Personalize your iPhone screen with iOS 14 like everyone’s doing right now. Here’s how


You’ll soon be able to change the way your app icons look.

Angela Lang/CNET

The iPhone’s ($699 at Amazon) home screen has looked just about the same since the very first iPhone, with app icons perfectly lined up in rows, all the same size. That’s finally changed with the new iOS 14 update, which lets you customize the way your apps look, give them completely different names and change their size and color.

Customizing your iPhone screen is becoming a sudden trend, as it’s a huge change for iPhone users who are just now able to experiment with their home screens in new ways — without rooting the device or running skins and launchers. Read on for two ways to customize your iPhone’s screen, with help from a widget app.

How to change the way your apps look on iPhone


This app makes it easy to experiment with different looks on your iPhone.

Screenshot by Katie Conner/CNET

The new iOS 14 update finally lets you customize apps to your liking. Here’s how.

1. Open the Shortcuts app on your iPhone (it’s already preinstalled).

2. Tap the plus icon in the top right corner.

3. Select Add Action.

4. In the search bar, type Open app and select the Open App app.

5. Tap Choose and select the app you want to customize. For example, Facebook, Spotify or the Messages app.

6. Tap the three dots in the upper right corner. From here, give the shortcut a name and tap Add to Home Screen.

7. Where it says Home Screen Name and Icon, rename the shortcut to anything you’d like.

8. Next, go to the Safari app to find a new icon image. You can search for something like the Facebook icon aesthetic. When you find an image you like, save it to your photos.

9. Go back to the Shortcuts app and tap the current icon. Select Choose Photo and tap on the image you just saved. You can zoom in or out on the image. Tap Choose.

10. Tap Add

Now you have customized apps on your phone. The original apps will remain on the phone, but you can store them in a folder.

Change the way your iPhone home screen looks

You no longer have to look at rows of apps on your iPhone anymore. Here’s how to change up your home screen view using an app.

1. Download the Widgetsmith app on your iPhone.

2. In the app, select the size of the widget you’d like to customize — your options are small, medium and large.

3. Tap the widget to customize it. You can change the font and colors. Tap Save when you’re finished.

4. Go to your home screen and hold and press down on an app. Tap Edit Home Screen

5. Tap the plus icon in the top left corner and search for Widgetsmith. Tap the icon.

6. Select the widget size you’d like to add to your home screen and tap Add Widget.

7. You can change the widget by pressing down on the app and selecting Edit Widget. That’s all! Now your home screen has different sized icons for a customized look. 

Note that at this time, you can only customize the following apps: Weather (with a premium subscription), Calendar, World Time, Reminders, Health, Astronomy, Tides (with a premium subscription) and Photos.

Want to know more about the new iOS 14 update? Check out how to customize your Smart Stack (the new widget on your iPhone) and everything that changed on your iPhone home screen and how to use them. Also, take a look at these hidden iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 features.

Now playing:
Watch this:

Why iPhone 12 should have Touch ID