Make your new iPhone 12 home screen ‘aesthetic’. Here’s how to customize it


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You can now change the way your app icons look.


Angela Lang/CNET

You’re about to give your iPhone’s ($699 at Amazon) boring default home screen a reboot. Or maybe you’re planning to upgrade to Apple’s newly unveiled iPhone 12 (here’s how to preorder from the new lineup, and a checklist for how to prepare your current phone first). Customization has never been Apple’s thing, but the new iOS 14 update finally makes it possible to play around with your interface, from the size and color of your icons to a wallpaper that can tie into the whole theme. Creating an “aesthetic” iPhone home screen is the trend of the moment, but you need to follow a few steps to make it happen, with the aid of two apps.

After that, you can go bananas trying out different themes and perfecting the look and feel.

Read on and we’ll show you how to customize the way your iPhone’s home screen icons look, give them completely different names and change their size and color — without rooting or jail-breaking your iPhone or running skins and launchers. Ready? Let’s begin.

How to change the way your app icons look on iPhone

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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 your iPhone home screen design using the Widgetsmith app

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.


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Try a custom home screen using iOS 14



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