How to achieve the perfect iOS-14 homescreen!

Written by: Chloe

Edited by: Megh 

Visuals by: Allison

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you should know about the new Apple iOS-14 update that has, in its mere few weeks of release, taken the world by storm. With a completely redesigned home screen layout, it is easily one of the most drastic visual changes since the infamous iOS-6 to iOS-7 update. So far the update has received fantastic reception from Apple users– so much so that its new home screen functions have become an overnight sensation on numerous social media platforms, most notably TikTok. Popular creators have convinced teens all around the world, including me, that their home screens need to be as aesthetically pleasing as possible. Point in case: after seeing all the matching color schemes, icons, and themes, it was impossible not to give my phone that much-needed upgrade! If you’re anything like me and can’t resist a good makeover, you’re in luck! Here are the 5 simple steps to achieving the perfect iOS-14 homescreen: 

Step 1: Download the new iOS-14 update

Pretty self explanatory! Head over to Settings, click General, then Software Update. Download and install the latest update. 

Step 2: Download “Widgetsmith” on the App Store

Widgets are a newly added feature on iOS-14 that adds extra functionality to your iPhone. Essentially, they are small programs that provide shortcuts to features normally found inside your apps. The best part about these widgets, and perhaps what makes this update so unique, is that they allow for users to fully personalize them based on their desired aesthetic. If you’re looking for different styles, there are a variety of widget apps currently available for download on the App Store, such as Widgetsmith, Widget Wizard, Glimpse 2, etc. However, it is also important to note that not all widgets can be customized as there are some already built-in. 

Step 3: Figure out your aesthetic 

Be creative here! Aesthetics can be anything from a color scheme, like millennial pink and grey, to a narrower theme, like your favorite TV show or movie. This chosen aesthetic will really allow your homescreen to look cohesive and well-thought out rather than something lazily smashed together. Look for a few photos that complement this theme and save them! Pinterest is a great source for these photos. Here are some of my favorite examples that you can use as inspiration:

Tip: Make sure to change your background aptly to match the theme! 

Step 4: Design the widgets

Open Widgetsmith and begin designing your widgets. When you open the app, you are presented with three different size options. Choose whichever size is appropriate, and then click ‘Default Widget’. You should find that there are many customizable widgets like calendars and weather forecasts available for use. If you want a photo widget; under ‘Style’, scroll to ‘Photo’, then click ‘Select Photo’ to pick the image that matches your theme. Once set, make sure you click ‘Save’. Repeat this process with as many widgets as you want and don’t forget to add them to your homescreen afterwards!

Step 5: Change your app icons 

Now that you have your widgets sorted, you’re probably wondering how to change your app icons to match the aesthetic and take your homescreen to the next level. For this, we will be using the Shortcuts app already available on all iPhones. Start by opening the app and then hitting the ‘+’ icon on the upper right. Select ‘Add Action’ and then search for “open app.” You should see the ‘Open App’ option under Actions. Tap on ‘Choose’, and then choose an app. Click the three dots in the top right corner and enter your shortcut name, which is usually the name of the app, then click ‘Add to Home Screen’. Now, reopen the Shortcuts app and tap on the current icon. Click the image icon and select ‘Choose Photo’. Rename the app to whatever you’d like, press ‘Add’, and it should appear on your home screen. Repeat this process to change the icons of the rest of your apps! 

The last step is, of course, to admire the fruits of your labor. Voila! Your iOS-14 home screen is now worthy to post on Tiktok, Twitter, Pinterest, or wherever you see fit!

Junior Nichelle, a massive proponent of the update, says “I wanted a new layout for my phone, and I found widgets to be the perfect way to do that. I actually found tons of homescreen ideas on Instagram and Tiktok, but none of them really fit my style so I ended up making it my own. The personalization is definitely one of the best parts of the new update.” Junior Chayse also comments that her home screen was “heavily inspired by videos and photos I found on Tiktok and Pinterest”. However, she also critiques the update, remarking that she “finds Widgetsmith kind of annoying because it’s such a hassle to work with. The shortcuts feature isn’t very smooth either, so I stuck with the normal app logos.” Nichelle, on the other hand “doesn’t have anything negative to say about [the new update] because the widgets can be easily removed if it does not suit a person’s taste.”

It is safe to say opinions of the latest iOS-14 update within the ISM community are generally positive, but there are definitely flaws regarding its convenience that don’t go unnoticed.