Apple released iOS 14 to the masses just over a week ago, which is full of many great new features, but it has released a whole new beast with iOS 14 home screen customization. Even the average person, who is not always in line with the technology world, has a growing interest in updating the iPhone to iOS 14 because they want to make it “aesthetically pleasing”.
In fact, Pinterest broke its daily download record because people want inspiration for the iOS 14 home screen aesthetic, and others get fast quickly by creating and selling icon sets for iOS 14. And this has happened in just one week (at the time of writing).
Thanks to iOS 14, Apple has certainly given users much more freedom when it comes to customizing their devices, much like Android has been doing for years. However, the current implementation also highlights the limitations, which makes the whole experience a mess that I honestly do not care about.
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iOS 14 reinvents the home screen
Source: Christine Romero-Chan / iMore
When Apple unveiled iOS 14 at WWDC 2020, I was ecstatic about the changes on the home screen. For years, I kept pretty much the same home screen, with maybe a few changes to which apps appeared on my first page occasionally. But I was excited to finally be able to have widgets on the home screen, as Android has had for years, while also removing a handful of pages with random apps thanks to the App library.
Now that iOS 14 is out, I have drastically changed my iPhone workflow by getting rid of a few apps, hiding all the app pages beyond the first page and just using the App library, and adding a few widgets to the home screen. My page 1 has a medium Smart Stack, the small Fitness widget and my most used apps. On the other hand, I simply have a large Apollo widget for my home feed and a medium Siri app widget.
I made these changes because it only works for me. I wanted modules because it gives me information in an instant, and honestly it probably spices up the home screen for me. And if I want to get to an app, it’s just a tap away, and boom – I’m in the app.
The new trend with iOS 14 Home screen aesthetics is something I never expected to see, the truth is told. I just do not have time to think about what “aesthetically” I want my iPhone, apart from the wallpaper. Once I have decided on a theme, I need to download some software that creates apps and puzzle with them to get the right information, color, font and maybe a wallpaper while I’m running. Oh, and do not forget some inspirational quotes and other things, which may end up just messing up your phone – the sky is the limit here. And make sure you have the right set of custom app icons that fit your personal widgets.
Although I have seen some cool iOS 14 home screen “live”, I have also seen some … uh, quite unpleasant (for me, anyway, as this is all subjective) as well. Honestly, this whole style of customizing themes is just not for me – I like Apple for simplicity, and if I wanted to customize to this degree, I would just use an Android phone. But hey, anything that floats your boat – if you like the customization options in their current state, at least, go for it! But it also shows the destructive limitations that Apple needs to improve.
The limitations of customizing an iOS 14 home screen
Source: Luke Filipowicz / iMore
Actually, it’s great to see more customization options for iOS users. It further narrows the gap between iOS and Android, and that’s always a good thing. But there are also some important crutches to how iOS handles customization.
First and foremost, widgets – they only show information at a glance, but there is no interaction with them. Why? The modules from previous iOS versions, where you could only have them in “Today View”, allowed some interaction. Right now, widgets offer no interaction, so if you need to do more than just look at them, just launch the app. Yes, sure, this static element works well for the “kewl aesthetic lures”, but if you want widgets to have a practical purpose, they fall short.
And the one that annoys me the most is how to get custom app icons. You need to use scripting in the shortcut app for every individual app for which you want to change the icon. Yes – each. Single. App.
I really do not have time for all that, you guys. But make sure you have the perfect set of icons first. And since these icons are made through shortcuts, it means two things: You can no longer have the alert tag icon on them, and Shortcuts must open before you get to the selected app. It may only be a few seconds, but it definitely reduces the workflow since it is an extra step. An extra step just for “lewk”.
Yes, the custom iOS 14 home screens can look really great, but Apple’s limitations on widgets and custom app icons ruin the experience. Personally, I do not find the adaptation worth the trouble right now.
A step in the right direction for custom Apple Watch faces?
Source: Daniel Bader / Android Central
Even though it’s not for me, it’s great to see what people can come up with. Some of the themes I’ve seen are cool, and I love good icon sets – I just do not have the patience for it myself. In addition, with this boom of custom home screens, Apple may see that customization is something many people want, and make improvements in the future. As a matter of fact, is there so much to ask for a way to upload a custom icon to the settings or something?
One thing that I hope will come sooner rather than later is the ability to customize Apple Watch faces. I’d much rather have the ability to customize the Apple Watch instead of the iPhone home screen, and I’ve seen some cool faces that people have created to look like things like Star Trek communicators, and just show things like programming code. It took 14 iterations of iOS for customizable home screens without jailbreaking, so maybe custom dials are a few years free – shrug.
Do you care about your iOS 14 home screen aesthetics?
What do you think of the “aesthetic AF” iOS 14 home screen trend? Did you customize the home screen to look really cool? Share them in the comments!
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