Jason Snell on Six Colors, and provides some historical context for the current wave of iOS 14 home screen customization:
Macs have a long history of customization. When I became a Mac user in the early ’90s, that was it of rigueur to give your Mac hard drive a name and a custom icon. Ideally, you also had a custom wallpaper or image. Apps like SoundMaster let you set custom sounds for different actions. The list went on and on. Your Mac felt like home – and like no other.
What’s more surprising is that Apple was so slow to bring real adaptation to the iPhone home screen. Adding widgets to iOS 14 has caused tremendous creativity, it̵7;s just because all this desire had built up over the years and years with very little outflow.
This is not a surprise. This is not the effect of young whip snails raised on social media wanting to do silly things with their phones. Users of computer platforms have wanted to customize and customize for decades.
Many people enjoy creating all kinds of personal home screens and even themes. This is possible with a combination of iOS 14, app launchers configured through shortcuts with custom icons and a new crop of widget creation apps.
These home screen designs may not be for everyone, but there’s a bit of a point: they are not for everyone, they are built by and for individual users. Let’s celebrate creativity, and hope Apple provides better tools for this type of customization in the future.