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Home / Tips and Tricks / iPhone's Smart Stack widget in iOS 14 is great, but here's how you can improve it

iPhone's Smart Stack widget in iOS 14 is great, but here's how you can improve it

  iOS 14

iOS 14 brings some major and minor refinements to iPhones, including the ability to pin widgets to your home screen and a feature called Smart Stack.

Patrick Holland / CNET

When Apple releases iOS 14 this fall, the home screen of your iPhone looks very different . There is a pseudo app drawer called App Library that allows you to delete the endless panels of apps we all have. And for the first time, you can now move widgets from the Today View and to your home screen . Yes, it is very similar to Android . Apple's signature widget is called Smart Stack, and it combines several app widgets that you can browse yourself, or let your iPhone decide which app to show you and when, based on how you use your phone.

For example, if you check the weather and your calendar first, the Smart Stack will likely contain both apps and automatically show you the forecast followed by your calendar the first time you unlock your iPhone in the morning. Then, if you routinely check your activity stats after eating, the stack will show you the Activity widget around that time of the day.

But you don't have to leave the stacking of the widget to Apple. You can also create your own Smart Stack and compile the included apps as you see fit. Below we show you how to adjust a stack.

Remember, iOS 14 is in early developer beta and not yet completed. The features highlighted below may and are likely to change before it releases later this year. We will update this post when Apple reports changes.

Read more : Hands-on preview of iOS 14

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Create a Custom Smart Stack Just as You Would an App Folder

You don't need to learn new steps or techniques to build your own stack – if you've ever uninstalled an app or rearranged your home screen, you are more than prepared. If not, it is still easy.

Before iOS 14, you had to long press an app icon to activate the Edit Home Screen feature. That method is still available, but there is now a shortcut:

1. Long press your screen between the apps in the dock and the first row of apps on your home screen, like this: [19659017] you can now press an app icon or a blank space on your screen to edit your home screen.

GIF by Jason Cipriani / CNET

2. Tap the + icon in the top left corner of the screen and scroll through the list of available widgets.

Find one of the widgets you want to include in your personalized stack. You can drag and drop the widget onto your screen or tap + at the top of the screen.

Note that widgets you add to a stack must be the same size, so you cannot have one small, two medium, and three large widgets in your stack. I recommend dragging and dropping additional widgets onto your home screen. It saves you a step because you will eventually move it yourself.

Keep stacking widgets until you are satisfied.

GIF by Jason Cipriani / CNET

3. Stacking widgets follows the same process as creating an app folder – drag one widget over the other.

Repeat that process and add widgets until you are happy with your creation. You can scroll through your stack at any time or have your iPhone automatically switch for you. As far as I know now, there is no limit to the number of widgets you can add to a stack. I found three or four the right place – I was able to scroll through it quickly and find the information I wanted, without feeling too much trouble.

Browse it yourself or let your iPhone decide what you see.

GIF by Jason Cipriani / CNET

4. If you change your mind and want to delete a widget or change their order, long press the stack and then select Edit Stack from the pop-up menu. Change the order by dragging the name of each widget up or down.

You can delete a widget by swiping left over its name to display the Delete button.

You can organize or delete widgets with just a few taps.

GIF by Jason Cipriani / CNET

Pretty cool, right? We've found many more features in iOS 14 that we love so far including quite a few accessibility features that will be a huge help. Here's how you can help test iOS 14 now if you are a developer.

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