iOS 14 Home Screen Customisation

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The time and effort it takes to fully customised your iOS iPhone home screen is high, but it’s worth it.

With decades of refinement, iPhones continuously become more capable and reliable – but also somewhat boring. The newest addition to the device will break this, though.

Unlike Apple and iOS, Android has had some form of widget available for a while now. “Today View” is the closest implementation of this type of feature on the iPhone, accessed by swiping right from your home screen.

Despite this, the newest iOS update is bursting with possibilities – welcoming any and all widgets across a range of apps in a lot of different sizes.

You are able to edit them, move them and stack them. There are so many possibilities now available to iOS users.

There are so many ways to use this customisation feature, and every way makes your experience more useful and customised to your personal needs.

If you’re unsure of where to start, we’ve created a quick and easy guide to personalising your iOS device.

What’s a Widget?

A widget is a way to add more details to the little squares with rounded edges you see on your screen that indicate different apps you have available on your device.

The widgets now available on iOS come in three standard sizes: small, medium and large. The smallest takes up 4 apps (square), the medium takes up eight apps (horizontal rectangle) and the large takes up 16 apps (square, half screen).

These widgets allow you to not only customise your home screen but to put more information where you need it.

An example of a very straightforward widget is the weather. This widget will show you a variety of things: the current temperature, the day’s forecasted high and low, and a small graphic that indicates what weather you’ll experience, including sunny, cloudy, rainy and more.

Some apps will allow significant customisation. For example, Wikipedia can show you a “picture of the day”, a glimpse of “this day in history” or the most-read stories of the day. You can even have all three of these options on your screen at once if you want.

Be sure to remember that not every widget will come in every size and level of customisation.

Developers are continuing to make this feature available for their apps. Applications such as weather, calendar and financial apps are leading the way in the hustle, with iOS native apps such as Battery and Screen time following close with around 10 different widgets to choose from.

Dedicated widget apps, such as Widgetsmith, are popular for fully managing and customising home screens. These apps make it easier to truly dive into specific aesthetics.

You don’t need to go all out with widgeting, but we’re sure that every iPhone user can benefit in some way. Thankfully, it’s so easy to do!

How to Add and Stack Widgets

Simply hold down on the home screen till the apps begin to wiggle, and click the plus sign at the top corner to access all of the widgets available to you.

To customise, tap on the widget you like and you get to choose its size. Once you’ve chosen, you simply tap add widget and you’re done.

Your apps may be displaced due to the device making room for the widget, so you’ll just have to move them around again until you’re happy with the appearance.

You also have the option to edit some widgets by holding down and tapping edit widget. Some widgets will offer more customisation than others, but it is worth looking into.

If your screen is becoming crowded and more pages being to appear, you should try stacking your apps. This is different from grouping as you will layer the widgets on top of one another allowing you to swipe through them as you please.

You can stack them by making your apps wiggle again, hitting the plus sign and tapping smart stack. This feature has similar options in sizing to the widgets.

App Icon Packs

If you’re looking for a full-on aesthetic home-screen, then app icon packs are perfect for you. They aren’t technically widgets, but they allow you to alter the app icons on your phone.

For this, you’ll need the Shortcuts app which allows you to replace the existing apps icons. You can choose the hard way and design your own widgets, or you can find pre-made icons that match your aesthetic available on places such as icon8, Flaticon or Etsy.

While this all sounds like a lot of work, it is absolutely worth it in the end.