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How to make the most of iOS 14 widgets and iPhone home screen customization – TechCrunch

You’ve most likely seen the screenshots going round that present iOS residence screens that differ significantly from the inventory choices that Apple supplies. Sure, in the event you’re an Android consumer you’re most likely laughing at iPhone homeowners for lastly (practically) catching as much as the customization options they’ve had for years, however in the event you’re an iOS fan, you most likely simply need to know the right way to take part. It’s really comparatively simple – offered you’ve bought a while to spare, and also you don’t thoughts a couple of barely hacky workaround (don’t fear, no jailbreaking required).


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The large new addition that’s prompting all of the shared screens throughout social media are residence display screen widgets, that are supported underneath iOS 14 for the primary time. These could be both first- or third-party, and are included with apps you obtain from the App Retailer. There are a selection of builders who pushed to make sure they have been prepared at or close to the launch of iOS, and Sarah has created a growing list of some of the best for you to check out in the event you’re unsure the place to begin.

Certainly one of my private favourite widget apps is Widgetsmith, an app that, as its identify counsel, was created just about fully for the aim of constructing them. It permits you a variety of customization choices, has a lot of helpful, helpful capabilities together with calendar, climate and clock, and comes with totally different font selections to greatest fit your fashion. I’ve at all times aimed to create a clear, single tone look with iOS as a lot as doable, and Widgetsmith is the most effective I’ve discovered to this point for creating homescreen shows that seem like they’re borderless (offered your iOS wallpaper is a strong colour that matches a kind of the app helps).

Widgets are nice at offering at-a-glance data that you simply don’t usually need to dive into an app to retrieve, proper in your homescreen the place you want them. Some can shortcut to helpful options, just like the search widget constructed into Google’s iOS app, however most are made primarily to cut back the period of time you spend really contained in the apps themselves.

Customized app icons

Whereas Widgets are new, one other massive element of this customization push will not be – that’s the power to create customized homescreen icons for iOS apps. That’s been round ever since Apple launched its Shortcuts app on iOS a few years in the past, however many individuals are discovering the function for the primary time because of the elevated consideration round homescreen customization with the introduction of Widgets in iOS 14.

Creating customized icons on iOS isn’t really doing that, strictly talking – what you’re in truth doing is creating new Shortcuts that set off the launch of an app, and utilizing a customized picture for that bookmark that then lives in your homescreen as a substitute. This isn’t a super answer, as a result of it implies that A) you gained’t have any notification badges in your ‘apps,’ and B) the system first directs you to Apple’s Shortcuts app, which opens for a split-second earlier than bumping you into the precise app you chose for the shortcut.

Apple clearly didn’t design this Shortcuts function for this use (opening a goal app is supposed to be the beginning of a string of automated actions), however Apple additionally hasn’t actually ever appeared fascinated with letting customers select their very own customized icons, so it’s the most effective we are able to do for now. Fortunately, the method is comparatively easy. Unluckily, there are plenty of steps concerned, so it’s fairly time-consuming to customise your total homescreen.

Right here’s a video of how to do that as merely as doable:

Picture Credit: Darrell Etherington

There are some implausible examples on the market of what artistic people have been capable of do with this, given slightly time and a few elbow grease. With extra widget choices coming on-line on a regular basis, we’ve most likely solely begun to see the bounds of testing the boundaries of what’s doable underneath Apple’s guidelines, too.

#iOS #widgets #iPhone #residence #display screen #customization #TechCrunch


Darrell Etherington

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