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Home / Tips and Tricks / iOS 14’s major overhaul of the iPhone home screen may not be what you expect

iOS 14’s major overhaul of the iPhone home screen may not be what you expect


Is this the new home screen in iOS 14? Not exactly.

Patrick Holland / CNET

This story is part of WWDC 2020. All the latest coverage from Apple̵

7;s WWDC Annual Developers Conference.

In some ways, Apple has given its iPhone home screen layout a major overhaul. But it may not be exactly what you expect. It is true that iOS 14 provides customization tools that present one new way to rearrange your apps for easy viewing and the ability to place widgets in several sizes across the screen. You can even hide entire pages with your app icons that you do not use but do not feel like deleting. But what you get is less redesign and more flexibility. How much or how little you use the new tools is up to you.

In fact, CNET iPhone reviewer Patrick Holland described the iOS 14 home screen changes as “the same, but also different.”

This is because when you first boot your iPhone with iOS 14 (anyone can download the public beta of iOS 14 now) you see the same home screen layout as you do now in iOS 13 or 13.5, with a grid of icons that span multiple screens.

In iOS 14, however, you have several new options. You can add widgets to the home screen whenever you want, including selecting the size and location and if you want a new feature called Smart stack to cycle a main widget depending on the time of day. (For example, you might want the weather in the morning and one settlement routine at night.)

To show and hide multiple pages of apps you don’t use often or remember, hold down until the apps jiggle. Tap the row of circles at the bottom of the screen. Select the pages you want to hide, then press Done.

The apps are still there, but now – and this is where the folder view comes in – there is a new way to find them. The App Library is Apple’s name for a new feature that keeps track of all your apps by organizing them into the large checkered folders you see above. You reach it by swiping to the right until you reach the end of your remaining home screens. Then swipe again until you reach the App Library – it’s like a bonus page.

And this is a page that is curated by Apple’s AI. You have suggestions and most recently added apps at the top, as well as folders that have arranged the apps you have by type – just press to open. You can scroll vertically to find the icon, or you can type the app in the search field or scroll alphabetically by app name.

If you do not want to use it, you can keep the screen layout exactly as it is and ignore the App Library forever.

The same goes for widgets. iOS 14 gives you the same layout as you have today by default, but you have the option to add widgets to the home screen and rearrange them yourself by dragging and dropping.

For some other cool new iPhone tricks, you can look at your screen, read on Picture in picture video tool. And here it is all important details in iOS 14.

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