Your iPhone’s Home Screen with iOS 12 - dummies

Your iPhone’s Home Screen with iOS 12

By Edward C. Baig, Bob LeVitus

The first page of your iPhone’s Home screen offers a bevy of icons, each representing a different bundled app or function. To get to the first Home screen, press the Home button. If your iPhone is asleep when you press the button, the Unlock screen appears. Once unlocked, you’ll see whichever page of icons was on the screen when your iPhone went to sleep. If that screen happens to have been the first Home screen, you’re golden. If it wasn’t, merely press the Home button again to summon your iPhone’s first (main) Home screen.

Three steps let you rearrange icons on your iPhone:

  1. Press and hold down on any icon until all icons begin to jiggle.
  2. Drag the icons around until you’re happy with their positions.
  3. Press the Home button to save your arrangement and stop the jiggling.

The first iPhone Home screen with iOS 12

If you haven’t rearranged your icons, you should see the following apps on your first Home screen, starting at the top left:

  • FaceTime: Makes FaceTime video or voice calls to others using Apple devices. New to iOS 12 is Group FaceTime calls.
  • Calendar: Synchronizes events and alerts between your computer and your iPhone, no matter what calendar program you prefer on your Mac or PC (as long as it’s Calendar, Microsoft Entourage, Outlook, or Exchange, or the online calendars from Google or Yahoo!). Create an event on one, and it’s automatically synchronized with the other the next time they’re synced. Neat stuff.
  • Photos: Displays pictures that you took with the iPhone’s built-in cameras, transferred from your computer, received through email, saved from Safari, or acquired as part of your Photo Stream. You can zoom in or out, create slideshows, email photos to friends, and much more. Other phones may let you take pictures; the iPhone lets you enjoy them in many ways.
  • Camera: Shoots a picture or video with one of the iPhone’s built-in cameras.
  • Mail: Sends and receives email with most POP3 and IMAP email systems and, if you work for a company that grants permission, Microsoft Exchange accounts, too.
  • Clock: Displays the current time in as many cities as you like, sets one or more alarms, and makes your iPhone act like a stopwatch or a countdown timer.
  • Maps: Displays street maps or satellite imagery of locations around the globe. Also provides driving, walking, and public transportation directions, traffic conditions, and even the location of a nearby pizza joint. This app is among our favorites.
  • Weather: Monitors the six-day weather forecast for as many cities as you like.
  • Notes: Enables you to type notes while you’re out and about. New in iOS 12 are finger-sketching tools, checklists, and support for images in notes. You can send the notes to yourself or anyone else through email or save them on your iPhone until you need them. And now your notes can be synced with your other devices via iCloud if you so desire.
  • Reminders: Integrates with Calendar, Outlook, and iCloud, so to-do items and reminders sync automatically with your other devices, both mobile and desktop. This app may be the only to-do list you’ll ever need.
  • News: Delivers the news you want to read in a beautiful, uncluttered format.
  • Stocks: Monitors your favorite stocks, which are updated in near real-time.
  • iTunes Store: Accesses the iTunes Store, where you can browse, preview, and purchase songs, albums, movies, and more.
  • App Store: Enables you to connect to and search the iTunes App Store for iPhone apps you can purchase or download for free over a Wi-Fi or cellular data network connection.
  • Books (formerly iBooks): Enables you to purchase and read e-books.
  • Health: Gathers info from fitness devices and other health apps to provide a clear and current overview of your health on an easy-to-read dashboard.
  • Home: Controls HomeKit-compatible lights and appliances.
  • Wallet: Stores Apple Pay credit cards as well as gift cards, coupons, tickets, boarding passes, and other passes, all in a single convenient location.
  • Settings: Adjusts your iPhone’s settings. If you’re a Mac user, think System Preferences; if you’re a Windows person, think Control Panel.

The second iPhone Home screen with iOS 12

You probably won’t find the icons we’re about to describe on your Home screen — at least not on the first (main) one. These apps usually appear on the second Home screen. If you just can’t wait to see them, swipe your finger across the screen from right to left and they’ll appear like magic.

Outside the Utilities folder

In addition to the Utilities folder, you find several additional icons on the second Home screen:

  • Tips: Provides tips for using your iPhone and iOS 12.
  • Podcasts: Manages podcasts on your iPhone.
  • Find iPhone: Displays a map with the last known locations of your family’s iPhones (assuming it’s enabled on each misplaced phone before it was misplaced).
  • Find Friends: Shows a map with the locations of friends who have consented to being tracked by Find my Friends.
  • Contacts: Stores contact information, which can be synced with iCloud, macOS Contacts, Yahoo! Address Book, Google Contacts, and many more.
  • Files: Displays documents saved on your iPhone or saved in the cloud to iCloud, Dropbox, or several other cloud-based storage services.
  • Watch: Manages features on your Apple Watch. It’s useless unless you have an Apple Watch.
  • TV: Stores your movies, TV shows, music videos, video podcasts, and some iTunes U courseware. It’s also a path to streamed programming available from myriad sources, including Comedy Central, HBO, and every major TV network.

Inside the Utilities folder

In the Utilities folder, you find these icons:

  • Voice Memos: Turns your iPhone into a convenient handheld recording device.
  • Compass: Adds a magnetic needle compass inside your iPhone, but better.
  • Measure: Measures things. To use this cool virtual reality-measuring tool, you just point it at an object and see its dimensions!
  • Calculator: Performs addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. Give the phone a quarter turn, however, and you’ll find a nifty scientific calculator that does all that and much more.

The iPhone dock (all Home screens) with iOS 12

Finally, four icons at the bottom of the Home screen are in a special area known as the dock. When you switch Home screens, all the icons above the dock change. The four items on the dock, which follow, remain available on all Home screens:

  • Phone: Lets you use the iPhone as a phone. What a concept!
  • Safari: Opens Safari, your web browser. If you’re a Mac user, you know that already. If you’re a Windows user who hasn’t discovered the wonderful Safari for Windows, think Internet Explorer on steroids.
  • Messages: Exchanges text messages (SMS) and multimedia messages (MMS) with almost any other cellphone user. The app also lets you exchange Apple-exclusive iMessages with anyone using any Apple device with iOS 5 or higher (iDevice) or a Mac running Mountain Lion (OS X 10.8) or higher. We’ve used a lot of mobile phones in our day, and this app is as good as it gets.
  • Music: Unleashes all the audio power of an iPod right on your phone.

If the four apps on the dock aren’t the ones that you use most, move different apps to the dock.