Become a MacRumors Supporter for $25/year with no ads, private forums, and more!

iOS 14: How to Use Home Screen Widgets

MacRumors

macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
50,420
11,809


In iOS 14, Apple made some dramatic changes to the Home Screen of iPhone. In particular, it introduced the concept of Home Screen widgets, which are similar to the widgets available on Android phones.


Previously, use of widgets was limited to the Today View, which can be accessed by swiping from left to right on the Home Screen. In ‌‌iOS 14‌‌, however, widgets got a design and functionality overhaul, and now any widget that's available in the Today View can also be added to the Home Screen alongside your apps.

How to Add Widgets to the Home Screen

There a couple of ways you can add widgets to the Home Screen. If you long press on a widget in the Today View, you'll see an Edit Home Screen option in the popup menu. Tapping this enters jiggle mode, and from there you can drag widgets out of the Today View and place them anywhere on the Home Screen.


When in jiggle mode, notice the plus (+) button in the top-left corner of the screen. You'll find the same button appear if you long press on a blank area of the Home Screen or any additional page of apps. Tapping this button opens the Widget Gallery, where you can add and customize widgets.


In the Widget Gallery, you can search for a specific widget or scroll through the available options. Tapping on a widget in the list lets you see the size and content options that are available for the widget. To add a widget to the Today View or the Home Screen, select it, choose a size (small, medium, or large), and then tap the Add Widget button.

Widget Sizes and Other Functions

When you customize a new widget, you'll notice that the larger the size of the widget, the more content it can display. In the Weather widget, for example, the smallest widget shows the current conditions, while the largest displays the forecast for the next few days.

Bear in mind that bigger widgets take up more space on your Home Screen. A small widget takes up the space of four apps in a square shape, but a medium widget takes up the space of eight apps in a rectangle shape, and a large widget takes up the space of 16 apps in a square shape.


Some apps also have different widget options based on function. In the ‌Apple News‌ widget, for example, you can choose to see relevant news from the day or get stories about a specific topic of interest. You can change this function on an existing Apple News widget anytime. Just long press on the widget and then select Edit "News."


When you've got some widgets on your Home Screen, you can move them around, just like apps. Simply long press on the screen to enter jiggle mode and then drag a widget around with your finger.

Siri Suggestions Widget

In the Widget Gallery, if you scroll down to the list section you'll see a Siri Suggestions widget. This dynamic widget displays app suggestions based on your ‌iPhone‌ usage habits, similar to what shows up under ‌Siri‌ Suggestions when you use an ‌iPhone‌'s search function.


Widget Stacks

With widget stacks, you can stack multiple widgets on top of one another, so you can put all of your favorites together and then swap between them with an upward or downward swipe of the finger.

Apple has also added a special "Smart Stack," which is a widget stack that uses Siri Intelligence to surface the most relevant and useful widget based on your iPhone usage habits.

Third Party Widgets

Apple is allowing developers to create their own Home Screen widgets to augment in-app functions, so keep an eye out for available widgets for your most loved third-party apps.

Read More

For more on widgets and the other Home Screen changes that Apple has introduced in iOS 14, such as App Library, make sure to check out our full iOS 14 Home Screen guide.

Article Link: iOS 14: How to Use Home Screen Widgets
 
Last edited:

Morgenland

macrumors 6502a
May 28, 2009
903
876
Europe
Does anyone else miss the days when the interface wasn’t so confusing that you didn’t need extensive instructions to walk you through steps and hidden interface elements to figure out how to do stuff?
Apple learned Android and Windows Phone OS.
 
Last edited:
Comment

C DM

macrumors Sandy Bridge
Oct 17, 2011
50,831
19,020
'Does anyone else miss the days when the interface wasn’t so confusing that you didn’t need extensive instructions to walk you through steps and hidden interface elements to figure out how to do stuff?'
Even in those supposed days there were still manuals and how-tos available for all kinds of things, especially something newer.
 
Comment

jacks64

macrumors regular
Jan 31, 2017
210
469
Brighton,UK
I can’t figure out how to organize things. It’s frustrating that the App Library doesn’t give you the ability to rearrange and rename folders. So far, I regret altering my Home Screen with widgets.
Same here.I am currently testing it on my spare iPhone.I don’t normally use widgets anyway.I have 3 widgets installed on my home screen at the moment.Not liking it at all so far,looks ugly.As for the App Library,I can’t see the point.I have over 300 apps organised into folders and only using up 3 screens anyway.I think it’s safe to say I won’t be installing the widgets on the home screen of my daily driver when I update it.I am liking the other new features though.
 
Comment

The Man

macrumors 6502a
Jul 7, 2004
596
199
Can you disable the App Library? I preferably want to keep everything as is now, with just my home screen pages.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Vanilla35
Comment

jicon

macrumors 6502
Nov 29, 2004
490
262
Toronto, ON
So, I've put a music widget on my main apps screen, and battery on the quick glance screen. Nice I can see watch, and airpod charge rates I guess. I don't know how to edit the smart stack. Maybe that's useful if I can remove photos, maps, and edit news category that shows?
 
  • Like
Reactions: amartinez1660
Comment

JNGold

macrumors 6502a
Aug 25, 2009
882
68
Geez, what's with all the whining? If you don't want to use a home screen widget, then guess what? Don't. Your iOS device will work just fine with your existing home screens and folders. Heck, you can even hide some of those graveyard home screens 2,3,4 or more pages away. Sounds like a win/win there.
 
Comment

adrianlondon

macrumors 68030
Nov 28, 2013
2,713
2,696
Switzerland
I don’t know but is it me...those iOS 14 screen shots just look like a convoluted mess just so busy with widgets and icons. Just doesn’t look clean.
Don't overdo the widgets. If you need three 2x2 widgets, don't copy the OP and zig-zag them down the screen; slam them all on the left. If you want a larger one, put it at the top. Also, use a subtle wallpaper.

Some of the screenshots people are posting in https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/post-your-ios-14-home-screen-layout.2242306/ make my eyes bleed. I'm getting old.
 
Comment

kingalexthe1st

macrumors 6502
Apr 13, 2013
475
165
Anyone else notice the icon in the top-right of the battery widget? It looks like an iPhone, but it's not an iPhone...
 
Comment

The Man

macrumors 6502a
Jul 7, 2004
596
199
No, but you can just not use it.
So you can now hide screen pages, just not the App Library. Too bad you'll have to have the App Library as your last Home screen. So even if you don't use it, more than likely you will be confronted by that page if you quickly flip to your "last" page, then go past it and end up in the App Library, and then you'll have to flip back one screen again. Great. I already didn't like that I have to do that when I swipe to the other side and enter the search and widget page, and then have to move one page back. Now it's on both sides. Haha!
 
Comment

Apple_Robert

Contributor
Sep 21, 2012
18,251
19,913
In the middle of several books.
Does anyone else miss the days when the interface wasn’t so confusing that you didn’t need extensive instructions to walk you through steps and hidden interface elements to figure out how to do stuff? Apple learned Android.
Back in the days when ignorance was bliss. As we have gotten older, life isn’t so blissful. I think it would be prudent for Apple to make instructional videos on a regular basis, so us older folk don’t have to feel like we are keeping up with the young whipper snappers. Lol

Juli does a pretty good job making the articles.
[automerge]1594756171[/automerge]
Can you disable the App Library? I preferably want to keep everything as is now, with just my home screen pages.
You can’t disable. The App Library is tied into the search function of the phone. Just forget the catalog is there and you will be fine.
[automerge]1594756204[/automerge]
Anyone else notice the icon in the top-right of the battery widget? It looks like an iPhone, but it's not an iPhone...
That is probably a HomePod.
 
Comment

123

macrumors 6502
Mar 3, 2002
487
285
I don’t know but is it me...those iOS 14 screen shots just look like a convoluted mess just so busy with widgets and icons. Just doesn’t look clean.
This is what happens when you don't actually design anything and just stick to the grid invented in 2007.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Aston441
Comment

Nicksd84

macrumors 6502a
Mar 4, 2010
560
726
Atlanta, GA
Widgets are cool. I’m not sure about the UI just yet. For example, I liked the old UI of the battery widget. Lots of detail and the ability to expand/contract. The new UI looks a little like a Fischer price rendition.
 
  • Like
Reactions: RenoDavid
Comment

b11051973

macrumors 6502
Apr 8, 2006
358
374
I check weather a lot and have the 2x4 weather widget on my home screen. I also have the 2x2 Photo widget. I like seeing that random picture. I then have the 2x4 Siri app suggestion. I removed all my single apps off the main home page, because those are my most used and should show up in this Siri suggestions. Plus, as I start to use some other app a lot, it will automatically move in. I might end up not liking this, but we'll see. I then have four folders on my main page of apps I use, but not too often.

I have a 2x4 Shortcut widget on my second page. Swipe over and tap to turn lights on and off. I can have four shortcuts, so I'll have to figure out two more to add.

I don't see using the App Library. I'll continue swiping down and entering an app's name and launching from there. Seems much easier than searching around in the App Library.

Overall, I like widgets. I had a lot of apps on my main home page, that I really didn't use all that often. I'm fine giving up space for widgets.
 
Comment

3xBoom

macrumors newbie
Apr 20, 2020
27
17
Ouch... what a mess this will end up being. Can't see myself using this feature beyond the initial curiosity check.
 
Comment

esp718

macrumors newbie
Jun 25, 2016
15
27
USA
nothing wrong with the freedom in customizing your own UI, however let me edit the App Library COME ONNNN
 
Comment

iStorm

macrumors regular
Sep 18, 2012
179
175
Geez, what's with all the whining? If you don't want to use a home screen widget, then guess what? Don't. Your iOS device will work just fine with your existing home screens and folders. Heck, you can even hide some of those graveyard home screens 2,3,4 or more pages away. Sounds like a win/win there.
I agree. Use the widgets that will be useful for you, don't throw them on just because you can. I plan on only using the weather widget when I get iOS 14. For the App Library, I don't quite understand why people are wanting to customize that when they can/already are doing it on their home screens. I view the App Library as being similar to the Applications folder on the Mac, it shows all your apps. I have quite a few apps that rarely get used on my phone, but don't want to delete them. I'm looking forward to being able to hide these from my home screen, and access them through the App Library for those few times of the year when I do need them.
 
  • Like
Reactions: RenoDavid
Comment
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.