If you're an organization junkie and an iPhone user, iOS 14 brought you a new tool: the App Library, which lets you organize your apps into labeled groups so they're easier to find. In fact, all of your current apps are there now, and any apps you download in the future will be placed there too. (You can choose to have the apps appear on your home screen as well. We'll tell you how later in this article.)
This new feature can be very useful, especially if you tend to download a lot of apps.
The app library will appear as a separate page on your home screen. After updating to iOS 14, just keep swiping left. The app library is the last page you went to.
It automatically organizes your apps into folders labeled with a variety of categories. For example, mine after the update to the new OS included Recently Added, Utilities, Productivity and Finance, Social, Creativity, Information and Readings, Games, Entertainment, and Health and fitness "and" travel ". Each folder is divided into four quadrants. Each quadrant shows an icon for an app. If a folder contains more than four apps, the remaining icons are shrunk and grouped into a single quadrant.
You can open an app directly from the icon in the app library. If the app is part of a group of smaller icons (and therefore too small to type), tap anywhere in that quadrant. The entire category fills your screen so you can choose the app you want.
The app library organizes your apps into categories.
Tap a group of small icons to open the category.
Long press an app in the app library. You can delete them via a pop-up menu, use one of their functions or – if it does not already exist – copy the icon to your home screen. (This does not remove it from the app library.)
If you can't find an app, select the search box above. You will get an alphabetical list of your apps. You can either type in the name of the app you want or scroll down to find it.
A long press offers a variety of options.
If you can't find an app, tap the search box.
However, you cannot decide where in the app library the new app will appear. For example, I installed an app called NYC 311 that provides notifications and information for the city. It ended up in the Recently Added folder and as far as I could tell, it was. I have to assume that it will automatically switch to another category if it is no longer considered current. I couldn't create my own category or move the app to another existing category.
Move apps to the app library
If you want to clean up your home screen, you can remove icons so they only appear in the app library. For a single app:
- On the home screen, long press the app you want to add.
- Tap "Remove App".
- Tap "Move to App Library".
To move an app to the app library, first select "Remove app".
You then have the choice to move the app to the app library.
You can also remove a number of home screen apps at once by long-pressing an empty area on your home screen. Tap the minus icon in the corner of each app that you want to remove from the home screen and select “Move to App Library”.
If you want to keep your home screen clean, you can choose to show newly installed apps only in the app library.
- Go to Settings> Home Screen
- Select either "Add to Home Screen" or "App Library Only". You can also choose to show notification badges in the app library.
To change where apps appear for the first time, go to the Home screen setting.
Apps can be downloaded to your home screen or to the app library.
As mentioned earlier, the App Library is an interesting addition to the iOS arsenal that allows for better organization of apps and a cleaner, less cluttered home screen. However, the lack of personalization is a significant limitation, at least for me. Unlike Android, you cannot create your own groups or decide which app to include in which group. With any luck, Apple will improve the functionality in the coming months.