Customizing your iPhone’s homescreen took off last year when iOS 14 introduced widgets and the ability to hide default app icons in favor of your own cool, customized ones. But iOS 15 opens up a new dimension to homescreen customization, thanks to Focus modes — which give a quick and easy way to hide and reveal groups of homescreens with just a single tap. Here’s how to do it:
Focus modes are ostensibly an extension of Apple’s Do Not Disturb mode — the intended idea behind the feature is that you can tie specific homescreens to different use cases, like having a work homescreen with your calendar and email widgets that automatically pop up when you’re in the office, and a regular homescreen with social media apps and music widgets for when you’re off the clock.
But since Focus modes let you choose homescreens, you can also use them to quickly swap between a slate of custom-themed icons that you’ve made with matching shortcuts and widgets, without having to manually hide all your homepages every time.
To use the new feature, you’ll first need to set up a Focus mode — fortunately, we’ve already got a guide here on how to do that.
You’ll also need to set up your themed homescreen with widgets and custom icons, which you can learn how to do here.
Once you’ve done all that, you’ll want to go to Settings > Focus, select the specific Focus you want to use to trigger your custom homescreen or screens. Then select the Home Screen menu, toggle the “Custom Pages” switch, and select the homepages you’d like to appear when you enable the Focus mode. Then, all you have to do is turn on your Focus mode, and your phone will turn into your perfect themed style whenever you’d like.
If you’re really willing to go the extra mile, though, you can take advantage of Shortcuts and create an automation that changes your iOS wallpaper whenever you turn on that Focus mode. Unfortunately, this doesn’t work great — at least with the current iOS 15 beta — but it is an option for those willing to muck around with Shortcuts.
All of this is still a lot of effort for a themed homescreen, of course. But unless Apple relents and gives us better customization tools next year, the new tricks in iOS 15 are the best way to get your homescreen looking stylish.