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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152 Comments

1. Kdk2020

Posts: 42; Member since: Apr 27, 2016

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

3. peter.k

Posts: 77; Member since: Jul 05, 2017

Too busy designing the perfect $999 monitor stand.

9. iloveapps

Posts: 855; Member since: Mar 21, 2019

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

25. MrMalignance

Posts: 296; 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

2. BCMWorld

Posts: 59; Member since: Mar 24, 2014

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

4. Victor.H

Posts: 1064; 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: 296; 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: 443; 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: 296; 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

5. shiv179

Posts: 169; Member since: Aug 08, 2012

Wait for iOS 20 :D

6. LiveFaith

Posts: 475; 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

Posts: 539; Member since: May 18, 2018

Speak for yourself.

17. cmdacos

Posts: 4220; 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: 855; 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: 296; 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: 2304; Member since: May 04, 2015

Seems obvious he's being sarcastic.

40. Marcwand3l

Posts: 443; 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: 174; Member since: Jun 05, 2017

He is smarter than you . Its called SARCASM .

7. Poptart2828

Posts: 401; Member since: Jan 23, 2018

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

10. Nionx

Posts: 205; Member since: Oct 30, 2017

And add widgets. For the love of God!!

13. Leo_MC

Posts: 7432; Member since: Dec 02, 2011

iOS has widgets: you just have to 3Dtouch the icons and they are there.

22. Vega007

Posts: 78; Member since: May 18, 2017

I love 3D touch. I might be one of the few that actually uses it but the shortcuts are just really great.

23. Back_from_beyond

Posts: 1426; Member since: Sep 04, 2015

3D Touch is rumored to go out the window on this year's models in preparation for next year's models being unable to use the tech along with an in-screen fps.

31. wickedwilly

Posts: 701; Member since: Sep 19, 2018

IOS has a very watered down version of widgets, even in IOS 13 on the iPad it is still way behind the Android implementation they are trying to catch up to. As I have told you before you can press and hold to access more info in Android too and this is not really a widget. It looks like Apple will dump 3D touch and copy Androids method anyway.

34. Leo_MC

Posts: 7432; Member since: Dec 02, 2011

Of course you are wrong: the widgets in iOS, that can be triggered with 3Dt, have every single piece of functionality that they come with. Apple is not playing catch up with any other OS, that is its version of widget implementation; you either like it or you don't, but that's how widgets work in iOS. I don't care if "Android already has it", I only care how it will work on the device I CHOOSE.

70. Back_from_beyond

Posts: 1426; Member since: Sep 04, 2015

So you're saying that widgets by means of 3D Touch on iOS give access to the full functionality of the app... That's a big ass lie and you know it. In iOS13 however it seems 3D Touch is about to die off, giving favor to the long press implementation that's incredibly similar to what you could find on Android already. The thing is that the widgets on iOS are a far cry from the ones you find on Android. They're more like on demand pop-ups.

71. Leo_MC

Posts: 7432; Member since: Dec 02, 2011

3D touch on iOS gives access to the ful functionality of the... WIDGET. In iOS 13 3Dt is getting replaced by haptic touch.

109. Vega007

Posts: 78; Member since: May 18, 2017

I did not know Android had functionality like that. I had used Android for years and never knew that - I used widgets exclusively. On iPhone, I use 3d touch. Both have pros and cons imo.

11. iloveapps

Posts: 855; 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: 1426; 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.

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