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The Hype behind iOS 14 “Customisation” shows how Apple really just needs to budge a little.

Seriously Apple this is just petty now…

So for the past two weeks iPhone and iPad users were getting really hyped over iOS 14, something which tends to be pretty common among the iOS faithful, with one or two features usually lighting some excitement in Apple fans in ways that Android or even Windows and Mac fans rarely get as hyped about. But an additional new craze has caught on with the latest update especially on iPhones: finally being able to customize your iOS homescreen…well sorta.
As the CNET video above helps illustrate and show, iOS 14 like every version of iOS before it, of course doesn’t let you completely customize your iPhone’s homescreen, Apple just simply doesn’t allow that, and it’s been something that Android and even Windows phone fans could nag Apple about for years. Well now, due to an app called Widgetsmith and the new, more customisable (and Windows Phone-esque) Widgers of iOS 14 people have spent the last 2 weeks creating the unique, customised iOS layout that they’ve wanted for years. In fact, it’s become such a trend that people all over the world are sharing their own custom homescreens on social media and it really shows one thing that Apple should probably do by now: budge. Or at least nudge itself a little when it comes to what users want. iOS has always been this restrictive, protective and “walled garden” approach to operating systems (OS), where Apple literally controls everything from the apps you can use on your phone and how they get to you to of course how the OS looks and acts, negating any deep customization from users as Apple of course believes iOS should look and work the way they want and users shouldn’t really have too much of a say in that outside of a wallpaper or so. And of course Apple fans have largely been ok with it, as they’ve been ok with a lot of sometimes inconvenient choices Apple makes for it’s products, however considering how much of a movement the customization craze has been, you really have to wonder if Apple has to be this strict about what should be basic features .

 

After all a lot of Apple’s choices sometimes make sense for them as a company, even if they’re unfair for users. For example, requiring an Apple device to use most of their key services makes sense as it pushes you to buy more Apple products. Something like customizing a screen however? Not really. After all Apple themselves are leaning a little bit into customization more and more. The basic Widget functionality is a sign of than, but in pure Apple fashion, they aren’t willing to go all the way and do exactly what people want. This is essentially the software version of adding the touchbar to Macbooks when people wanted a full touchscreen instead. People just want a simple homescreen that they can play around with a little, and for whatever reason Apple simply won’t give them that, even if the most devout of iOS users can admit that pre iOS 14 , the homescreen was becoming a mess and the app library is essentially a copy of the app drawer from Android (or the start menu list from Windows Phone if you want to get more specific). We’re at a point where Apple themselves aren’t above copying the competition, so really they should just go all the way and give into a feature that makes using an iPhone actually more enjoyable and convenient, not less. Especially if users have to go download a third-party app from a maybe-shady developer on the App Store and possibly pay extra just so they can finally get the iPhone they wanted. A conspiracy theorist would maybe say they Apple doesn’t mind because they get 30% of the money from those app purchases but even I don’t think they’re that downright evil. If anything they might be embarrassed by this janky, cluttered approach for when you launch a custom icon for an app and it has to go through Siri’s shortcuts app first. It looks terrible, and knowing Apple they might end up removing apps like Widgetsmith altogether. But honestly, if they have any inkling of wanting to give a customer what they want, they should offer native, at least basic , customization of iOS in it’s next big update. It would set the world on fire for iOS fans and maybe even push iPhone sales as obviously phones like the iPhone 7 and 8 might not get it. It’s a no-brainer! But it also doesn’t sound like something Apple would do, not based on current choices at least. But of course, I could be wrong. And I hope I am. I’ve never gone all in on iPhones because of those tiny tidbits that make me feel like I don’t truly own them and Apple does instead, and I know quite a few people that feel similar or the same way. I’m sure there’s quite a bit of us, and if Apple only showed a little more flexibility towards giving users what they actually want, they could gain a lot more than they might lose in the form of pride or “integrity”. Here’s to hoping they listen, if not for the chance of new iPhone users, then at least for the satisfaction of existing ones.

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