Rita Howells gives really good information about using the IOS 14’s App Library with VoiceOver

The App Library, In iOS 14: Rita’s iDevice Advice for September 21, 2020

Note: below there will be a link to listen to a M4A Audio tutorial posted by Matt Vollbrecht with the Tech Juggernaut at

How to Use the iPhone App Library

A new feature introduced in iOS 14 is the iPhone App Library. The App Library automatically sorts your apps into folders and also offers an alphabetical directory where you can search for any app you have downloaded. This takes away the difficulty of searching through your Home screen for lesser-used apps, and offers helpful suggestions when you’re not sure which of your apps would best suit your purpose.

In addition to being able to put Widgets on your home screen, you can now remove apps without uninstalling them. A new top-level screen called the App Library contains all the apps installed on your iPhone. Mastering the App Library is key to keeping a tidier and organized iPhone and quickly being able to find the app you want. Here is how the App Library works.

App Library organization: Once you install iOS 14, you will find the App Library to the right of your last home screen. Just keep swiping and you will soon be there.

Note: when running VoiceOver, perform a 3 finger swipe gesture (from right to left) to advance screens of apps, until you get past the last page of apps and then the App Library will appear with one more 3 finger swipe gesture.

You can also get to the App Library by selecting the Page selector, which is located just above the Doc and is represented by dots. If you have 5 pages of Apps, then there are 5 dots in the page selector area. You can flick up and down with one finger to go forward and backward through the pages of Apps on your iOS device. When you keep flicking up, you will go past the last page of apps and then there will appear the App Library. If you keep flicking down, you will arrive at the "Today View" which used to be Page 1 in prior versions of the iOS.

When you do get to the App Library, you do not have to organize this screen. All your apps will appear in little four-square boxes. The upper left box is always Suggestions. This will show four apps that Siri has determined you are likely to use based on the time of day, your location, etc. It gets smarter the more you use your iPhone, and the suggestions are calculated entirely on your device. No data about your app use, habits, or location is ever shared.

In the upper right you will find Recently Added, which is self-explanatory. It shows apps you have most recently installed. Tap the big app icons to launch the app. Tap the small four-square group to open the category folder. Beneath that are four-square folders that are auto-arranged by app category. Apple automatically determines to which category an app belongs, Each of these boxes will show three full-size app icon together with a little four-icon grouping in the lower right. Apple does not make it clear, but if you tap a full-size app icon the app will launch. If you tap the little four-icon grouping, you will open up a view of all the apps in that category. The category boxes themselves are not always in the same place. They will reorder themselves based on which apps you use most often.

Searching the App Library: If you do not want to open and close the app category boxes looking for the app you need, search is the way to go. Just drag down on the App Library, or tap the search box, to get an alphabetical index of all your apps. Tap the search box at the top of the screen, or swipe down anywhere on the screen, and you can search by name or scroll through an alphabetical list of all the apps on your iPhone.

Adding apps to the home screen: If there is an app in the App Library that is not on your home screen, it is easy to add. Just tap and hold on an app icon until you see the context menu, and choose Add to Home Screen. If an app already exists on your home screen, you won’t see that option. Long-press an icon in the App Library to add it to your home screen.

Adding an app to your home screen does not remove it from the App Library it will always contain all the apps on your iPhone. You can also enter jiggle mode and drag apps off the left edge of the App Library to place them on your home screen.

Removing individual apps from the home screen: If you want an app to exist in the App Library but do not want an icon on your home screen, that is easy to do. Tap and hold on the app until the context menu pops up. Choose Remove App and you will be presented with a popup with three options: Cancel, Remove from Home Screen, or Delete. Just long-press an app icon to remove it from your home screen. It will stay in your App Library, if you choose. Delete will remove the app entirely, but Remove from Home Screen will simply take the icon away, and it will still exist in the App Library where it always has been.

Removing pages of apps from the home screen: You can remove entire pages of apps (and widgets) from the home screen, too. Tap and hold on an empty space of your home screen to enter jiggle mode and then tap on the little page indicator near the bottom of the screen. Enter jiggle mode and tap the page indicators to disable or enable entire home screen pages. This will bring up an Edit Pages screen where you can select or de-select entire home screen pages. If you de-select one, it will no longer appear on your home screen, but all those apps will always be in your App Library. Your iPhone saves those layouts, so you can simply re-enable them later.

Downloading apps to the App Library: Once you get used to a minimalist home screen with just a few widgets and app icons, it is hard to go back to all that clutter. When you download a new app from the App Store, it will still appear on your home screen, but you can change that behavior. You can download apps without cluttering up your home screen. If you want new app downloads to skip the home screen and only appear in your App Library, open Settings, tap on Home Screen, then select whether you want new app download to appear in both the App Library and the home screen, or just the App Library. You can also choose to show notification badges (the red dots in the corner with numbers) on App Library icons. Remember, all your apps are always in the App Library.

More instructions for Accessing the App Library with iOS 14

1. Swipe to the last page of apps on your Home screen.

2. Swipe to the left one more time.

You are now in the App Library

1. Scroll down to see all the groupings your iPhone has created for you.

2. Tap on the small grouping of 4 in the lower right-hand corner of your screen to see all the apps in that category.

Use the Search Function

If you already know what you’re looking for, the Search function will help pull it up quickly. To search by name just:

1. Tap the Search bar at the top of your screen.

2. Type in the name of the app you’re looking for.

3. Alternately, you can use the alphabet scroller on the right side of the screen to search for an app alphabetically. You can also pull this up by swiping down when you have your App Library open.


Notes and link to Audio Recordings from Matt Vollbrecht with

just wanted to let you know that I have begun releasing a series of tips, tricks, and demos of various iOS 14 features with Voiceover. The first two are I think highly sought after – App Library with VO, and Calendar with VO. You can find them on my website, right on the main page, under the Latest Posts. I also suggest subscribing to following the Blog by e-mail, as more posts like this will be released over the next several days.

The web address is:


The new Home Screen widgets and widget stacks, the App Library, and how to hide Home Screen pages, all while using Voiceover.

ios14-homescreen.m4a <>

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