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Apple rumored to 'finally add' long-awaited iOS home screen feature that Android has had for 15 years

Apple rumored to 'finally add' long-awaited iOS home screen feature that Android has had for 15 years

If the rumors are true, this could be a total game-changer.

People have been asking Apple to let them do one small thing to their iPhone home screen for years now, to no avail.

Finally, though, reports suggest that when iOS 18 arrives alongside the iPhone 16 lineup later this year, it's going to bring that all-important change with it.

If you've ever tried to customize your iPhone's home screen look, with apps exactly where you want them, then you'll have noticed one potentially annoying aspect of the software.

NurPhoto / Contributor / Getty
NurPhoto / Contributor / Getty

Ever since it launched, Apple hasn't let people have empty spaces in their home screen layouts - your apps go in a list, from left to right and top to bottom, arranged on a grid.

It means that you can't ever have a gap on a given row - if you add a new app to it, it'll always slide into place alongside the last app.

Not everyone loves this. It means that you can't, for example, place apps near the bottom of your display for easier one-handed access while on the move, unless you fill up the whole screen above them with other apps.

The system is all the more frustrating since Apple has spent the last couple of years making its iPhone easier than ever to customize, including the addition of nice widgets that take up big chunks of space.

Thankfully, though, it looks like a solution could finally be planned. Journalist Mark Gurman, a major industry insider and often the first source of big news from Apple, has indicated in his latest newsletter at Bloomberg that the home screen will finally get gaps in iOS 18.

NurPhoto / Contributor / Getty
NurPhoto / Contributor / Getty

And there's more to the write-up. Gurman says that the update could also see major changes in the form of a tie-in with AI, whether that's a partnership with OpenAI (which makes ChatGPT) or another provider like Google, which has its own Gemini chatbot (previously called Bard).

Exactly what features that would bring to an iPhone isn't clear yet, but with many other phone-makers jumping aboard the bandwagon and offering AI-enhanced features, it's possible that Apple is next to make a move.

According to Gurman, Apple's own enthusiasm about chatbots is quite low, as demonstrated by the fact it hasn't made one of its own for the public, so a partnership makes sense on that front.

iOS 18 will be properly unveiled later this year, most likely in September if Apple sticks by its tried-and-tested schedule for annual iPhone events.

Featured Image Credit: NurPhoto / Contributor / THOMAS URBAIN / Contributor / Getty