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iPhone: Guide to customize your widgets and icons

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Posted on December 28, 2021, 08:39 AM

You no longer have to contemplate a grid of icons every time you unlock your iPhone. Apple has finally given you the ability to customize your home screen layout. Instead of just repositioning the icons, you can remove them completely using the App Library. And with an extensive catalog of Home screen widgets, you can add more than apps too.

But the personalization of the iPhone goes much further. By combining shortcuts with custom icons and widgets, you can make your iPhone look radically different. Here’s how to start making your iPhone yours.

First, grab some icons

First of all, you need to recover images to use as icons. There are plenty of places to find icons on the web, just search for “iOS icons” or “iPhone icons” and dig around to find what works for you. Also read: Nintendo Switch promo: many essential games at -20% today. Some are free, others (like Traf’s popular minimalist icons) are a bit pricey, so take the time to research.

Once you’ve found a set you like, you’ll want to add the icons to your Photos library. On your iPhone, long press an image and choose “Add to Photos”. If you have a Mac, you can drag the images into your Photos app and access them on your iPhone.

Then minimize your apps and home screens.

Besides hiding apps, Apple has given users the ability to hide apps and even entire homescreens so they can clean up quickly. To hide an entire Home screen, tap an empty part of the Home screen until the apps start to move. Then tap the pages icon above the dock. See the article: Xiaomi could activate remote censorship on its phones. Images of all your Home screens appear, and you can tap the circle under any one of them to show or hide it. If you want to remove an icon, long press until the menu appears and then tap Remove app. On the next screen, tap Remove from Home screen.

Use shortcuts to replace apps

To replace all the icons in your apps with your own designs, you need to replace the current apps on your home screen with shortcuts. To see also: Back Tap: The Best iPhone Feature You Don’t Use.

Open the Shortcuts app (it’s installed on your iPhone).

Press the + button at the top right to create a new shortcut.

Touch the word App and select the app you want to open with this shortcut.

Tap the settings icon at the top right and select Add to home screen.

Give your shortcut a name (the app name is a good idea).

Tap the image to the left of the name and select Choose photo. Select the image from your Photos library that you want to use as a new icon. (If you want a real icon photo, download one to your Mac and upload it to Photos.

Tap Add at the top right, and you’ll see a pop-up telling you that the shortcut has been added to the home screen.

Back on your home screen, you can see your new shortcut. If the original app icon is still on the Home screen, long press it, choose Remove app, then Move to app library to remove it from your home screen .

Repeat this process for each app you want to keep on your Home screen, and delete all the others, leaving them in your app library.

There are three caveats to be aware of when replacing your apps with shortcuts in this way. First, you won’t get those little red notification badges in the corner of your shortcuts like real apps do. Secondly, when you launch an app from a shortcut, you will first see a short notification as a shortcut banner before launching the app. Finally, you will lose the ability to long press the app icon to access the quick actions that it has, as the shortcut will not have them.

To match your custom app icons, you will need custom widgets. New apps like Widgetsmith and Color Widgets are popular options.

You will use the app to design your own widgets, choosing what information they will display, fonts, colors, borders, and more. Once you’ve created your widgets, it’s time to add them to your home screen.

Press and hold any empty area on your home screen until you enter “sway mode”.

Tap the + sign at the top left of the screen.

Select the Widgetsmith or Color Widgets app (or the custom widgets app you used) and the size of the widget you created.

Position the widget on the Home screen and, while it’s still in sway mode, tap it to change its options – you may need to choose the particular widget you’ve customized.

Tap Done at the top right to exit hips mode.

There are limits to what you can do with custom widgets at this time, but the capabilities of these apps continue to expand.

If you’re ready to accept the limitations of using shortcuts to launch your apps and using custom widgets, you can create some truly unique homescreens!

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I have been writing professional tech articles for my entire adult working life – over 20 years. I like to understand how complex technology works and explain it in a way that everyone can understand.

Lucas Gauvin
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