Over my 20-odd years of writing about mobile tech, I have fluctuated between iOS and Android several times. This last move back to iOS – and the one that’s going to stick – was borne out of security frustrations and the completely broken software update process on Android. But there were two features of Android that I desperately wanted in iOS and, until iOS 14, was simply not an option. The first were Widgets which I used a lot on Android. The other was an App Drawer. I somewhat get that in iOS 14 with the App Library.
The beauty of the App Drawer on Android was that I could install an app, removed it from my Home screen, but it would still be on my device in the drawer. I could then open up the drawer and use the app but not necessarily take up Home screen space with it. Up until iOS 14, that hasn’t been an option on an iPhone. You install an app, you get it on your Home screen, leading to pages of apps and seemingly endless scrolling (one of my personal pet peeves). With the App Library, Apple has somewhat solved the problem. Within iOS 14, you can tell the platform where to install the app: On your Home screen or in the App Library. The feature isn’t perfect but it is good, really good.
On your iPhone running iOS 14, open up Settings and navigate down to Home Screen. Tapping it will bring up the options page with the first option to tell your iPhone where to install apps. You can have it install them on the Home screen like you’ve always been able to do or you can have it install into the Library (and the second option lets you see notifications on those apps in the Library).
Now my only compliant with how Apple has implemented this feature is that it is binary: You cannot change this per-app install. It would be ideal if you could have the option to be asked on each install of an app but I also understand why Apple didn’t do that: It’s one more step in the install process.
Regardless, I’m happy to see this new feature as it allows me to install apps but keep those rarely used ones in the App Library and not occupying space on my Home Screen.