There’s no doubt that support for actual bonafide widgets on the home screen is the biggest change to come to iOS 14, and while some would argue that it’s long overdue (and they’d be right), Apple has taken the time here to do a good job of implementing it.
As soon as you install iOS 14, the original “Today” screen found to the left of your first home screen will be populated with the new-style widgets to give you a taste of them, but don’t worry, your original widget arrangement remains in place further down, and you can just remove or adjust these new ones if you don’t want them there.
More significantly, however, you can put any of these widgets onto any of your home screens, simply by picking them up and dragging them on as you would any other app, which will drop the widget onto your home screen exactly as it appears on the Today screen. Your app icons will automatically flow around the new widget, and if you like you can even set up individual home screens made up entirely of widgets, with no app icons at all.
Note that apps will have to be updated for iOS 14 to offer widgets that can be placed on the home screen, so while all of your older widgets will still show up on the Today screen, you can’t move these onto other home screen pages right now — they remain stuck on the Today screen until developers begin releasing the iOS 14 versions of their apps, which of course won’t arrive until after the public release of iOS 14 in the fall.
More Widget Styles
If you want more customized widgets, however, you’ll need to add them instead from the new plus button that appears in the top left corner when editing a home screen. This will give you a complete list of the widgets that are available, with some suggestions and previews, and tapping on one will let you choose which of the three sizes you want it to appear in.
However, for some widgets you may find there’s more to select than just the sizes. For example, Apple’s News widget lets you choose to either show a widget containing today’s top news, or pick a specific topic to follow. Also, not all widgets are available in all sizes.
Some widgets will also let you customize what info they show, but you’ll have to do this after you’ve added them to your home screen. Tapping and holding on a widget will bring up a context menu, much like it does for an app, and if an “Edit Widget” option appears you can configure additional options, such as choosing what news topic to show for the topical News widget, or what location to use for the Weather widget.