Back in those days, many complained about the iPhone’s home screen being too restrictive and boring. There was only a grip of apps and folders flowing in from the top left, there were no widgets, and the icons themselves never changed.
Even though the huge screen size was changed, the design was completely overhauled, and more apps were added. The iPhone’s home screen retained its simplicity. Its competitors, like Windows Phone, experimented with Live Tiles, and Android allowed users to throw widgets anywhere they wanted. Apple is changing all that as they bring a complicated home screen on iOS 14.
It took awhile for Apple to change the paradigm of its home screen. A public beta is scheduled to be released in July, and chances are the wait is worthwhile. There are no catastrophic changes, but there are still many bugs and fixes that need to be polished.
Same Home Screen, New Additions
Unfortunately, Apple will not be ditching the simple and boring home screen for the iOS 14. When you upgrade to the new version, all your stuff will still be in the same place. Nothing will work differently by default. There will be a new section called “App Library” on the side. Offering complexity is a tricky thing, but Apple has landed a good balance in the iOS 14. Here’s how the home screen of the newest iPhone will become complicated:
Home Screen Widgets
This is the most noteworthy change in iOS 14. Widgets will come in three sizes. You can place them in such a way that the icons and folders can be tiled in a clean grid. You can stack them in a clever way that lets you swipe through multiple widgets. This option to have the widgets stacked “smartly” and algorithmically surface is the most relevant one.
Jiggle Mode and Editing Pages
iOS 14 will allow you to get to jiggle mode in so many different ways. A long press on any icon takes you to the “Edit Home Screen” button. Alternatively, you can long-press on a black space on the home screen for the first time. That’s been a feature of Android for ages already. The jiggle mode is one of the many undiscoverable but wildly useful features of Apple.
Another undiscoverable but wildly useful feature is the “Edit Pages.” If you tap on the navigation dots on top of the dock, you get a fly-out view of all the pages on different home screens, just like in many Android phones.
In the latest version of the iOS, there are checkboxes. You can click on a checkbox to deactivate a page without deleting all its contents. It may seem like a weird feature, but eventually, you will realize that it can be used to customize your phone for different contexts. You can easily switch to a work-related page to a personal page,
The App Library resembles a bucket where all of your apps reside and categorized by Apple. With this feature, your home screen will be split into two: a series of home pages that you can customize yourself and a single page that lists all your apps.
iOS 14 presents three ways you can find apps in your home screen—in an icon, the App Library, or from a widget. If you’re an iPhone user, this is going to be foreign and strange. If you are an Android user, this is nothing new. Since it was first released, Android already had a separate screen and app drawer. In the App Library, the ‘Apple Junk’ folder will no longer be included in the home screen.
App Clips is like Instant Apps on Android. These are mini versions of apps that can be used without having to go through the folderol of installing something through the App Store. They are smaller than 10MB and appear in your App Library with little dotted lines signifying their temporary status. They will automatically disappear from the home screen after 30 days unless you manually convert them to full apps.
It is worth noting that the App Clips adds complexity to the already more complex home screen of the iOS 14. This may cause some confusion to the users.
All of these features could still change prior to the release of iOS 14. There might still be some tweaks in the App Library, or widgets could come in more sizes, not just three. Who knows? Apple might even opt to put the icons at the bottom of the home screen instead of packing them altogether from the top left.
But one thing is clear for the iOS 14; you will finally experience a complicated home screen, With the iOS 14, Apple is breaking its tradition of releasing new interface metaphors and pack new features to the new OS all at once.