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Apr 12, 2001
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Updated on September 22nd with hands on video.

In iOS 14, Apple introduced ‌the concept of Home Screen‌ widgets, which provide information from apps at a glance. Widgets can be pinned to the Home Screen in various spots and sizes, allowing for many different layouts.

Despite the relative lack of 3rd party widgets at launch, iOS users around the world have been busy customizing their home screens and sharing their work with others.



(Besides using iOS 14 Widgets, Twitter user Ben Zhu also used Shortcuts to change the look of the icons in the screenshot above.)

On Twitter, the hashtag #iOS14HomeScreen started trending this weekend with users showing off their latest creations. MacRumors followers also shared their creations on Twitter and in this forum thread.

Some bigger brands have already released widget support, including IMDB, Google, and Twitch. Spotify is notably absent from the early supporting apps, though TuneTrack already offers Spotify "Playing Now" widget support in the meanwhile.

Hands On Video


We grabbed some of the tools we describe later in this article and shot this video which shows how you too can customize your iOS 14 home screen. Our videographer shows how to use Widgetsmith amongst other tools to create custom configurations as well as replacing the standard icons with your own images. There are some limitations to be aware of however.



We even tried to create a special Mac OS X Aqua themed home screen just to see how it would go. Bottom line, it took a while and wasn't quite functional.

Widgetsmith

One of the early Widget apps that has seen a lot of popularity is Widgetsmith [Free] which offers the ability to create widgets alongside styling customizations. Widgetsmith allows you to create customized small, medium or large widgets with Time, Date, Photos, Custom Text, Upcoming Events, Reminders, and Health and Activity. Widgetsmith also offers Weather and Tide widgets as part of their premium subscription package which costs $1.99/month or $19.99/year.

The flexibility of the tool has made it popular with iOS 14 Home Screen screenshots that have been circulating around the web. Taken to the extreme, you can see highly stylized home screens:



Update: Widgetsmith has been updated to version 1.0.4 and includes a new custom color picker and a new Battery icon widget.

ColorWidgets

color-widgets.jpg


Another popular choice we've seen is ColorWidgets [Free] which offers a free Time and Battery widget with a lot of colorful styles. Some premium styles are also offered for a $3.99 one time purchase.

Weather Widgets

Weather is a popular widget type that has already seen a number of supporting apps. There are certainly more that we missed, but notably, Apple's own Dark Sky doesn't have widget support yet.

weather-line.jpg


Other Widgets

Beyond that, there are a number of early widgets that we've run across, and here is a short list.

Fitness and Nutrition Widgets


fitbod.jpg

  • Fitbod - Workout tracking. Free with IAP
  • FoodNoms - Food and calorie tracking. Free with IAP
  • Streaks - Forming habits on a daily basis. $4.99
  • Zones - Workout tracking. Free with IAP
  • Hour Blocks - Dayplanner that shows you what's next. $3.99

Finance Widgets

copilot.jpg


Travel Widgets

  • Flighty - Flight tracking app. Free with IAP
  • App in the Air - Travel assistant. Free with IAP
  • KAYAK - Book flights, hotels and cars. Free
  • Tripit - Travel planner. Free with IAP
  • World Clock - Time zone widget. Free with IAP

We will continue to cover notable Widgets as they are released. For a deeper dive, please visit our Twitter thread where we asked for widget recommendations and follow along in the 3rd Party Widgets Thread in our iOS 14 forum.

Additional Widgets

Additional interesting widgets that have launched:

  • Parcel - Delivery tracking. Free
  • WaterMinder - Daily water reminder. $4.99
  • Clatters - Social media monitoring. Free with IAP
  • Launcher - Launch apps from widgets. Free but Limited. $7.99 IAP.

Article Link: iOS 14 Widgets Offer iPhone Users Creative Home Screen Ideas
 
Last edited:

arn

macrumors god
Staff member
Apr 9, 2001
16,308
5,585
How do people change icons into custom images? Need a step-by-step :)
From twitter:

You can use the shortcuts app to change the icon. Open shortcuts > add new shortcut > add action > scripting > open app > choose app > click the ... > add to Home Screen > under Home Screen name tap on the icon and choose an image. > add. Done!

Yep, you make a shortcut to "Open App", pick the app. And then when you "Add to home screen", you are allowed to change the icon with a Photo. So it's a Shortcut that Opens a specific App and has a Custom Icon and Name. So it looks like the app, but it's really a shortcut.

But big disadvantage is it bounces through Shortcuts when u tap on icon


This video walks through most of it, except doesn't change the icon in the end.

 
Last edited:

Ramchi

macrumors 65816
Dec 13, 2007
1,088
563
India
Those issues being there first time in iOS I can understand the excitement over the widgets. I remember doing all these in my Smsusung Galaxy S2 with my screen only filled with widgets and chat session shorter versions, Facebook feed (shorter version)etc...clock, weather, currency decorating the home screena 99996AAD-9770-4BF2-A973-91BD262A1E1B.jpeg
 
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Ramchi

macrumors 65816
Dec 13, 2007
1,088
563
India
Meh, just another distraction and battery eater. I tend to keep just one page of apps. thanks but not for me
This is true and I stopped using widgets in my Android due to this reason. Even the number of pages in the launcher to be kept minimum to one or maximum two for better battery efficiency in Android at least few years back.
 
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jntdroid

macrumors 6502a
Oct 12, 2011
686
953
Some of the comments I'm seeing here about widgets, and elsewhere, point to something I've been telling my Android friends (and myself as I also have used and enjoy Android) for a long time... all of the customization is ultimately more of a time waste than anything else. If you enjoy it, great. But if not, if your phone is primarily a tool in your mind, instead of a fun thing to play with, then customization is kind of pointless.
 

19callum93

macrumors 6502
Sep 20, 2012
353
422
From twitter:

You can use the shortcuts app to change the icon. Open shortcuts > add new shortcut > add action > scripting > open app > choose app > click the ... > add to Home Screen > under Home Screen name tap on the icon and choose an image. > add. Done!

I tried this and hated it. Personally don’t know why people would want to do this, as it slows down the app launch speed? First opening the shortcut app before opening the app you need ? unless I done something wrong?
[automerge]1600667619[/automerge]
I’m glad people now have more ways of customizing their iPhones but I really doubt Apple had this in mind or is too happy about iPhones looking less like iPhones at a first glance ?
They’ll probably remove the feature in the next update ?
 
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