Apple has announced iOS 14, and it is the first time in several years that the company has made significant changes to the home screen. There are several new features, but perhaps the most important change is the new widgets system. We’ve had widgets on Today View (the screen to the left of your first home screen) for years, but not many people use that screen. And what’s the point of visible information if you have to swipe around to see it?
With iOS 14, Apple replaces the old widgets with all new ones that are more dynamic, can gather more information, come in three sizes, and most importantly, can be placed anywhere on the home screen. How to work with widgets in iOS 1
How to add widgets
To get started with modules, you will enter “jiggle mode.” Just tap and hold anywhere on the screen for a few seconds. It’s easiest to tap an empty space – if you tap an app icon, you get the app’s context menu. If you do, you can continue holding, then go to jiggle mode, or tap “Edit Home Screen.”
In this mode, tap the (+) symbol at the top left of the screen. this will appear in the Widgets menu.
From here you can browse installed widgets, or use the search field to find one. When you install multiple apps and they start supporting the new Widgets format, you may have plenty to choose from.
Touch the module you want to add and you will see an explanation and preview. Swipe left and right to see all your options – some modules have multiple styles. For example, the Notes widget can display a single note or folder.
Widgets can come in three sizes. Small widgets are the same size as a 2-to-2 block of app icons. Medium widgets are two icons tall but four icons wide (takes up the entire width of the home screen). Large widgets are four icons wide and four icons high.
After selecting a widget and its size, press Add widget at the bottom of the screen. The widget you have selected will be placed on the home screen, but you are still in “jiggle mode” and can move it around. To place it on another home screen, drag it left or right.
You can even place multiple copies of the same widget!
You can rearrange widgets at any time by going into “jiggle mode” and then just dragging them around.
How to remove widgets
Removing widgets is as easy as removing apps! Just go into “jiggle mode” and press the small (-) button at the top left of the widget.
You can also long press on a widget and select “Remove widget” from the context menu.
How to use Smart Stack
Apple has a special widget called Smart Stack. It’s a bunch of small or medium sized gadgets that automatically rotate to show what your iPhone thinks is the most useful widget for you at the time. It takes into account normal app usage, time of day and your location, and does all this locally on the iPhone, so no data is sent to Apple or anyone else.
Just open the Widgets panel as described above and select Smart Stack.
After placing it on your screen, you can scroll through the widgets in the stack by swiping it up and down.
You can change the order of the modules in the stack, or remove them completely. Press and hold the Smart Stack Widget until the pop-up menu appears. You can remove the widget you are on or select Edit Stack.
From the stacker editing screen, you can turn off the Smart Rotate feature by toggling the top. You can push and drag the small grab bars to the right to change the stacking order, or swipe left to delete an item from the stack.
How to make your own Widgets stack
You can create your own Smart Stack by simply dragging widgets on top of each other.
Just place widgets the way you normally would. Drag any two widgets of the same size on top of each other, and you have a new stack! It works just like creating a folder with app icons.
You can edit your stack the same way you do Smart Stack. Turn Smart Rotate on or off, rearrange the widgets, or remove the ones you no longer want.