Since the iPhone was first released to the world in 2007, its home screen has seen few changes. Sure, there have been redesigned icons and new apps along the way. However, all of that changes with the release of iOS 14, as the icon-only grid is no more. With iOS 14, widgets are reborn in a more dynamic and much more useful way. The best part is that they can be added anywhere on your home screen and in three different sizes. Here’s how to get started with widgets on your iPhone.
How to Add Widgets
In just a short amount of time, widgets have already proven incredibly useful for iOS 14 users. Let’s start with the basics of adding widgets to your iPhone screen:
1. Touch and hold an empty area on your home screen until your apps start jiggling.
2. When you see the “+” sign in the upper-left corner appear, press on it to bring up a menu of existing widgets already installed on your phone.
3. Tap on the widget you want to add. When you select the widget, you can scroll right to see all of the available sizes. The larger the widget, the more info it shows.
4. When you make your choice in size, tap on “Add Widget” at the bottom of the screen.
5. The widget will be added to your home screen. You now have an opportunity to move the widget around on your primary home screen or another page of apps.
How to Create a Widget Stack
Along with individual widgets, iOS 14 also allows you to create a “widget stack” on your home screen. These are exactly what they sound like with a group of scrollable widgets stacked one on top of another.
To create a widget stack:
1. Follow the steps above to create at least two widgets on your home screen. You can stack as many as ten widgets in total.
2. Long press the widget until you can move it around the screen, then place it on top of another widget. Note that in order for this to work properly, widgets must be the same size and shape to stack.
3. Once stacked, swipe up and down on the available widgets to see them all.
How to Create a Smart Stack.
Similar to widget stacks, Apple has included a feature called “Smart Stacks” that are automatically chosen based on your location, apps you frequently use or time of day. iOS 14 already comes with a pre-built Smart Stack so your work will look very similar to that when finished.
To create a smart stack:
1. Touch any area of your home screen until the apps jiggle and then hit the “+” button in the upper right corner.
2. Scroll down until you see the widget labeled “Smart Stack”.
3. Continue scrolling sideways until you locate the size you want. Then click “Add Widget”.
4. After the smart stack is added to your home screen, you can re-order or remove apps you do not want. Just long press on the stack anywhere and select “Edit Stack”. You can also toggle “Smart Rotate” on to have the app automatically adjust according to time of day or when the iPhone believes you will want to see a specific app.
How to Remove Widgets
Removing widgets could not be any easier. Enter jiggle mode by keeping your finger on the widget or stack you want to remove, then tap on “Remove Widget.” It’s that simple. If you want to re-add the widget or delete it accidentally, just follow the steps above.
How to Add “Today View” Widgets
“Today View” widgets have been around since iOS 10, and looking back, was the first glimpse at what iOS 14 would bring to the table. To locate Today View, swipe left on your lock screen where you will see several widgets installed by default. To personalize this space:
1. Scroll to the bottom of your Today View screen and tap edit. If the apps start jiggling, you are ready for the next step.
2. Start adding widgets by pressing the “+” button in the upper-left corner.
3. Scroll down to select a widget and then choose from any of the three default sizes. Tap “Add Widget,” and it will be added to the screen.
4. To remove or re-add previous widgets to the lock screen, scroll down while the apps are jiggling. The last set of widgets should be in a dark gray box labeled “customize,” Tap on it.
5. You will see another option to “Add Widgets” where you can click on the red circle to remove widgets or press on the green plus sign to add new widgets to your Today View screen.
What You Can Do with Widgets
Widgets on iOS 14 are still in their infancy, but there is no question that app developers are finding new ways to personalize them every day. Apps like Widgeridoo, WidgetWizard and Widgetsmith will help create personalized widgets that can include any number of informational pieces including calendars, steps, time of day, weather and more. There are widgets for weather, email, news, Reddit sports and so much more.