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Here’s how to customize your iPhone home screen with widgets and icons



Customization of the home screen by the iPhone user with the help of widgets and custom app icons
Khamosh Pathak

After years of looking at the same grid of icons, it̵

7;s time to finally customize your iPhone to your heart’s content. Add in some cool looking custom widgets and replace your apps with custom icons.

As of iOS 14, Apple supports third-party widgets on the home screen. Apple doesn’t let you change app icons like Android does, but you can use the Shortcuts app to create shortcuts for apps using custom icons. In fact, this feature works for all iPhones with iOS 12 and higher.

CONNECTED: How to Add & Remove Widgets on iPhone Home Screen

Combine these two and you will get some really impressive results. Just search for “# ios14homescreen” on Twitter to see some inspiring home screen setups. Everything from a Harry Potter theme to an Animal Crossing theme has been tried. And not to mention a retro iOS 6 theme.

The beauty of this system is that you don’t have to go that far. Just add some widgets and change some app icons if you want.

Create your own custom widgets

iPhone users create a custom home screen widget
Khamosh Pathak

What we’re seeing here is a rethinking of how the iOS home screen works. After all, it’s changing for the first time in 13 years. You can use widgets to create this foundation and add icons around the widgets.

Many third-party apps, especially productivity apps, have their own widgets. After upgrading to iOS 14 or later, go to the Widgets page to see new widgets for apps you are already using.

Press and hold an empty part of the iPhone home screen and select the “+” button. Here you can see all apps that support widgets.

Add widgets with widget

Next, you should download apps for creating custom widgets. Although you can find many apps in the App Store, we recommend trying Widgetsmith and Widgeridoo. After downloading the apps, check out our step-by-step guide on creating custom widgets.

CONNECTED: How to Create Custom Widgets on iPhone

Widgetsmith is great for creating simple, template-based widgets. You can add calendar, reminder, weather, battery, date, and photo widgets (in small, medium, and large sizes) to the iPhone home screen.

Various widgets with widgets on the iPhone home screen

Select a widget and style, and customize attributes like background color, font, hue, borders, and more.

Customize the Widgetsmith widget

Power users will appreciate the complexity of the Widgeridoo app. It’s a block based widget builder. With Widgeridoo you can have different data or information in different blocks in the same widget.

Customize the Widgeridoo widget

For example, you can create a single widget that shows battery percentage, number of steps, distance traveled, date, and more.

Today widget in Widgeridoo

Widgeridoo is quite expandable, but a bit difficult to use. We therefore recommend that you first adapt one of the ready-made widgets. Widgeridoo allows you to preview the widgets for free. However, to add widgets to the home screen, you have to pay for the in-app purchase for $ 3.99.

Create custom app icons

Custom app icons on iPhone
Justin Duino

Once you’ve nailed the widgets, it’s time to customize those app icons. All you need is an image file (square and with a resolution of approx. 512 x 512) and the Shortcuts app.

Since this is not an official method, there is a disadvantage. If you tap on a custom app icon, the Shortcuts app will first launch for a second and then the app will open. Yes, it’s annoying, but it might just be worth it.

CONNECTED: How to use custom app icons on your iPhone and iPad

You can do this in two ways. You can either create the app icon image yourself (with every image found online) or download ready-made icon sets (individual icons from Google Images, Iconscout or Iconfinder).

Then transfer them to your iPhone. You can add them to the Photos app or the Files app.

Now comes the hard part. But don’t worry, it will be worth it! As mentioned in the article above, you need to use the Shortcuts app to create shortcuts with custom pictures and names and to open certain apps.

Thats is quite easy. Create a new shortcut and select an app using the “Open App” action in the “Scripting” section.

Create a custom app icon shortcut

Then add the shortcut to your iPhone’s home screen. In this step, tap the shortcut icon to choose your custom icon.

Add a custom icon to the shortcut

Once the app icon has been added to your home screen, turn it off by moving the original app to the app library. You can repeat this process to create more custom app icons. To speed up the process, tap and hold a shortcut and choose the Duplicate option.

In the shortcut preview, tap Duplicate

For full details on steps, please see our guide on Using Custom App Icons on iPhone.

CONNECTED: How to use custom app icons on your iPhone and iPad




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