Apps for Customizing iOS 14 Home Screens Installed on 15% of US iPhones

With the launch of iOS 14 in September, Apple introduced Home Screen widgets for the first time, ushering in an unprecedented wave of customization for the iPhone.

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Several apps quickly emerged allowing users to personalize their ‌Home Screen‌ with custom ‌widgets‌ and icons, and new research by Sensor Tower reveals that almost 15% of iPhone users in the U.S. have installed at least one app to do just that.

The Sensor Tower report tracked the download numbers of five of the most popular ‌Home Screen‌ widget apps – Widgetsmith, Color Widgets, Photo Widget: Simple, WidgetBox, and Photo Widget – and found that they had been downloaded from the U.S. App Store 13 million times since ‌iOS 14‌ was released on September 16.

Installs peaked during the week of September 21, reaching 3.8 million downloads, and this month they have hit 1.7 installs so far. Collectively, the five apps have reached an estimated 45 million installs across the globe to date.

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When it comes to apps that offer replacement icons for other apps, the top five include Brass, App Icons, Icon Changer +, ScreenKit, and Icon Themer, which have collectively reached 1.8 million ‌iPhone‌ installs in the U.S. since September 16, according to the research.

As the report notes, ‌iPhone‌ users have maintained their interest in adding Android-style custom ‌widgets‌ to their Home Screens over the past two months, and with the recent news that custom app icons no longer route through the Shortcuts App in iOS 14.3 Beta 2, that interest is only likely to continue.

Related Roundups: iOS 14, iPadOS 14

Top Rated Comments

69Mustang Avatar
14 weeks ago

This works just like democracy, it's good to give the average user the power to customize his phone, just do not expect him to use it wisely.

I mean, I am yet to see a customized Home Screen that looks better than a Home Screen with stock icons.
Subjectivity being what it is, I'd bet none of those customized home screen users think your opinion has merit as it relates to their decisions. They probably also think their creations look better than your (assumption here based on your quote) un-customized home screen. As long as the phone owner likes their home screen look, custom or not, outside opinions don't really mean much.
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
iDento Avatar
14 weeks ago
This works just like democracy, it's good to give the average user the power to customize his phone, just do not expect him to use it wisely.

I mean, I am yet to see a customized Home Screen that looks better than a Home Screen with stock icons.
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
NightFox Avatar
14 weeks ago

Subjectivity being what it is, I'd bet none of those customized home screen users think your opinion has merit as it relates to their decisions. They probably also think their creations look better than your (assumption here based on your quote) un-customized home screen. As long as the phone owner likes their home screen look, custom or not, outside opinions don't really mean much.
Always makes me think of this:



Attachment Image
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
PickUrPoison Avatar
14 weeks ago

And Steve was right. He knew that people are going to “rape” the design philosophy of a product just like back in the days. I see a lot of ugly customized screens by Android users. Apple should stop people letting customize the icons.
Eh, what’s the big deal. Let the kids (and adults) do what they want. Sure, those are ugly screens, but who cares? To the end user, maybe that’s the most beautiful screen they’ve ever seen!! There’s no accounting for taste ?‍♂️
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
steve23094 Avatar
14 weeks ago
Hang on.... I have a problem with the title of the article. ‘Installed on...’? It should be ‘downloaded by’. There is a big difference between downloading and using an app or downloading it to later delete it or never use it.

I know I have downloaded and played with shedloads of apps over the years, but have nothing to do with them now.

Ask yourself this: do you still use every app you have ever downloaded?

EDIT: Reading the source article their terminology is slightly better. They only use the phrase, ‘installs’, not ‘installed’. Which more accurately describes the situation. ‘Installed’ = still installed. Yes, pedantic I know, but journalists should have a good grasp of grammar.

EDIT EDIT: I mean technically you could argue the case for the title of the Macrumors article. But it gives the wrong impression.

/rant over. Sorry.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
GeoStructural Avatar
14 weeks ago

And Steve was right. He knew that people are going to “rape” the design philosophy of a product just like back in the days. I see a lot of ugly customized screens by Android users. Apple should stop people letting customize the icons.
Yeah... we don't deserve to customize the device we paid $1200 for... people who think like you are the reason why Apple gets away with all they do.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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