Jiggle Mode is the app reorganization mode on Apple iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, Apple TV and in Launchpad on Mac. Sometimes called “angle mode”, the shake icons are a practical visual indicator that a fixed layout of apps has become fluid and changed. Here̵7;s where it comes from and how to use it.
The origin of Apple Jiggle Mode
Jiggle mode first appeared on the iPhone in iPhone OS 1.13 back in 2008. It came as part of a significant update that allowed iPhone users to rearrange their home screens on the device for the first time. Two years later, Apple filed a U.S. patent (U.S. 8,423,911 B2, granted in 2013) for its reorganization technologies on the home screen. In the patent application, Apple described the jiggle situation on as clinical, patent law as possible:
For example, as illustrated in FIG. 5B, the selectable user interface objects wave as if they are floating on water (for example, each of the respective selectable user interface objects oscillates around the respective center position of the selectable user interface object on the display).
Since its release in 2008, jiggle mode has been included in all versions of iOS, iPadOS and watchOS. On Mac, jiggle mode first debuted in Launchpad 2011 as part of Mac OS X 10.7 Lion. Apple tvOS uses a different type of jiggle mode (which first appeared in Apple TV System Update 6.1) where only the app you move jiggles, not the entire screen of apps.
How to enter Jiggle mode on an iPhone or iPad
On an iPhone or iPad, jiggle mode is the default method for rearranging icons on your Home screen. Newer versions of iOS and iPadOS also juggle widgets while editing in Today View. To start jiggle mode on the Home screen:
- iOS 13 and iPad 13 or later: Touch and hold an empty area on your home screen that does not contain any icons. Alternatively, you can tap and hold an app icon and then select “Edit Home Screen” from the menu that appears.
- iOS 12 and iPadOS 12 or earlier: Press and hold an app icon until the icons start to wiggle.
In jiggle mode, you can hold and drag icons to rearrange their order on your home screen. You can also drag apps to or from the Dock. If you drop one icon on top of another, a folder will appear. To delete an icon, press the small “X” button in the corner of the icon. In iOS 14 and above, you can also use jiggle mode to add or organize widgets on your home screen.
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How to enter Jiggle mode on an Apple Watch
The Apple Watch also has a jiggle mode. To use it, make sure you are on the home screen in the pane view. Tap Digital Crown (the knob on the side), then tap and hold any app icon until the apps start jiggling. Then you can hold and drag any app icon to a new location. When you are done, press Digital Crown again. You can also arrange Apple Watch app icons with your iPhone.
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How to enter App Jiggle Mode on an Apple TV
Unlike on the iPhone and iPad, Apple TV uses a modified version of jiggle mode where only the app you move shakes, not the entire screen with apps. To use it, highlight an app on the screen, then press and hold the touchpad surface until the app starts jiggling. Then swipe to move it where you want it and tap the touchpad again to complete the move.
In jiggle mode on Apple TV, you can also move apps to folders by placing them on top of each other or delete apps by pressing the Play button in a selected app and selecting “Delete” from the menu that appears.
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How to enter Jiggle mode in Launchpad on Mac
Since 2011, macOS has come with a launcher called Launchpad that displays app icons in a grid view similar to the iPhone home screen. In keeping with its iOS style roots, Launchpad also includes a jiggle mode. To activate it, hold down the “Options” key on the keyboard.
When your apps start juggling, you can use the mouse or trackpad to drag the app icons to a new arrangement. You can also delete apps that have been installed from the Mac App Store by pressing the small “X” button in the corner of the icon.
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The future of Jiggle Mode
Now you’ve seen that Apple is pretty serious about jiggle mode. After all, the Cupertino company has a patent and has recently begun to officially refer to it by name. If the past is any indication, Apple is likely to continue to use its branding indicator on new products well into the future. Who knows – maybe in 2040 we will all rearrange our wobbly living room furniture in AR with Apple Glasses.