It has been years since Apple has really integrated any “customization” features into iOS. That all is changing with iOS 13+ and iPadOS as we now have Dark Mode and a few other new features like Today’s View, a denser icon grid, and additional options for home screen app arrangement.
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Customize app icons on iPadOS
The Home Screen on iPadOS already allows for more app icons to be viewed, along with the ability to view the Notification Center. However, with the latest iPadOS, users can now adjust whether they want to have more screen real-estate or larger icons.
For some iPhone models, this is already available with the help of Display Zoom. The Standard view shows more content, while the Zoomed view gives you larger icons and larger controls.
With iPadOS this is bumped up a notch as there is a new settings section for Home Screen & Dock features.
Here is how you can customize app icons on iPadOS:
- Open Settings
- Choose Home Screen & Dock
- Find options under App Icons
- For older iPadOS versions, tap on Display & Brightness and scroll down to the bottom under Home Screen Layout
From here, you are able to adjust the home screen app icon size between “More” and “Bigger”
- More – Displays up to 30 smaller app icons on each page
- Bigger – Displays up to 20 larger app icons on each page
This is absolutely fantastic for iPadOS users, as it gives you just a bit more customization and control over your Home Screen.
What’s the catch?
While it’s all fine and dandy to be able to adjust your app icon sizes, that doesn’t mean there aren’t any caveats.
With the recent update to iPadOS, the same rings true, as there are some potential issues for those wanting bigger icons.
The first of which is the inability to have your widgets stay on your Home Screen.
This functionality was introduced with iPadOS and gives users easier access to those. With the “Bigger” selection chosen, you are instead greeted with the traditional Home Screen layout.
Another caveat to changing your icons to the “Bigger” selection comes down to the grid layout.
Under the standard format, you have a desktop grid of 6 x 5, providing up to 30 icons. This is true regardless of whether you are in landscape or portrait mode.
When making the change to Bigger, Apple gives users a 5 x 4 grid in landscape and 4 x 5 in portrait. If you are someone who doesn’t like folders and has a lot of apps, be prepared to see them spread out across multiple pages.
Pinned Widgets and Home Screen widget shortcuts
Apart from the app icon sizes, iPadOS also features additional widget features that allow you to personalize your home screen space. These include pinned widgets and a tighter app grid.
Furthermore, by taking a few extra steps, you can easily attach your favorite shortcuts to your home screen widgets.
If you do not like the new pinned widgets feature, you can customize your Home Screen to remove the widgets altogether.
Not seeing Today View on your iPad’s Home screen?
- Go to Settings > Home Screen & Dock (for older iPadOS versions, Settings > Display & Brightness)
- Adjust your app layout if desired, choosing between More (more apps) or Bigger (larger icon size)
- Scroll down to Today View
- Toggle on Keep Today View on Home Screen
Today View blank?
If you set your Home Screen layout to show Today View but it’s not appearing, try swiping up on that area (left side of the screen in landscape view) to bring it up.
If that doesn’t work, reset your home screen’s layout
- Go to Settings > General > Reset
- Tap Reset Home Screen Layout
No Shortcuts showing in Today View?
- Go to Settings > Shortcut
- Toggle on Allow Untrusted Shortcuts
If you don’t see this setting or its gray, it’s likely you do not have any untrusted shortcuts on your device.
Either create your own shortcut, run a shortcut you already have, or go to the shortcut store/gallery and download one of the shortcuts. Run that shortcut and then check again for that setting.
This functionality is really awesome as it gives users even more control over how they view their iPadOS Home Screen. Additionally, this kind of came out of left-field, but, has us even more excited about what Apple is doing with iPads.
If you run into issues when trying to switch between these two modes, let us know in the comments and we’ll be happy to help. In the meantime, sound off and let us know about your favorite iPadOS feature to date.
Andrew is a freelance writer based on the East Coast of the US.
He has written for a variety of sites over the years, including iMore, Android Central, Phandroid, and a few others. Now, he spends his days working for an HVAC company, while moonlighting as a freelance writer at night.