Angel Dollface

Everyone's favorite doll!

By Angel Dollface at 2023/02/05

Truly owning your device.

In a consumer world in which many people buy many things the question always arises "How much do you own what you buy?". Some people are content with just using whatever it is for the lifespan of the product in the way it was intended to be used and do not think beyond that. Others think that companies do not ship certain features "out of the box" and therefore feel the need to change something in the product they own. The most famous dichotomy of these two approaches has been Android vs. iOS. The former allowing for a lot of customisation and the latter not at all. Is that still the case, though?

Apple and customisation.

Traditionally, Apple products aren't made for people to tinker with them. Android fanpeople often make fun of iPhone owners for not being able to customize their device as much as their Android device lets them. However, Apple has recently taken a more open approach with customization, introducing features that have been on Android for many years and are only now being introduced to Apple's operating system for iPhones, iOS. Recently, they completely surprised everyone with a radical move.

A new chapter: iOS 14.

This radical move was an update to iOS, pushing the version to iOS 14. iOS 14 allows users to set custom icons for different apps that they frequently and, most importantly introduces widgets. Widgets are small bits of software that allow users to display pieces of information that is relevant to them. This could be the current time, temperature, or anything else an iOS user might desire. Unsurprisingly many developers have risen to the challenge and written apps that offer different types of widgets for different users. Because iOS 14 offers this freedom, people have come up with their own icon packs and wallpapers. These, in conjunction, are called "themes".

Themes: Wallpapers and icon packs.

Setting a wallpaper is always the first part of customizing your device. Doing this is very simple: First, head to your "Images" app. Pick a picture. Click on the icon that looks like an arrow coming out of a box. Click "Set as wallpaper." Click "Both."

The second part, setting custom icons, is a bit more complicated. First, download a set of icons you would like to use. Make sure that your icon image files show up in the "Images" app. Head to your home screen. Add a new home screen. This is for backup purposes, in case you do not like your new home screen. Next, head over to the "Shortcuts" app. If you don't have it on your device, don't worry. You can download it from Apple's App Store. Once you have the app open, click the little "+" button. Then click "Open App". If you cannot see "Open App", search it up in the search bar that will appear. Assuming you've clicked "Open App", search for the app you'd like to associate the shortcut with. If you can't find it, you can also search for it. Once you have the app selected, click the "Share" button. You will be directed to a screen where you can customize your shortcut. Click the default icon. Choose one of your icon image files. Click "Next" and "Next". The new shortcut should now be on your home screen. Unfortunately, you will have to do this for every app you want on your home screen. I therefore advise to choose just a few that you use frequently. If you'd like a pre-built icon pack, allow me to introduce you to the Yume Kawaii Theme.


To get widgets on your homescreen, download the app Widgetsmith. After you've done that, try to add a widget to your homescreen. Choose the app "Widgetsmith". You can go with one of the stock widgets that Widgetsmith has. If those are too boring, opne the app and craft your own widget. There are more options for crafting your widget. If you pay, you can get some more customization options. That's it!

The Yume Kawaii Theme for iOS 14.x+.

Although iOS 14 came out a whole while ago, I only recently researched how the customization of one's iOS home screen can be done. Because I wanted something cute and homemade, I created my own theme. The theme is titled Yume Kawaii which means girly cute in Japanese and some of the icons and the wallpaper are inspired by Asian themes. You can get it here for roughly $ 2.50 on Etsy. If you buy it, you're supporting me and buying a theme that has been made with lots of love and thought.