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iOS 14 finally brings widgets to your iPhone's home screen

A mainstay on Android but new to iOS, widgets will be available on the home screen in iOS 14.


This story is part of WWDC 2022, CNET's complete coverage from and about Apple's annual developers conference.

Though the biggest news from Apple's annual Worldwide Developers Conference Monday arguably was about its new Arm-based chips, the company's upgrades to its mobile OS, iOS 14, will also interest the millions of iPhones users eligible for the update. iOS 14 is expected later this year and in addition to organizing apps into a more manageable library view and getting picture-in-picture video, you can add and resize widgets on your home screen. Widgets display more information and functionality than simple app icons and give you more opportunity to personalize the look of your home screen.

The concept of widgets is nothing new -- it's been a mainstay feature on Google's Android since its conception in 2008, and the now-discontinued Windows Phone allowed you to resize important apps for a more dynamic home screen.

But while Apple iOS is known for its user-friendly interface, it's also more rigid when it comes to user customization. Before iOS 14, you would have to swipe through pages and pages of app icons in a single size organized in a strict grid. In iOS, widgets will let you put more emphasis and capabilities on your most-used apps.

Besides additional software announcements such as iPadOS 14 and updates to Apple Maps, this year's WWDC is notable for its all-virtual format due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Apple CEO Tim Cook began the keynote by thanking those working on the front line of the pandemic, as well the Black Lives Matters movement and the company's $100 million commitment to its Racial Equity and Justice Initiative.

Now playing: Watch this: First take: iOS 14 and all its new features