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How to use the app library on your iPhone and iPad

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How to use the app library on your iPhone and iPad

The App Library is one of the biggest features announced for iOS 14 (you can read our iOS 14 review to learn more about the new features). It’s a way to organize your apps that allows you to get away from the ever-expanding app pages that you may have had before.

Your apps are collected into auto-generated categories and are easily accessible from there. You can even turn on a setting that will prevent newly downloaded apps from appearing on your home screen and only appearing in the library instead.

Find the app library

The app library is really very easy to find. Just swipe left to go to the last page of apps or widgets, then swipe once more.

You’ll see the app library right away, filled with pre-populated categories like Productivity or Games. There’s also a category full of your most recent downloads, as well as a set of suggested apps, with suggestions powered by on-device machine learning.

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Once you’re in the app library, you can launch apps directly from their categories, or even expand the categories to see all the apps it contains.

How to add an application to the application library

Although technically all your apps are already in the app library, if you want an app only they appear in the library, instead of on the home screen, here’s how to do it.

  1. Keep your finger on app for a second to bring up the context menu.
  2. Faucet Remove apps in the context menu.
  3. Faucet Add to library.

    Source: iMore

How to set app downloads to only appear in the app library

If you don’t want downloaded apps to appear on the home screen, you can enable an option in Settings to make sure they only appear in the App Library.

  1. Open Settings on your iPhone.
  2. Faucet Home screens.

    Set app downloads to only appear on the home screen showing the steps to open the Settings app and then tap Home Screens

    Source: iMore

  3. Faucet App library only to keep new apps off the home screen.
  4. Tap on the Show in app library toggle it on or off to control whether or not notification badges appear in the app library.

    Set app downloads to only appear on the home screen and show steps to tap Only in app library and then Show in app library if you want notification badges to appear in app library

    Source: iMore

How to open category apps in the app library

When you want to open an app from the app library, you might have a couple of questions on how to do it. If you head over to the library and tap on one of the smaller icons you see, that app will launch. But what if you want to delve into a category?

  1. Swipe to the Application library.
  2. Touch one of the larger icons in an application category if it is the application you want to open.

    Open category apps in the app library showing the steps to swipe to the app library and then touch a large icon to open it directly

    Source: iMore

  3. Tap on the smaller icons to open the category.
  4. Find and touch the app you want to open.

    Open category apps in the app library showing the steps to touch a grouping of small app icons to access the app pool category

    Source: iMore

If you don’t want to dig into the categories, you can always search the App Library.

  1. Swipe to the Application library.
  2. Tap on the Search bar at the top of the screen.
  3. Enter the name of the app want to use.

    Searching in the app library which shows the steps to swipe to the app library then tap the search bar then type the name of the app you want to search

    Source: iMore

How to find the alphabetical list of apps in the app library

You can also browse the application library in an alphabetical list.

  1. Swipe to the Application library.
  2. Swipe down on the Application library.
  3. Tap on the app you are looking for in the list. Their apps are in alphabetical order, so what you’re looking for should be easy to find.

    Showing apps alphabetically in app library showing the steps to swipe to app library, then swipe down and then tap on the app you want to open

    Source: iMore

How to hide a page from the home screen

In combination with the application library and home screen widgets, you can also customize a home page and hide it until you want to use it. For example, you can customize a home screen page with just the apps you use for work, and then hide it at night and on weekends so you won’t be distracted by work while you relax.

  1. Keep your finger in a blank spot anywhere Home screen page to activate jiggle mode.
  2. Touch series of points at the bottom of the home screen page. These dots represent the number of home screen pages you have.
  3. Uncheck the Home screen page you want to hide.

    Edit the home screen pages showing the steps to activate motion mode by pressing and holding a place on the home screen for one second, then tap the series of dots at the bottom of the screen and then uncheck the page of the home screen you want to hide

    Source: iMore

When you hide a page from the home screen, it will no longer appear on your home screen. You can create and customize any number of home screen pages to suit your lifestyle, and then hide them until you need them. All of your apps are still on your iPhone and can be accessed from your App Library.

How to display a home screen page

Hiding a page from the home screen doesn’t mean it’s gone forever. You can get it back at any time and even have a variety of home screen pages for different occasions.

  1. Keep your finger in a blank spot anywhere Home screen page to activate jiggle mode.
  2. Touch series of points at the bottom of the home screen page.
  3. Check the Home screen page you want to show.

    Edit the home screen pages showing the steps to activate motion mode by pressing and holding a place on the home screen for one second, then tap the series of dots at the bottom of the screen and then bookmark the page of the home screen you want to display

    Source: iMore

App Library on iPadOS 15

Apple occasionally offers updates for iOS, iPadOS, watchOS, tvOS, and macOS as previews closed to developers or public betas. While the beta versions contain new features, they also contain pre-launch bugs that can prevent normal use of your iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, Apple TV, or Mac, and are not designed for everyday use on a primary device. That’s why we highly recommend staying away from developer previews unless you need them for software development, and using public beta versions with caution. If it depends on your devices, wait for the final release.

iPadOS 15 has introduced the App Library on the iPad, which means you can get the same benefits and benefits that the iPhone App Library brings to the table.

The good news is that the app library functionality in the iPadOS 15 beta appears to be identical to the iPhone, which means that all of the steps above should work fine on the iPad to achieve the same results.

The great thing about iPadOS is that the app library is on your iPad Dock, which means you don’t have to search for it like you do on iOS. You can open it by just tapping on the App Library icon in the right corner of your Dock.

Questions?

If you have any questions about using the app library, let us know in the comments. Don’t forget to check out our pick for the best iPhone if you’re thinking of upgrading this year.

** Updated June 2021: * Updated to include information about the iPad app library on iPadOS 15.

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