iOS 18 could offer more iPhone Home Screen customization — columns, blank spaces, and more

An iPhone 15 Pro Max against an abstract blur swirling background.
(Image credit: Gerald Lynch / Future / Apple)

iOS 18 is set to give you more control over your iPhone’s Home Screen, matching up to what Android users have been able to do for years.

As first reported by Mark Gurman at Bloomberg in his ‘Power On’ newsletter, the reliable Apple leaker mentioned that, in the upcoming software update to the iPhone, “there will be a new Home Screen that will be more customizable.” He followed this up in a tweet where he said you’d be able to place apps freely on this new Home Screen. MacRumors followed up on this, explaining that you’ll be able to add blank spaces, columns, and rows in iOS 18.

Letting users add blank rows and columns could allow for more personalization to a Home Screen — such as one page that only has one row of fitness apps in the middle, or another that only displays a column of apps to the right.

This would be a huge shift in how an iPhone’s Home Screen has looked, breaking away from the rigid grid system that’s been in place ever since the device debuted in 2007. Being able to freely arrange apps and allowing for blank spaces is something that Android users have similarly been able to do since day one, with greater positioning flexibility making it easier to leave room for grouped apps and widgets. In recent years, Apple has been refining the Home Screen — iOS 14 added widgets, with interactive widgets being introduced in iOS 17.

With Apple allegedly anticipating iOS 18 to be its biggest iPhone OS update in years, expect it to debut at WWDC 2024, Apple’s yearly developer conference, rumored to be arriving in June again, as in previous years.

What else could be in iOS 18?

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Blank spaces and rows won’t be the only feature to reportedly debut with iOS 18 later this year. Artificial intelligence is set to be all over the upcoming update. Rumored features include Apple Music being able to generate playlists with Apple’s own AI model, as well as Siri rumored to be getting a glow-up by giving faster, more reliable answers to queries. Messages, Pages, Keynote, and Xcode are also rumored to be getting some key AI features to help you create graphs, presentations, and more.

Over the past year, AI has been implemented in a lot of products — such as Microsoft CoPilot, and Adobe FireFly, AI assistant features added to Windows and the Adobe editing suite respectively. Yet Apple has not announced any AI-focused software features. It did mention how its new M3 MacBook Air, introduced earlier this month, could be “a great platform for AI.” But not much more than that.

So we’re still waiting to see just what Apple will bring to the table with its AI software push. With WWDC 2024 allegedly coming in under three months, we may not have long to wait to see what the company has been preparing behind the scenes.

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Daryl Baxter
Features Editor

Daryl is iMore's Features Editor, overseeing long-form and in-depth articles and op-eds. Daryl loves using his experience as both a journalist and Apple fan to tell stories about Apple's products and its community, from the apps we use everyday to the products that have been long forgotten in the Cupertino archives.

Previously Software & Downloads Writer at TechRadar, and Deputy Editor at StealthOptional, he's also written a book, 'The Making of Tomb Raider', which tells the story of the beginnings of Lara Croft and the series' early development. He's also written for many other publications including WIRED, MacFormat, Bloody Disgusting, VGC, GamesRadar, Nintendo Life, VRV Blog, The Loop Magazine, SUPER JUMP, Gizmodo, Film Stories, TopTenReviews, Miketendo64 and Daily Star.