Concept shows how cool iPhone widgets would look on iPad

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iPad widgets deserve the freedom to move.
iPadOS limits Home screen widget placement. A concept artist shows there’s no reason for this limitation.
Photo: A Better Computer Trailer

While Home screen widgets came to iPad first, the release of iOS 14 offered iPhone users much more flexibility in widget placement. A concept designer showed what iPadOS 15 could look like with the same flexibility.

iPhone Home screens gone wild! [Cult of Mac Magazine 368]

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Home screen themes are definitely a thing now.
Home screen themes are definitely a thing now.
Cover: Leander Kahney/Cult of Mac

Customizing iPhone Home screens is all the rage right now, thanks to a cool new feature in iOS 14 (and a hacky workaround using the Shortcuts app). See what this new craze is all about, and find out how you can do it yourself, in our top stories this week.

Plus, we might know exactly when to expect next month’s big iPhone event. And don’t miss our Apple Watch Series 6 review.

You will find all that and much more (including reviews of new Apple TV+ series Tehran and Tiny World) in this week’s free issue of Cult of Mac Magazine. Grab it and get to reading!

Best iOS 14 custom Home screens (so far …)

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iOS 14 Home screen modification
Give your iPhone a bespoke overhaul.
Photo: Pogpals

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).

How to give your iPhone Home screen a new look with custom icons

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How to create custom app icons iOS 14
iOS 14 but with an entirely new look.
Image: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

It’s no longer necessary to jailbreak your iPhone to completely overhaul the appearance of its Home screen. All you need is the Shortcuts app in iOS 14, and you can use custom icons for any app you have installed.

With some simple tweaks and plenty of spare time, you can make your iPhone feel like a brand-new smartphone with a completely different operating system designed just by you. We’ll show you how.

iPhone Home screen modders go crazy with iOS 14

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MS Paint
Wait a second, that doesn't look quite right!
Photo: Thomas Reisenegger

Ever wanted to make your brand-new iPhone look like it’s running Windows 95? That’s the outrageously novel idea that sprang into the mind of Ashley, an 18-year-old from Indiana who wants to work as a graphic designer, after she upgraded to iOS 14 last week.

Taking advantage of iOS 14’s new Home screen widgets feature, and a clunky workaround that employs the built-in Shortcuts app, she gave her iPhone 11 a vintage Microsoft-style makeover that screams retro cool and picked up 4.4 million views and 664,000 likes on TikTok.

“As someone who wasn’t even alive in the ’90s, other operating systems, such as Windows XP, are more nostalgic to me, but I went with Windows 95 because it furthered the contrast between old and new,” Ashley, who did not want her last name revealed, told Cult of Mac.

iOS 14 pushes custom widget apps to top of the charts

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iOS 14 widgets apps shot to the top of the iPhone App Store charts.
Applications that create custom iOS 14 widgets quickly became very popular.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

The top three applications on the App Store right now all focus on iOS 14 widgets. They let users create custom Home screen widgets that aren’t tied to other applications.

Apple’s latest operating system adds these mini-apps, and a small selection of them come built into iOS 14. Plus, many third-party applications like browsers and email apps recently released widgets.

But applications whose entire focus is adding useful widgets to the iPhone Home screen quickly found plenty of users. Here are some of the most popular ones available now.

Latest iOS 14 beta is stable enough for almost anyone [Opinion]

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iOS 14 beta 8 might be the last beta before Golden Master.
The pre-release versions of iOS 14, and the iPad equivalent, are really quite stable.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Apple unveiled iOS 14 back in June, and it’s chock-full of new features. The long wait for the software’s release must be wearing on many iPhone users. But Apple is almost finished development, to the point where the latest iOS 14 beta is almost as stable as the final version will be. Anyone tired of waiting would be relatively safe installing it.

The same goes for iPadOS 14.

iOS 14 beta 3 brings new World Clock widget, other tweaks

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iOS 14 Developer Beta 3 has a few tricks up its sleeve.
A new World Clock Widget made its debut in iPadOS 14 Developer Beta 3, and the iPhone version too.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Apple continues to add new features to iOS 14 and the iPad equivalent in the third beta, which the company seeded to developers Wednesday. However, the latest betas brought no major changes.

There’s a new World Clock widget. And the Apple Music app returned to the same icon design it had years ago. Other than that, Apple seems to be concentrating on bug fixes.