Thanks to iOS 14’s new widgets, seemingly everyone is redesigning their iPhone Home screens right now. Some of these look amazing. Others evoke the eyeball-abusing tragedy of late-stage MySpace, serving as painful reminders of why most of us didn’t become professional graphic designers.
Here are some of the better iOS 14 custom Home screens we’ve seen. (Want to make your own? We’ve got a guide for you: How to give your iPhone Home screen a new look with custom icons).
Are you really surprised? One of the most iconic cartoons of the modern age, Spongebob Squarepants has long been the stuff memes are made of. This effort from Twitter user @luigikartds repurposed images from the Nickelodeon cartoon series to good effect. The user in question says that the Home screen-tweaking feature prompted her to update her iPhone for the first time in months.
— poggu poggu ✿ Next Art Stream Tuesday 6:30pm EDT (@pogpals) September 22, 2020
Twitter user @pogpals created what may be one of my favorite Home screen customization efforts. Poggy spent an “embarrassing amount of time” hand-drawing the icons in what looks like pen, but the results are worth it. This lends a nice, bespoke look to the Home screen. (You can buy these custom iOS icons on Etsy).
Pick a palette, any palette
how to do the aesthetic Home Screen (iOS 14) : a thread. pic.twitter.com/RObjIXcjbG
— ✨ (@Kaylasfro) September 19, 2020
Twitter user @Kaylasfro’s aesthetic Home screen illustrates an attractive option: giving your iPhone a makeover centered on a particular color palette. She used Widgetsmith, one of several widget apps currently surging in popularity, to implement her gorgeous pink theme. (She also offers plenty of tips on crafting your own iPhone aesthetic in her Twitter thread.)
It’s all about the neon
— Bader Sam (@xNoManna) September 22, 2020
Twitter user @dontmindmehere6 scoured Pinterest and Google Images to collect neon reproductions of icons to put together this creation. If you’ve ever wondered what iOS 14 would look like as a sleazy 1980s cityscape, this is is pretty much your answer.
Still about the neon
— t (@highlysubpar) September 22, 2020
There’s room for more than one neon theme, right? This beautifully color-coded version combines neon designs with some retrofuturism and nods to Japanese design. If the folks in Akira owned 2020-era iPhones, this is probably the interface they’d use.
Go back to the past with iOS 6
— (@BoredXlol) September 23, 2020
Nostalgia isn’t just reserved for pop culture entities like old cartoons. @BoredXlol used the superpowers granted by iOS 14 to … make their iPhone look like it was running iOS 6. This was the last version of the classic skeumorphic iOS design before iOS 7 switched to flatter icons.
PlayStation 2 memory card-style
— jenni (@wholelottajenni) September 21, 2020
Want to make your iOS 14 Home screen look like a PlayStation 2 memory card screen? Twitter user @wholelottajenni certainly did. And she pulled it off with aplomb. The icons could do a more creative job of representing what the apps actually do (this is likely going to be a recurring issue with Home screen changes). Nonetheless, this is a fun throwback design.
All about Windows 95
why did i do this pic.twitter.com/4boDQvsNVm
— saul goodman funko pop (@ARTSHL3Y) September 18, 2020
Talking of classic tech displays, Twitter user @ARTSHL3Y created this one based on the 25-year-old Windows 95 operating system. Given what Windows 95 represented in the Microsoft-Apple legal battle of the 1990s, there’s something sweetly ironic about this one.
Current iOS 14 home screen setup. pic.twitter.com/gtFjRnMkq7
— traf (@traf) September 20, 2020
Twitter user @Traf has been designing icons since the early jailbreaking days of iOS. He quick created this slickly minimalist set of monochrome icons in both light and dark color options. The results look truly striking. People really, really like them, too. On Twitter, an image of the icons has racked up more than 20,000 likes. (You can buy them on his website.)