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What is “Jiggle Mode” on iPhone and other Apple devices?

The Apple Safari icon can be jigggy with it in Jiggle mode

Jiggle Mode is the app reorganization mode on Apple iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, Apple TV and in Launchpad on Mac. Sometimes called “wiggle mode”, the shaking icons are a practical visual indicator that a fixed set of apps has become fluid and changeable. Here̵

7;s where it came from and how to use it.

The Origins of Apple Jiggle Mode

Jiggle mode first originated from the iPhone in iPhone OS 1.13 back in 2008. It came as part of a significant update that allowed iPhone users to rearrange the home screens on the device for the first time. Two years later, Apple filed a U.S. patent (U.S. 8,423,911 B2, issued in 2013) for home screen reorganization techniques. In the patent application, Apple described jiggle mode in the most clinical, patentable way:

For example, as illustrated in FIG. 5B, angles the selectable user interface objects as if they are floating on the water (eg, each respective selectable user interface object rotates around a respective average position of the selectable user interface object on the screen).

Since its release in 2008, jiggle mode has been included in all versions of iOS, iPadOS and watchOS. On Mac, jiggle mode first debuted in Launchpad in 2011 as part of Mac OS X 10.7 Lion. Apple tvOS uses a different type of jiggle mode (which first appeared in Apple TV System Update 6.1) where only the app you move jiggles, not the entire app screen.

How to enter Jiggle mode on an iPhone or iPad

Animated jiggle mode on an iPad

On an iPhone or iPad, jiggle mode is the default method for rearranging icons on the Home screen. Newer versions of iOS and iPadOS also jiggle widgets while editing them in Today View. To start jiggle mode on the home screen:

  • iOS 13 and iPadOS 13 or later: Touch and hold an empty area on the Home screen that does not contain icons. Alternatively, you can tap and hold an app icon, then select “Edit Home Screen” from the menu that appears.
  • iOS 12 and iPadOS 12 or earlier: Press and hold an app icon until the icons begin to rotate.

In jiggle mode, you can hold and drag icons to rearrange the order on the home screen. You can also drag apps to or from the Dock. If you drop one icon on top of another, a folder will appear. To remove an icon, press the small “X” button in the corner of the icon. In iOS 14 and later, you can also use jiggle mode to add or rearrange widgets on the Home screen.

RELATED: To organize your iPhone home screen

How to enter Jiggle mode on an Apple Watch

Apple Watch jiggle mode

Even the Apple Watch has a jiggle mode. To use it, make sure you are on the home screen of Grid View. Press Digital Crown (the button on the page), then press and hold any app icon until the apps start to rotate. After that, you can hold and drag any app icon to a new location. When done, press Digital Crown again. You can also arrange Apple Watch app icons using iPhone.

RELATED: How to rearrange the app icons on the Apple Watch

How to enter app jiggle mode on an Apple TV

A screen full of Apple TV apps

Unlike on the iPhone and iPad, Apple TV uses a modified version of jiggle mode where only the app you move, jiggles, not the entire app screen. To use it, highlight an app on the screen, then press and hold the touch pad on the remote control until the app starts to squeak. Swipe to move it where you want and tap the touchpad again to complete the move.

While in jiggle mode on Apple TV, you can also move apps to folders by placing them on top of each other or removing apps by pressing the Play button on a selected app and selecting “Delete” from the menu that appears.

RELATED: How to rearrange, add and remove channels on Apple TV

How to enter Jiggle mode in Launchpad on Mac

Screenshot of Launchpad jiggle mode in macOS Catalina

Since 2011, macOS has delivered a launch application called Launchpad that displays app icons in a grid view similar to the iPhone home screen. In keeping with its iOS-style roots, Launchpad also includes a jiggle mode. To activate it, hold down the “Option” key on the keyboard.

When your apps start bouncing, you can use the mouse or trackpad to drag the app icons to a new event. You can also delete apps installed from the Mac App Store by tapping the small “X” button in the corner of the icon.

RELATED: What is OS X’s Launchpad and how does it work?

The future of jiggle mode

Now you’ve seen that Apple is pretty serious about jiggle mode. After all, the Cupertino company has a patent and has recently begun to officially refer to it by name. If the past is any indication, Apple is likely to continue to use the brand’s reorganization indicator on new products well into the future. Who knows – maybe in 2040, we’ll all reorganize our shimmering living room furniture in AR using Apple Glasses.

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