iPhone Home Screen Does Not Rotate with Widgets

iPhone Home Screen Rotated

What Is Home Screen Rotation?

With some iPhone models, my iPhone 8 Plus, for example, the Home Screen rotates. This places the Dock on the right and all the app and folder icons on the left. With the Home Screen rotated, the iPhone can be used in landscape mode.

However, if you’ve recently upgraded to iOS 14 and noticed the Home Screen no longer rotates, you are not alone, and Apple did not take the feature away from you.

Portrait Orientation Lock

One reason the Home Screen no longer rotates is probably that the Portrait Orientation Lock is on. To turn it off, bring up Control Center by swiping down from the top right corner, or up from the bottom of the screen depending on your iPhone model, and tap on the lock icon ().

Home Screen Widgets in iOS 14

Another reason is something new in iOS 14, and that is Home Screen widgets. These widgets come in different sizes and they can take up the space of four, eight, or sixteen app icons. If any of your Home Screens has a widget on them, they will no longer be able to rotate.

Before iOS 14, the Home Screen only needs to worry about app and folder icons that have the same size. When it rotates, the icons stay on the same screen, just in a different place. However, in iOS 14, the Home Screen might not be able to layout the same widgets and icons on the same screen when it rotates, since these elements come in different sizes. If Apple still allowed Home Screen rotation, it would mean stuff being pushed off from one screen to another which is probably too much user experience disruption from Apple’s perspective.

So if you are finding your Home Screen no longer rotates, you’ll likely need to choose between widgets and Home Screen rotation. What is your choice? Let us know in the comments.

How to Hide Hidden Photos Album on iPhone

iOS Photos Application Icon

If you are an iPhone user, you probably know you can hide photos in the Photos app, and still be able to see them in an album called “Hidden”.

To hide a photo, simply tap on the Action button (Tap Action button and select Hide to hide photos) and then select Hide.

How to Hide Photo in iOS

Once a photo is hidden, it will disappear from the Library tab. The photo will now live in an album called Hidden, which can be found if you scroll down to the bottom in the Albums tab.

iOS Hidden Album

Hiding photos this way is good enough for most of us. However, it is still pretty easy for people to stumble upon what you’ve hidden if they looked around in your Photos app.

In iOS 14, Apple is allowing users to also hide the Hidden album.

To hide the album, go to the Settings app, tap Photos. Somewhere in the middle of all the settings available, you will see a toggle new to iOS 14 called Hidden Album.

iOS 14 New Feature - Hide Hidden Album in Photos

With the toggle turned on, the Hidden album will appear under Utilities in the Albums tab, so to really hide your photos, disable Hidden Album by turning the toggle off.

Interested in learning more about iOS 14? Check out this post! With Apple’s latest event scheduled for September 15th, we are also getting closer to the release date of iOS 14.

Back Tap – iOS 14 New Feature

iOS 14 Logo

In a recent post, we looked at a few of our favorite iOS 14 features. Now that iOS public beta 3 (18A5332f) is out, there is one more feature we love and that is Back Tap. This feature allows you to double or triple tap on the back of your iPhone to perform actions quickly.

Back Tap is built as an accessibility feature in iOS 14 and is turned off by default. To turn it on, go to Settings, Accessibility, Touch, and at the bottom, you’ll see Back Tap. Go into it and you’ll be able to choose what action to perform when you tap on the back of your iPhone twice or three times.

The list of available actions include:

System

App Switcher, Control Center, Home, Lock Screen, Mute, Notification Center, Reachability, Screenshot, Shake, Siri, Spotlight, Volume Down, Volume Up

Accessibility

Assistive Touch, Classic Invert, Magnifier, Smart Invert, Speak Screen, Voice Over, Zoom

Scroll Gestures

Scroll Up, Scroll Down

Shortcuts

Shortcuts you have set up in the Shortcuts app, and suggested shortcuts that come with iOS 14 public beta 3

I have the double tap set to open App Switcher and triple tap to run one of my shortcuts. iOS 14 public beta has been great so far, but Apple did take away my favorite 3D Touch feature which is force touching on the left bezel to activate App Switcher. Tapping on the back to switch apps is not as fast and intuitive as force touching on the bezel, but hey it’s something.

Apple giveth and Apple taketh away. 

Back Tap in iOS 14 Public Beta 3

Our Favorite iOS 14 Features and Updates

iOS 14 Logo

Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, Apple had their first-ever no-live-audience WWDC keynote on June 22, 2020. As expected, Apple announced iOS 14. Between the keynote and Apple’s iOS 14 preview page, here are 5 features and updates we love in the next iOS release. 

CarPlay Wallpaper

Starting with a really small and personal one. In iOS 14, users will be able to change the CarPlay Dashboard and Home Screen wallpapers. Apple’s WWDC demo and iOS 14 preview page suggest users will only be able to select from pictures shipped with iOS 14 – not from their own photos. But hey, it’s something. I drive a Volkswagen so my car’s interior needs some livening up – I know.

iOS 14 feature - CarPlay Wallpaper

Pinned Messages

Apple’s Messages app is one of those things that’s been keeping a lot of people in the ecosystem, myself included. However, it’s becoming a headache over the last couple of years to deal with spam messages. I get so many of them and they quickly bury the real conversations. This is why being able to pin conversations to the top of the Messages app in iOS 14 is such good news to me.

Pinned Messages in iOS 14

New Compact Incoming Calls UI

Since the introduction of the iPhone in 2007, incoming calls have always taken up the whole screen. This is anxiety-inducing sometimes. In iOS 14, incoming calls will no longer take over the whole screen. Instead, they’ll show up on the top of the screen, just like any other notification, and if you so choose, you can dismiss the banner with just a flick of your finger.

See, this is why I believe Apple is the biggest troll. This feature feels like something we should have had all along, but Apple took 13 years and 14 iOS releases to give it to us. Who’s complaining?

Incoming Calls Banner in iOS 14

Smarter Siri with New Compact UI

I use Siri a lot, but only for simple things, like conversations, translation, setting timers, and creating reminders. When I ask Siri other simple questions like how old a celebrity or politician is, instead of giving me the answer, Siri would show me web search results which I have to pick up the phone to look at. This really defeats the purpose of a virtual assistant.

Siri has been dumb for some good reasons that we will not get into here. But it’s really great to know that in iOS 14, Siri will be able to answer a broader set of questions using information across the internet without me having to browse the web – exactly what I need.

The iOS 14 Siri will also have a compact UI and no longer take up the whole screen. It will only appear at the bottom and it’ll have new animations.

iOS 14 Compact Siri UI

Enhanced calendar picker for Reminders app

This update is so small that even on the iOS 14 preview page, it’s listed at the bottom in the “Even More” section, but it’s really important and personal for me.

Ever since iOS 13, the Reminders app can contextually add the date and time as I type out the text of a reminder. However, if I want to pick the date and time manually, I need to flip two separate toggles, one for the date and the other for the time. In iOS 14, users can choose the right date and time to be reminded with a new calendar menu, quickly see the whole month, and easily scroll through months and years. 

iOS 13 Reminders App Screenshot

iOS 14 is expected to release in September 2020 with the public beta available in July.

What are some of the iOS 14 features you are looking forward to? Let us know in the comments.