Hiding Home Screens on iOS 14 Helped Reduce My Anxiety
iOS 14 brings with it a lot of new features including widgets being available across the various home screens on the phone, and updates to certain UI elements like Siri and incoming calls etc. One of the smaller features that really caught my eye was the ability to hide (or switch off) an individual home screen on the phone.
I’ve been using iOS 14 since the first developer beta got released, and while it’s a small feature it might require a bit of understanding of my usage of iOS to understand why I find it so great.
On my phone, I have one screen dedicated to what I’d class as “work apps”, apps I exclusively use for my day job. Things like Basecamp, Slack, Email and GitHub all reside on this screen. Most of them are set to only show badges for notifications, and not to send push notifications to me.
Before iOS 14, I would swipe between pages on my phone, notice one of these apps had a new notification, and open it. Almost instinctively, without actually thinking about it consciously. I was struggling to switch off completely from work over the weekend or when I was away on holiday. It turns out there were some people who agreed with me, when I first shared that I did this…
Holy shit this is a game-changer— Sean Spooner (@spoonersean) June 26, 2020
Not for hiding work apps, but to add more resistance into the process of habitually opening dopamine-inducing apps that steal our attention every 4 minutes
Hello iOS 14!
But now, with iOS 14, I’m able to simply hide that screen. The apps are still there, there’s nothing weird, or different going on, it’s just not visible to me.
On a Friday at 12:30 (I work half-days), I’ll switch off the “Work Screen”, and enjoy my weekend. Then on Monday morning, after I’ve checked my emails/Slack/Basecamp on my Laptop, I’ll re-enable the screen, and will start the week at zero pending notifications on my phone.
Removing this screen has been immensely helpful when taking holidays as well during the week, with work still continuing. If I want to check-in, then I can do that at a point I choose, by just searching for the app itself.
Overall, by no longer seeing a sea of red notification badges, I’m more able to relax, and have much lower levels of anxiety when swiping through screens on my phone. Being able to disconnect from work is great, and sometimes fundamental changes like this one iOS 14 make it easier without adopting any more tedious workarounds (eg, putting all apps in a folder).
There are so many other great iOS 14 features coming, but I really would just love to see the ability to independently switch Notifications on (or off) per app between specific times. But for now, Do Not Disturb helps a lot with that late-night switch off as well.
How do I do this?!
The screenshot above shows how the user can select which screens are displayed or hidden. You can see the screen that’s currently unselected is my own “Work Screen”.
To activate this, enter wiggle mode by editing the homescreen, then tap on the bottom screen indicator section. Then tap on the screen that you want to show (or hide), and click Done.