July 26, 2020

IOS 14 Widgets and App Library Will Change Your iPhone Screen Permanently

The iPhone home screen hasn't changed much since the iPhone debuted 13 years ago. It was a simple grid of icons and remained the same until the release of iOS 13 (where widgets first appeared on the iPad). In iOS 8, Apple added support for widgets, although again in their own way - they were hidden in a separate section. And whenever you download a new app from the App Store, it just appears on the home screen (or the adjacent one). But in iOS 14, that changed with the App Library and new Home screen widgets.

The App Library is one of the main features of the new iOS

What is App Library in iOS 14

I constantly experimented with the order of applications on the screen until iOS 14. I tried to do without folders at all or with only one Home screen, where I placed all the folders with applications, launching them using Spotlight search. However, the new App Library completely reimagines the way you customize this first (and most important) home screen page. After all, this is the first thing we see when we unlock our phones or close the app to return Home.
Over the years, I have downloaded hundreds of apps on the App Store. Therefore, I have "nowhere for an apple to fall" on my iPhone: there is a home screen with the main programs and several others, where applications are placed mostly chaotically. To be honest, I'm just too lazy to look through them all and delete those that I haven't used for a long time. This is why App Library is a godsend for me.

I've already tried out the iOS 14 developer beta, and there's a new option in the home screen settings. Its essence is to either load new applications on the home screen (as before), or just add them only to the application library. With this option, I can download a bunch of new (or old removed) apps without cluttering my home screen. I've dreamed of something like this for years because honestly, I rarely go beyond 1-2 home screens.

See what order. Well, cool!

The Application Library is always available and it automatically organizes all applications into categories. There's also an insanely useful "Recently Added" category, where you'll find all the apps you've recently downloaded. Search is also available both on the home screen and in the app library.

How to use widgets in iOS 14

For many years, I wanted to avoid having to open the app every time using widgets - for example, to see the day plan for today in the calendar or the weather for the next two hours. In iOS 14, this feature appeared, and it's incredibly cool. For example, I completely stopped launching the Weather application, since I brought the corresponding widget to the main screen.

Even such a small widget is enough to watch the weather

What's cool is that there are different sized widgets available that display as much information as you need. Moreover, even the smallest widget size can show more useful information compared to a static application icon, since the data is updated throughout the day. Plus there are many smart settings - for example, so that the widgets themselves change each other during the day. This will save space on your home screen.

There are many variations of widgets, and there will be even more by the release of iOS 14

Of course, you can always just launch the app to view the information displayed in the widget, but I find it much more convenient to access it from the home screen. Most of the time I just need to quickly find out something, like the temperature outside the window, and it takes a lot longer to open the app. Here it is enough to look at the main screen for a second.