How to glamify your home screen with iOS 14

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For ages Androiders have been taunting iOS users with their freedom to customize home screens and make them as fabulous as they’d like. This year however Apple has decided to (finally) serve up a reply with iOS 14. Yes the operating system now has widgets and that means you can finally start glamming up that home screen. This is how.

Creating widgets

To start pouring out your creativity you obviously first need to update your phone to iOS 14. Unfortunately the update isn’t available for every iPhone and you need at least the 6S to get busy.

If that’s’ in order it’s time to get creative with the widgets. Now some apps have native widgets you can get busy with. To place them on your home screen just long-press your screen and choose the plus sign in the upper right-hand corner to select your desired widgets. But for a lot of applications you’ll have to create your own. No biggie, since there are several apps that guide you through the process. A few popular ones are Widgetsmith, Glimpse 2 and Widget Wizard.

At the moment Widgetsmith seems to be the most popular one, so we’ll give that one a go. When you launch the app you’ll get three options for the size of your fresh new widget. Select one and then go for ” Default Widget”. To select a stylish photo for your widget choose “Style” and scrolll to “Photo”. Save everything and repeat the process to create more widgets to your heart’s content.

Glam up your apps

Now of course you can turn all your apps into widgets, but they do take up more space than your original app icons. Another option is to use a few widgets and make your app icons match those. To do that you’ll need the Shortcuts app. Open it and choose the “+” in the upper right corner. Select Add Action > Actions > Open App. Then go for “Choose” to select the app you want to modify.

Go for the three dots on the upper right, enter your shortcut name and select “Add to Home Screen”. Of course you still need a picture for your app, so select the image icon and select “Choose Photo”. Subsequently rename your app and choose “Add”. This puts your transformed app on the home screen and you’re ready to tackle your other apps.

Hide the “ugly” apps

By this point you might have noticed that creating shortcuts didn’t remove the original apps from the home screen and that you have a few pages too many that aren’t exactly aesthetically pleasing. To get rid of them long-press on the home screen and click on the dots at the bottom. Now click on any of the pages that have served their purpose and they’ll get thrown into the App Library. Don’t worry you can find them again at the end of your home screen scroll.

Be proud

After you’re finished with your widgets and apps, don’t forget to choose a matching background. It can take quite some time to get it all right, but after the pain, tears, and sweat you can definitely be proud of what you’ve achieved. There is a small “but” though. Unfortunately the Shortcuts icons you just created don’t display any notification bubbles. On the other hand that might also be refreshingly peaceful.

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