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How to customize widgets in iOS 14 with Widgetsmith

Here's your step-by-step guide to making your Home Screen pop.

Apple's iOS 14 has a lot of new features and many of them geared toward customizing and simplifying the Home Screen. Chief among those additions is the ability to create widgets that help pin certain apps and functionality to the Home Screen without necessarily having to open said apps manually.

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As you may have already seen, in addition to using those widgets for streamlining apps and tasks like weather, time, and even Spotify, they can also be a nifty way to make your Home Screen "aesthetic." See: the adjacent Sailor Moon Home Screen.

Getting your Home Screen looking just right isn't exactly straightforward, however, and takes a little know-how and the use of a third-party app, which is why we're here to help.

Here's your guide to adding and customizing widgets in iOS 14...

Widgetsmith

While there are various third-party apps that offer the ability to customize widgets, Widgetsmith seems to have become the most popular, so for the purposes of this guide we're going to show you how to customize with that. You can download Widgetsmith for free on the iOS App Store which will allow you to create widgets with custom photos.

Once you have Widgetsmith downloaded...

You can begin the customization process. Start by collecting the photos you want to use in your widgets (these will ultimately serve as the backdrop for your newly created widgets). Make sure to get a mix of different size photos that will fit small, medium and large widget sizes. Once you have those gathered, you can open up Widgetsmith and choose which size widget you want to create.

For this demonstration we're going to make a small widget.

Photo widgets

Chances are, most "aesthetic" Home Screens you've seen have been using the custom "photo" option to create widgets, so that's what we're going to focus on. To make a photo widget, tap "add small widget" then tap the widget that appears. Tap the icon one more time and you'll be greeted with a list of different widget options.

Scroll down to the "custom" section and select which type of photo widget you want to add. This part is up to you, and options can include photos with a date, photos from an album, photo with day and time, and more. We're going to create a widget with day and time.

After choosing the style you want, you can tap "selected photo" at the bottom of the app interface and then tap "choose photo" beneath the widget icon which will allow you to load in photos from your camera roll. Choose the desired photo and navigate back by tapping the "small" icon at the top left corner of the screen.

customizing an iOS 14 Home Screen using Widgetsmith

Here you'll want to tap the top center icon of the screen where it says "tap to rename" choose your widget name (i.e. if you're making this a FFVII themed Home Screen like me, you could choose "materia" or something to that effect). Tap "save" in the right corner of the screen and concrete your newly created photo widget in the app.

Here it is in real-time

Now you're ready...

To add the widget to your Home Screen. Navigate out of the Widgetsmith app and to your Home Screen. Long tap the screen until the apps go all wiggly on you and then press the "+" icon at the top left-hand corner. Tap the search bar at the top and type "Widgetsmith" and select. Choose "small" and then press "add widget."

When the widget is added to its preferred spot, you'll need to long press on the icon until "edit widget" appears underneath. Tap "edit widget" and then choose which widget style you want to add from the app.

The final steps in real-time.

App icons

Of course, if you want to really own the aesthetic, you need to know how to change individual app icons using the native Shortcut app. Luckily we have you covered in this short tutorial here.

As you may have gleaned, customizing and adding widgets to create a perfectly cohesive Home Screen involves some tedious work, but if you've got a little time and enough patience, the results can be pretty rad.

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