iOS 14: How to use the App li­brary

Ap­ple’s big home screen re­design in iOS 14 cen­tres around a new screen that con­tains all your app. Ja­son Cross re­ports

iPad&iPhone user - - CONTENTS -

Prior to iOS 14, one of the cen­tral prob­lems with iOS (com­pared to An­droid) was that every sin­gle app you’ve ever down­loaded has to ex­ist some­where on your home screen. You can have fold­ers, you can have mul­ti­ple home screens, but you can’t sim­ply hide an app you don’t use very of­ten.

The iOS 14 re­lease changes all that. In ad­di­tion to be­ing able to put Wid­gets on your home screen, you

can now re­move apps with­out unin­stalling them. A new top‑level screen called the App Li­brary con­tains all the apps in­stalled on your iPhone. It’s a bit like the app drawer on most An­droid phones, but it looks and be­haves dif­fer­ently.

Mas­ter­ing the App Li­brary is key to keep­ing a more tidy and or­ga­nized iPhone and quickly be­ing able to find the app you want. Here’s how the App Li­brary works.

App Li­brary or­ga­ni­za­tion

Once you in­stall iOS 14, you’ll find the App Li­brary to the right of your last home screen. Just keep swip­ing and you’ll soon be there. You don’t have to or­ga­nize this screen. In fact, you can’t or­ga­nize it. All your apps will ap­pear in lit­tle four‑square boxes.

The up­per left box is al­ways Sug­ges­tions. This will show four apps that Siri has de­ter­mined you are likely to use based on the time of day, your lo­ca­tion, and so on. It gets smarter the more you use your iPhone, and the sug­ges­tions are cal­cu­lated en­tirely on‑de­vice No data about your app use habits or lo­ca­tion or any­thing else are ever be­ing sent any­where.

In the up­per right you’ll find Re­cently Added, which is self‑ex­plana­tory. It shows apps you’ve most re­cently in­stalled. Be­neath that are four‑square ‘fold­ers’ that are auto‑ar­ranged by app cat­e­gory. Ap­ple au­to­mat­i­cally de­ter­mines to which cat­e­gory an app be­longs, and it can be a lit­tle un­in­tu­itive. For ex­am­ple, both Twit­ter and Red­dit are in the ‘News’ cat­e­gory of the App Store (cur­rently #1 and #2 re­spec­tively). But Twit­ter is in the So­cial box of the App Li­brary and Red­dit is in the

Ref­er­ence & Read­ing sec­tion. Ring is in Util­i­ties but Nest is in Life­style.

Each of these boxes will show three full‑size app icon to­gether with a lit­tle four‑icon group­ing in the lower right. Ap­ple doesn’t make it clear, but if you tap a full‑size app icon the app will launch. If you tap the lit­tle four‑icon group­ing you’ll open up a view of all the apps in that cat­e­gory. The cat­e­gory boxes them­selves

aren’t al­ways in the same place. They will re­order them­selves based on which apps you use most of­ten.

Search­ing the App Li­brary

If you don’t want to open and close the app cat­e­gory boxes look­ing for the app you need, search is the way to go. Tap the search box at the top of the screen, or swipe down any­where on the screen, and you can search by name or scroll through an al­pha­bet­i­cal list of all the apps on your iPhone.

Adding apps to the home screen

If there’s an app in the App Li­brary that isn’t on your home screen, it’s easy to add. Just tap and hold on an app icon un­til you see the con­text menu, and choose ‘Add to Home Screen’.

Adding an app to your home screen does not re­move it from the App Li­brary – it will al­ways con­tain all the apps on your iPhone. You can also en­ter ‘jig­gle mode’ and drag apps off the left edge of the App Li­brary to place them on your home screen.

Re­mov­ing in­di­vid­ual apps from the home screen

If you want an app to ex­ist in the App Li­brary but do not want an icon on your home screen, that’s easy to do.

Tap and hold on the app un­til the con­text menu pops up. Choose Re­move App and you’ll be pre­sented with a pop‑up with three op­tions: Can­cel, Re­move from Home Screen, or Delete.

Delete will re­move the app en­tirely, but Re­move from Home Screen will sim­ply take the icon away – it will still ex­ist in the App Li­brary where it al­ways has al­ways been.

Re­mov­ing pages of apps from the home screen

You can re­move en­tire pages of apps (and wid­gets) from the home screen, too. Tap and hold on an empty

space of your home screen to en­ter ‘jig­gle mode’ and then tap on the lit­tle page in­di­ca­tor near the bot­tom of the screen. This will bring up an Edit Pages screen where you can se­lect or de‑se­lect en­tire home screen pages. If you de‑se­lect one, it will no longer ap­pear on your home screen, but all those apps will al­ways be in your App Li­brary. What’s more, your iPhone saves those lay­outs, so you can sim­ply re‑en­able them later.

Down­load­ing apps to the App Li­brary

Once you get used to a min­i­mal­ist home screen with just a few wid­gets and app icons, it’s hard to go back to all that clut­ter. When you down­load a new app from the App Store, it’ll still ap­pear on your home screen, but you can change that be­hav­iour.

If you want new app down­loads to skip the home screen and only ap­pear in your App Li­brary, open Set­tings, tap on Home Screen, then se­lect whether you want new app down­load to ap­pear in both the App Li­brary and the home screen, or just the App Li­brary. You can also choose to show no­ti­fi­ca­tion badges (the red dots in the cor­ner with num­bers) on App Li­brary icons.

Tap the big app icons to launch the app. Tap the small four-square group to open the cat­e­gory folder

Just drag down on the App Li­brary, or tap the search box, to get an al­pha­bet­i­cal in­dex of all your apps

Long-press an icon in the App Li­brary to add it to your home screen

Just long-press an app icon to re­move it from your home screen. It will stay in your App Li­brary, if you choose

En­ter ‘jig­gle mode’ and tap the page in­di­ca­tors to dis­able or en­able en­tire home screen pages

You can down­load apps with­out clut­ter­ing up your home screen

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