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iOS 18 finally adds customizable Home Screen options – something Android users are all too familiar with

New iOS 18 update brings design changes
Last Updated on June 11, 2024
iOS 18 finally adds customizable Home Screen options
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iOS 18 is here, brimming with exciting features for iPhone users. Officially launched at WWDC 2024, one of the biggest highlights is the extensive home screen customization options, finally giving you the power to design a layout that matches your personality. If this feature sounds familiar, it’s because Android users have been able to do this for over a decade. So, while it has taken Apple a little longer to get there, let’s look at what is included in this new update.

iOS 18 Home Screen customization – Image Source: Apple

iOS 18 unleashes creativity

For years, iPhone users have been stuck with a rigid, grid-like home screen. iOS 18 throws those limitations out the window. Now, you have complete freedom to move apps and widgets wherever you see fit. No more strategically placing empty widgets to create a specific look – it’s time to unleash your inner creativity and craft a home screen that truly reflects your style.

Apple is also introducing a sleek dark mode for app icons, ensuring a cohesive aesthetic when dark mode is enabled. Additionally, you can now personalize your app icons even further by applying a splash of any color you like. iOS 18 offers smart color suggestions that complement your wallpaper, making customization a breeze – much like Android’s Material You color customization options which have been around for a while.

New iOS 18 Home Screen customization options

  • Freedom to move apps and widgets
  • Sleek dark mode for app icons
  • Add/change the color of the app icons
  • Smart color suggestions to match background wallpaper

“App icons and widgets appear even sleeker with a new Dark look. Tint them all with any color, or have iOS suggest a color that complements your wallpaper. You can also make apps and widgets appear larger”


Android similarities

Both Apple’s new iOS 18 update and Material You on Android offer users a chance to personalize their phone experience. Material You leans towards a more automated approach. It analyzes your wallpaper and pulls out a color palette that’s then applied to various UI elements like app icons and widgets. This creates a unified look but with less direct control over the specific colors used.

Apple has taken a similar approach but largely gone down a more granular route, particularly with full freedom to move around apps and widgets. Furthermore, any color changes are fully in the hands of the user, meaning that although suggestions are made, they can be ignored – unlike on Android. This allows for a wider range of creative expression but requires a more hands-on approach.

iOS 18 Home Screen customization – Image Source: Apple

Listening to users

Remember the elaborate workarounds involving custom icons and Shortcuts users employed to personalize their home screens before? Apple seems to have recognized the massive popularity of home screen customization apps that boomed after iOS 14. This surge, along with the positive reception of widgets, clearly demonstrated the user’s desire for a more personalized experience.

With iOS 18, Apple is handing over the reins. You can now move apps and widgets with total freedom, transform app icon appearances with dark mode and color tinting, and ultimately design a home screen that speaks volumes about your unique style. This update empowers iPhone users to create a mobile experience that’s truly their own.

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