the final consumer release of iOS 14. Lots of ideas are likely being toyed with internally at Apple, and not all of them will make the cut.
It’s also entirely possible that the choice of app switcher is one intended just for Apple’s engineers, so they can easily test them all before deciding which one(s) to go with. So don’t count on seeing this in iOS 14, but we wouldn’t count it out either.
We probably won’t know for sure until at least WWDC 2020, which is likely to take place in June, as this is where Apple traditionally shows off the new iOS version and launches a developer beta. But the final, finished software probably won’t land until September, alongside the iPhone 12.
So we’ve got quite a wait, but TechRadar will be sure to bring you all the news and rumors about iOS 14 in the meantime.