With the release of iOS 14, Apple finally added the ability for users to modify the home screen. The new App Library feature, for example, allows you to completely remove icons from the home screen instead of rearranging them. Additionally, new widgets let you fill your home screen with more than just apps. But there are more ways to create a new’aesthetic’ iPhone like this. Combining shortcuts and widgets can change the iPhone home screen even more dramatically.
First, you need to get a few images to use as icons before you start actually decorating. There are a variety of icon packs created by designers, so you can search and choose the one you want. Some are free and some are quite expensive icon packs. The best way to find free icons is to type “aesthetic iOS 14” on Twitter and search. The icons found in this way should be put into the photo library. Just press and hold an image on your iPhone and select “Add to Photo.” On a Mac, just drag the image to the Photos app.
The key to replacing all app icons as desired is to replace the actual app on the home screen with a shortcut.
Now when you return to the home screen, you will see the new shortcuts added. If the original app icon remains on the home screen, long press and select Remove app> Move to app library. Then you can completely remove it from your home screen. After that, you can repeat the same operation for all the apps you want to put on the home screen, then remove the existing app and move it to the app library.
There are three caveats to keep in mind about replacing apps with shortcuts. First, you can’t use the notification badge in the upper-right corner that you can see in the actual app. Second, when you run the app with shortcut, once the shortcut app is launched, the desired app is opened, so the window switching occurs once. Third, you cannot use the quick action function that allows you to press and hold to perform additional tasks. Shortcuts do not support this feature.
Widgets can also be customized to match custom app icons. Apps such as Widgetsmith and Color Widget are popular. With these apps, you can create widgets you want, such as what information to display, fonts, colors, and borders. After creating the widget, simply add it to your home screen.
Currently, there are restrictions on what you can do with custom widgets, but the functionality of the app is steadily improving. If you’re willing to have to use shortcuts to launch your app and the bit of annoyance of writing custom widgets, you can truly have a ‘your own’ home screen.