iOS 14 – Tips and Tricks On Customisation

September 21, 2020


If one thing is clear following last week’s release of iOS 14, it’s that there was a lot of pent-up demand for home screen widgets on the iPhone. A variety of third-party applications have added home screen widget support over the last several days, but one app has stood out from the rest: Widgetsmith.

Download Widgetsmith for iOS 14

In the Widgetsmith app on your iPhone, there are three different widget sizes to choose from: small, medium, and large. Each widget can display a variety of information and be customised with different font styles and colours, tint colours, and background colours.

The process is incredibly straightforward. You simply click the “Add” button for the size of widget you want to create, then tap on the widget to customise it.

The first decision you have to make is what sort of information you want the widget to display on your home screen. Here are the data sources available in Widgetsmith:

  • Time
  • Date
  • Custom: Photo, Photos in Album, Custom Text, Blank
  • Calendar
  • Reminders
  • Weather
  • Health & Activity
  • Tides
  • Astronomy

Within each data type, there are a variety of different options for displaying whatever data type you’ve picked. From there, you have additional customisation options including the font style and colours, tint colours, and background colours.

Once you’ve designed the iOS 14 home screen widget in the Widgetsmith app, you can head back to your home screen, long-press to entire jiggle mode, then tap the “+” icon in the upper-left corner. Look for Widgetsmith in the list of apps, then choose the size of the widget you created.

On your iOS 14 home screen, you can use as many widgets from Widgetsmith as you’d like. Once you add the Widgetsmith size to your home screen, long-press, choose “Edit Widget” and choose the “Widget” option to pick from the multiple designs you created in the Widgetsmith app. In fact, every widget on your iOS 14 home screen could come from Widgetsmith if you wanted.

Widgetsmith also supports timed widgets, which allow you to replace the widget on your home screen at a specific time of day. For example, you can display the current date until after the workday is over, then have Widgetsmith automatically change widgets to show you what’s on your calendar for the next day.

Widgetsmith is a free download on the App Store, with certain features that require server costs requiring an in-app subscription.

Customise with Shortcuts!

To change the look and feel of your homepage apps, use Shortcuts!

  1. Open the Shortcuts app.
  2. Find a shortcut you want to add, and tap on the three dots icon.
  3. Once the shortcut is open, tap on the second three dots icon inside, as you can see in the image below.
  4. Then, tap Add to Home Screen.
  5. Next, you’ll get the option to set a name for the shortcut. Tap on the icon next to this. A menu will appear with three options: Take Photo, Choose Photo, and Choose File.

Custom icons home screen shortcuts

Design Resources

Tapping on Choose Photo and Choose File will let you choose an image saved on your device. You can design your own icons using some free resources such as Canva!

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