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Home / Tips and Tricks / iOS 14’s Smart Stack is a must for all iPhone users. Here’s what you need to know

iOS 14’s Smart Stack is a must for all iPhone users. Here’s what you need to know



iOS 14

iOS 14 provides a number of features that are large and small for iPhones, including the ability to attach widgets to your home screen and a feature called Smart Stack.

Jason Cipriani / CNET

With the launch of iOS 14, Apple has added a whole lot of cool new features to your iPhone. If you have not installed it yet, you should get your iPhone ready, then download iOS 14. When done, get ready to have fun customize your home screen, take advantage of a new pseudo-applause called the App Library, and experiment with widgets anywhere on your home screen. Yes, iOS 14 is a lot like Android.

Apple’s signature widget is called Smart Stack, and it combines several app widgets that you can browse through on your own, or let your iPhone decide which app you want to view and when, based on how you use your phone.

For example, if you check the weather and then your calendar first thing in the morning, Smart Stack will likely include both of these apps and automatically show you the forecast followed by your calendar the first time you unlock your iPhone in the morning. Then, if you routinely check your activity statistics after dinner, the Activity Widget bar shows around that time of day.

Here’s the best thing – you do not have to leave the stacking widget to Apple. You can create your own Smart Stack and cure the included apps to your liking. Below is how to customize a stack.






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Do not see widgets? Try this

The release of iOS 14 also means that developers can update their apps and add new features specific to the update, such as widgets.

If you have updated your apps and read in the update notes that widget support has been added, but you do not see the app listed when you try to add the widget, here is what I have in mind. After updating the app, you need to open it before the widget appears as an option. You do not need to do anything special. Just let it fully charge and then you should see the widget as an option.

Create a custom Smart Stack just like with an app folder

You do not need to learn any new steps or techniques to build your own stack – if you have ever removed an app or rearranged your home screen, you are already a pro. If you do not have it, it is still easy.

Before iOS 14, you had to long press an app icon to activate Edit the home screen feature. That method is still available, but there is a shortcut now:

1. Long press on your screen between the apps in the dock and the first row of apps on your home screen, like this:

You can now tap an app icon or some empty space on the screen to start editing your home screen.

GIF by Jason Cipriani / CNET

2. click + in the upper left corner of the screen, then scroll through the list of available widgets.

Find one of the widgets you want to include in your personal stack. You can either drag and drop the widget to your screen or tap + at the top of the screen.

Keep in mind that all the widgets you add to a stack must be the same size so you can not have one small, two medium and three large widgets in your stack. Instead of knocking + icon to add a bunch of widgets to the screen before stacking them, I recommend that you drag and drop the widgets to your home screen directly from the widget selector. It saves you a step because you will still move it yourself, and it prevents the apps on your iPhone’s home screen from being rearranged and then rearranged because your phone provides space for the widgets.

Just keep stacking widgets until you are happy.

GIF by Jason Cipriani / CNET

3. Stacking widgets follows the same process as creating a folder for apps – dragging one widget on top of another.

Repeat the process and add widgets until you are happy with your creation. You can browse through your stack at any time or have your iPhone switch automatically for you. As far as I can tell right now there is no limit to how many widgets you can add to a stack. I found three or four to be the sweet spot – I could quickly flip through them and find the information I wanted without feeling like it was too much effort.

Browse them on your own or let your iPhone decide what you see.

GIF by Jason Cipriani / CNET

4. If you change your mind and want to delete a widget or change their order, press and hold the stack, and then select Edit Stack from the pop-up menu. Change the order by dragging each widget’s name up or down. You can delete a widget by swiping left over the name to reveal Delete button.

You can arrange or remove widgets with just a few taps.

GIF by Jason Cipriani / CNET

If a widget can be further customized, such as the Apple Weather widget, which allows you to change the location used for the forecast, you can make changes by long-tapping the specific widget and then selecting Edit[app[app[app[app name].

Pretty cool, right? We have found many more features in iOS 14 we love so far, Inclusive a lot of accessibility features which will be very helpful. Here’s how you can Prepare your iPhone before installing iOS 14.


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