iOS 13 is great, but when will Apple finally allow users to freely move icons on the iPhone home screen?

This article may contain personal views and opinion from the author.
iOS 13 is great, but when will Apple finally allow users to freely move icons on the iPhone home screen?
Apple's latest iOS 13 is the holy grail of updates that iPhone power users have been asking for years: the latest update brings users the freedom to have a pretty much full-fledged file manager on an iPhone, it even has a downloads manager in the browser, things that we thought we would never see on iOS. Apple has also finally fixed the volume HUD that used to appear right in the center, blocking what you were viewing, and it's now changed to a much more discreet volume bar that appears on the side of the screen.

So... Apple, can we finally freely move the icons on our home screen now?

We are referring to the fact that while you can rearrange icons on your iPhone home screen, they snap to the fixed top-to-bottom grid and you cannot leave empty spaces or just place a few icons at the bottom of the screen without having anything at the top. And that can be just maddening. If you are like me and want to have a clean home screen with just a few icons on it, you want those icons to be at the bottom of the screen where you can easily reach them with your finger, so you don't need to stretch all the way up to the top of the phone. And this really seems like the simplest of features that every Android phone has had for years now.


Apple, however, stubbornly refuses to change this one simple setting.


How frustrating is that? For many users, it is very frustrating. A quick Google search would quickly surface dozens of forum threads dating back years ago with expletives over the inability to freely arrange icons on iPhones.


But what is the logic behind this? Why does Apple restrict iPhone users this way? Simple: snapping apps to a grid as iOS has done helps avoid a messy home screen. Snapping to a grid means that there will be no empty spaces on the screen and everything will look equally spaced. Plus, knowing that you cannot do much with icon management, means you will not fall in a trap of customization for customization sake. I understand, there is merit to this argument, but would it really be so hard for Apple to provide an OPTION to those who want it, so those users can take control of their own home screen? I would not even mind if Apple hides this option somewhere in Accessibility Settings, away from the average user so as not to confuse them, same as it has done with Automatic Brightness controls.

Apple is obviously changing its walled-garden philosophy and iOS 13 is a prime example. After all, for many people their phone has already become their main and often only computer, and allowing it to do more in a more open way makes sense. So we do hope that one day we will be able to freely move icons on iPhones. We just hope this day and this simplest of changes comes sooner rather than later.

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31 Comments

33. darkkjedii

Posts: 31817; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Never.

21. Vega007

Posts: 95; Member since: May 18, 2017

I have been preaching this forever: Apple please add anchor points in the Accessibility Settings for Top Left, Top Right, Bottom Left, Bottom Right. That's it. That is all I need and all I so humbly ask for.

20. firebird191

Posts: 8; Member since: Jun 05, 2019

Apple could have hidden lots of features in Accessibility settings that could not confuse the average user. So why not? Why is there no Always on?

18. LouisMariano5

Posts: 66; Member since: Sep 22, 2014

apple needs to do the following.... slide up from the middle for control center slide down from the middle for notifications create something similar to samsungs edge panel for quick access apps... (they already have "slideover" on the iPad) so put that on the iPhone and give it samsungs edge panel functionality. And allow users to put apps in app drawer Finally allow five icons on the dock. Between five icons on the dock and 10 or 12 quick app accessibility in "slideover" that should be enough quick use apps to keep everyone happy. THEN THE IPHONE WOULD BE HEAVENLY :)

132. Vokilam

Posts: 1503; Member since: Mar 15, 2018

That’s stupid. How are you gonna access control center while inside app or game? Sliding up from the middle of screen would probably initiate another action inside app. Slide down for notifications already exist and fully customizable. Quick access apps are already available either from the left or slide down from middle for frequently used apps - slide down is my most used gesture. You can create as many app drawers as you want in iOS and leave nothing on springboard screen - try sliding one app into the other - it will create a folder and then go nuts after that if you want! You can also lunch any app while the phone unlocks (Face ID or Touch ID). Tap power button (iPhoneX) and say the App name , or hold home button (older iPhones) and say the app name - app will launch instantly.

133. MrMalignance

Posts: 371; Member since: Feb 17, 2013

@Vokilam: are you talking about the recently used apps section? Btw, I appreciate your input. You are way clearer than leo, and you actually state facts and have descriptions to back up what you're saying. To be honest, I don't think many people care how fast they are on their app drawer or springboard, until they need it. That's just an opinion formed by experience and talking to others who have Android's or iPhones. Side note: I'm not ignoring Leo's point, he was just unclear and pressing the worng points home, unlike you. You presented clearly and did a very thorough job of keeping everything organized and concise. If only you had done this earlier, this discussion wouldn't have ballooned to this many comments. I almost forgot, thank you for not arguing about Victor wanting something. Basically half of the discussion was about Victor not being allowed to have an opinion.

15. maherk

Posts: 7113; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

When they're done with copying Android features.

11. iloveapps

Posts: 909; Member since: Mar 21, 2019

I like apple putting more and more features that are useful and not just gimmicks and customization. If you want then jailbreak it at your own cost.

12. Back_from_beyond

Posts: 1493; Member since: Sep 04, 2015

I use customization to get things done faster on my phone. Apple's ancient way of doing things is very restrictive, takes longer and feels very counterproductive. But I suppose for people with simple minds like you, it's a godsent, just one thing at a time.

28. MrMalignance

Posts: 371; Member since: Feb 17, 2013

@iloveapps: it's good that you enjoy their way of doing things. Just make sure that you don't make up stuff to talk trash about Android, since you apparently have very little experience with it

10. Nionx

Posts: 208; Member since: Oct 30, 2017

And add widgets. For the love of God!!

7. Poptart2828

Posts: 527; Member since: Jan 23, 2018

Apple knows their fans very well. That's all there is to say.

6. LiveFaith

Posts: 534; Member since: Jul 04, 2015

You guys should give this a rest. The superior iOS is superior in ever way for every user. We DON'T need to move our icons from the optimized Apple algorithm that's smarter than us. Now in a couple of years Apple will make the change and allow this. You'll know it by hundreds of "spontaneous" articles heralding this latest invention. THEN, and only then, will people actually need to move thier Icons. And Apple will be leading the pack while all the others will attempt to catch up to thier innovation.

8. JCASS889 unregistered

Speak for yourself.

17. cmdacos

Posts: 4429; Member since: Nov 01, 2016

iOS doesn't do anything for me. The parental control-like restrictions that are out in place because users are assumed to be morons and the inability to avoid Apple's horrible core apps with other defaults is not worth the hassle.

30. iloveapps

Posts: 909; Member since: Mar 21, 2019

Yeah, apple not doing great with their core apps and android is more superior with their customization apps in play store as the core app. Sucks!

27. MrMalignance

Posts: 371; Member since: Feb 17, 2013

@LiveFaith: so you are saying 1. You (personally) don't need to move your icons, because apple said so, and therefore no one else wants to. 2. Apples algorithm is smarter than you, and therefore you believe everyone else is equally dumb. 3. In a few years apple will allow icon movement but ,somehow via arcane magic or pseudoscience, Android will forget how to do this and then struggle to catch up with something that's been native since it began. I kinda hope you're trolling or something

47. TheOracle1

Posts: 2340; Member since: May 04, 2015

Seems obvious he's being sarcastic.

40. Marcwand3l

Posts: 466; Member since: May 08, 2017

"We DON'T need to move our icons from the optimized Apple algorithm that's smarter than us." You are not a very smart person it seems it you think that a simple algorithm that auto-arranges icons starting from the top left corner is smarter than you.

81. slim3bdo

Posts: 186; Member since: Jun 05, 2017

He is smarter than you . Its called SARCASM .

5. shiv179

Posts: 205; Member since: Aug 08, 2012

Wait for iOS 20 :D

2. BCMWorld

Posts: 60; Member since: Mar 24, 2014

After 2020 iHahaha the time when they will make a 5G maybe?

4. Victor.H

Posts: 1129; Member since: May 27, 2011

5G is a whole different story. If I were Apple I would not rush to 5G either for the 1% of the population that currently have it.

26. MrMalignance

Posts: 371; Member since: Feb 17, 2013

I have to second that. 5g isn't a race to first, it's going to be a marathon to who does it best. Coverage is too spotty to throw all chips on one hand

39. Marcwand3l

Posts: 466; Member since: May 08, 2017

But nobody is rushing 5G in the first place. Apple is simply late with 5G, they are not waiting for anything.

41. MrMalignance

Posts: 371; Member since: Feb 17, 2013

A lot of phone manufacturers are touring their 5g phones. Without having a steady and active 5g network, it feels like they're jumping the gun a bit. I can't vouch for apple, because I use Android, but it just seems as though they're biding their time. That's just my opinion though

1. Kdk2020

Posts: 42; Member since: Apr 27, 2016

On today's story of "Why doesn't Apple do this"

3. peter.k

Posts: 79; Member since: Jul 05, 2017

Too busy designing the perfect $999 monitor stand.

9. iloveapps

Posts: 909; Member since: Mar 21, 2019

Good thing apple provides a $999 stand instead of crappy android OS and cheap android hardwares.

25. MrMalignance

Posts: 371; Member since: Feb 17, 2013

Lmao, have fun wasting that much for a stand while Android users use the "crappy os and cheap android hardwares" (yes, apparently hardwares is now a word) to do things apple is going to get in a few years

* Some comments have been hidden, because they don't meet the discussions rules.

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