When Apple’s iOS 14 launched two months ago, it introduced homescreen widgets to iPhone and iPad for the first time. According to Sensor Tower Store Intelligence data and modeling, the top five most popular widget apps have been installed on an estimated 15 percent of U.S. iPhones.
Installs in the U.S.
The five most popular homescreen widget apps, which include Widgetsmith, Color Widgets, Photo Widget: Simple, WidgetBox, and Photo Widget, have collectively seen 13 million iPhone installs from the U.S. App Store since iOS 14’s public release on September 16. Their downloads peaked during the week of September 21 when they reached 3.8 million installs. So far in November, they have hit 1.7 million installs. Globally, the five apps have collectively reached an estimated 45 million installs to date.
The Customization Ecosystem
In addition to those focused on homescreen widgets, a raft of apps offering homescreen replacement icons has emerged since the iOS 14 rollout. The top five of these by downloads include Brass, App Icons, Icon Changer +, ScreenKit, and Icon Themer and have collectively reached 1.8 million iPhone installs in the U.S. since September 16. With the exception of App Icons, all launched after iOS 14, indicating that their developers were hoping to meet the new appetite for homescreen customization.
The Future of Customization
Widgets have been commonplace on Android devices for more than a decade. Over the past two months, iPhone users have shown an enduring interest in adding these useful shortcuts to their home screens as well. As the ecosystem continues to grow on Apple devices, developers have the opportunity to identify innovative ways to meet this new consumer demand and potentially achieve greater engagement via increased homescreen real estate.
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