How to customize your new iPhone’s home screen with Smart Stacks and Siri Suggestions


Widgets have proven to be the most popular iOS 14 feature, allowing users to give their home screens an added layer of personalization. iOS 14 includes two built-in widget options that aim to use Siri intelligence to help further personalize your iPhone home screen widgets.

If you’ve just unwrapped a new iPhone this holiday season, here’s how to take your iPhone’s home screen to the next level with Smart Stacks and Siri Suggestions.

Siri Suggestions widgets

If you’re the type of person that relies heavily on swiping down to access Siri app suggestions in Spotlight search, the Siri Suggestions widget is an excellent consideration for your home screen widget. The Siri Suggestions widget will surface relevant actions “based on your usage patterns.”

There are two different Siri Suggestions widgets:

  • App Suggestions: Get app launch suggestions based on your usage patterns (Available in medium size)
  • Shortcut Suggestions: See relevant shortcut actions based on your usage patterns (Available in small, medium, and large)

My personal favorite here is the App Suggestions widget, which will present a rotating selection of app icons based on what Siri intelligence thinks you might be looking for. For example, if you commonly log your lunch in MyFitnessPal around the same time every day, the App Suggestions widget will present the MyFitnessPal icon around that time of day.

In fact, once you add the App Suggestions widget to your home screen, the app icons will look just like any other app icons. It’s a pretty nifty use of Siri intelligence, and one of the cooler widget implementations by Apple.

To find these widgets, long-press on your iOS 14 home screen to enter jiggle mode, look for the “+” in the upper-left corner, then look for “Siri Suggestions” in the list of widgets.

Smart Stacks

One of the Apple widget types in iOS 14 is a Smart Stack, which intelligently stacks multiple widgets together based on factors like time of day and Siri intelligence. By default, you can pick a prebuilt Smart Stack from the widget picker, but you can also create custom stacks of widgets.

This means you can pick different widgets and stack them on top of one another, then swipe between them. To do this, simply add one widget to your home screen, then go back to the Widget Gallery and choose another and drag it on top of the first widget. You can stack many different widgets together, then swipe through them directly from the home screen.

Once you add a Smart Stack widget to your iOS 14 home screen, you can you can long-press on it, choose “Edit Widget” and enable or disable the “Smart Rotate” feature. This feature will automatically rotate through the widgets in the stack based on time of day and Siri intelligence.

Find more third-party apps with iOS 14 features such as home screen widgets, App Clips, and more in our full roundup.

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