How to Customize Your iPhone with iOS 14: Step by Step Guide

Here is a detailed set of instructions on how to customize your iPhone home screen with iOS 14.

My iPhone Custom Home Screen

Step 1: Update your phone to iOS 14.

  • Open settings and click General> Software Update> Download and Install.
  • Then you’ll see ‘Preparing Update’ and when that’s done, click Install Now. (see photo below)

Step 2: Apps you’ll need.

  • After your iPone is updated, download Widgetsmith, Shortcuts app if it’s not on your phone already, Pinterest, and Phonto and PicsArt for extra customization. (see photo below)

Step 3: Keep your apps from deleting.

  • Go to settings, click Screen Time> Content & Privacy Restrictions> iTunes & App Store Purchases> Deleting Apps> Don’t Allow. This keeps you from accidentally deleting apps from your phone.

Step 4: Plan what apps you need.

  • Make a list of your most used everyday apps so you know which apps to make Shortcuts for.

Step 5: Start with a blank slate.

  • Clear apps from your home screen to make it look neat.
  • Press & hold down the screen until it jiggles. Then lightly tap the minus button at the left corner of any app.
  • Click Remove from Home Screen. Swipe left until you get to the App Library.
  • All of your apps will be organized and stored in this new library so you can always find them! To access apps quickly, just type the name of the app you want in the search bar at the top. (see photo below)

Step 6: Choose your theme.

  • Now that you have a blank slate, you’re going to go to Pinterest to find whatever pictures you want for your widgets and shortcuts.
  • I would recommend creating a board in Pinterest of all the pictures you think you might want to use for your layout to speed up the process. Make sure to download the images to your phone by clicking the 3 dots and download image. (see photo below)

Step 7: Choose your layouts.

  • Now you’re going to choose how you want your home screen layouts to look. (See photo below for some examples.)

Step 8: How to add widgets.

  • Open the Widgetsmith app and choose a small, medium, or large widget.
  • Next, click Add Small/Medium/Large Widget and tap once to open it.
  • Once it opens, tap again to get to the Default page where you’ll choose the style of widget you want. Choose between: Time, Date, Custom, Battery, Calendar, or Reminders. Play around with the different customization options to your liking.
  • *Note: If you wish to use a single photo for a widget, click Photo> Selected Photo> under Custom.
  • Choose photo. Once you finish, click the blue arrow in the top left corner i.e. Small #6, and then click Tap to Rename and name the widget whatever you want.
  • Then click Save in the top right corner.
  • Exit the app. Press and hold down the screen until it jiggles.
  • Press the + in the top left corner.
  • Scroll all the way down and click the Widgetsmith app. The small widget will show first or you can swipe right for medium or large widget.
  • Click +Add Widget. Move the widget wherever you want it and click Done at the top right corner.
  • Press and hold down the widget and click Edit Widget. Select the new widget you already created and named.
  • Tap the screen and you’re done! (see photo below)

Step 9: Create Shortcuts for App Icons.

  • Open Shortcuts app. Click the + in the top right corner.
  • Click Add Action. Type “open app” in the search bar.
  • Under Actions, click Open App with the tiny multi colored squares next to it.
  • Click Choose, type in the app you want, and click the 3 dots in the top right corner.
  • Name the new shortcut. Click Add to Home Screen and rename it in the Home Screen Name and Icon box.
  • Tap the icon, then tap Choose Photo. Pick your photo, click choose, and then Add at the top left corner. Then click Done twice.
  • Exit the app.
  • Press and hold down the screen until it jiggles to move the new shortcut where you want it to be on your home screen. (see photo below)

Step 10: Assess the final product.

  • Are you happy with the layout?
  • Do you want to add another page to the home screen?
  • Do you like your theme?
  • Ask yourself these questions and make any necessary changes if needed.
  • Otherwise, you’re all set!

Bonus Tips

  • Note: Remember those other two apps you downloaded, PicsArt and Phonto? Well you’re going to use them should you want to create custom icons or the invisible border layout that I have on my phone. Invisible border instructions are in the very last tip . (See photos below.)

Custom App Icons.

  • Open PicsArt. Click the + in the bottom center of the page and scroll down until you see color backgrounds. Choose one by swiping right and tapping the one you want.
  • Click Tools at the bottom and and a category will open.
  • Click Crop which is the first one. Then click the numbers in the top center and it’ll say Custom Crop Ratio.
  • Type 120 x 120 and click Ok. Then click Apply in the top right corner. That’s the exact size of the app icons on iphone.
  • Click Sticker at the bottom and you can search for any sticker that you want. For example, type sandwich, and some options will show up.
  • Tap the sticker you want and use the arrow in the bottom right corner of the sticker to adjust the size.
  • Don’t forget to center the sticker by holding it down and moving it. The app will show lines indicating that it’s perfectly centered. Click Apply.
  • After you finish the icon, tap Next in the top right corner. Then click Save in the bottom left corner and click Download Photo.
  • DO NOT CLICK DONE. Click the little < in the top left corner. Then click the undo arrow at the top to repeat the sticker process.
  • Do this for every icon you want to make. It’s tedious but so worth it in my opinion. (see photo below)
  • In addition, if you want a plain icon, just save it after you type in the dimensions.

Custom medium widget with photos.

  • Open PicsArt.
  • Repeat the same process as the custom icons except make the dimensions 960 x 480. That’s approximately the size of a medium widget.
  • Swipe right at the bottom until you get to Add photo.
  • Tap and then choose 3 photos from your camera roll. Click Add (3) in the top right corner.
  • Arrange your 3 photos in the order you want and resize them to your preference.
  • Center the photos by holding each picture down and moving it. PicsArt will automatically align the photos. Make sure there’s a bit of border at the top and bottom of the pictures.
  • Click Apply> Next> Save> Download Photo. You’re done! (see photo below)
  • *Note: To make a custom small or large widget, use Square for the crop.

Add text to photos in Phonto.

  • Open Phonto. Tap the camera in the bottom center. Click Photo Albums> Photo.
  • Choose/tap the photo you want. Then tap the screen and tap Add Text and type in your words.
  • Click Font to choose the font you want.
  • There are TONS of different fonts but just know that if you want, you can also download fonts from dafont.com. *Look up a tutorial on Youtube for how to download fonts to Phonto.*
  • Tap the font you want and then move the text where you want it to be.
  • Tap the word(s) and you can change the size by tapping Size and adjusting that as well as other options.
  • Swipe right to see them all and mess around with the adjustments until you’re satisfied.
  • To change the color of the font, tap Style and swipe right to see the color options. You could even adjust the hues if you wanted to.
  • To add an outline, tap Stroke and choose a color. Then at the bottom adjust the width to your liking.
  • There’s also an option to add a background but I wouldn’t suggest that.
  • Once you finish, click the arrow at the bottom right corner and tap Save Image. It should be underneath Preview.
  • Then tap OK. You’re done!
  • Stop running the app to restart the process. (see photo below)

BIG TIP!

  • If you want your text on your home screen to be white, make sure to choose a background that is darker in color.
  • It varies so mess around with different backgrounds you like and the text will automatically turn black or white depending on how dark or light the photo is.

Last Tip! How to create an invisible border.

  • Open PicsArt.
  • Choose the color you want; darker for white text or lighter/brighter for black text.
  • Download the photo and then go back, crop the photo to 120 x 120, and download that. Repeat process and crop to 960 x 480 and download.
  • Make sure you’ve chosen your home screen layouts prior to applying this invisible border. (See step 7.)
  • Next, make your home screen wallpaper black. Trust me, it will make your life a lot easier.
  • Now you’re going to create shortcuts for all of your apps. (See step 9.)
  • Use the 120 x 120 photo of the color you created for every app.
  • Once you create all of your app shortcuts, arrange them in the layouts that you choose along with your widgets.
  • To make the big text outline, open Phonto and choose the 960 x 480 color photo or the square photo you created.
  • Add text, type your word(s), and choose your font. Then click Style and turn Alpha to zero. (see photo below)
  • Then tap Stroke and make the color white or black. You can adjust the width if you please. Center the text and save image.
  • Now, edit your widgets accordingly and arrange them into your chosen layouts.
  • Finally, change phone wallpaper to the color that you made the different sized photos of and you’re done!!!

*GET OFF OF YOUR PHONE!

Haha. I’m sure your screen time is through the roof after this lengthy process.

I hope the tips helped though. Bye.