How to customize the new Home app in iOS 16

There’s a major redesign coming to Apple’s HomeKit Home app with iOS 16 this fall. I recently previewed all the news coming to the smart home platform, but I wanted to do a short tutorial on one of my favorite news: customization.

In the new Home app, the options for customizing the on-screen display of smart home devices, Rooms and Favorites have been significantly improved. You can rearrange the Home view to bring out the most used rooms or set your Favorites or camera feeds as the first thing you see when you open the app.

You can also rearrange individual buttons for your devices, such as lights, locks, and curtains, just like organizing apps on an iPhone’s home screen. This means that the most used smart lights or door lock can be in an easier place to quickly touch with your thumb, and you can put two related items closer together.

New icons are available to help identify a light based on its type (table lamp or ceiling light, for example) or to quickly differentiate other devices such as lampshades and smart sockets. Scenes, which can set multiple devices to change status at the same time, now have multiple icons plus the option to choose a color for each scene. And finally, there are new wallpaper choices to give the app personality.

You must be running iOS 16 to use the new Home app; the app is available on all Apple devices, including iPad, Mac and Apple Watch. It will be released this fall, but there is a public beta that you can download today if you can’t wait.

Here’s how to get started customizing your iOS 16 Home app on an iPhone.


How to reorder rooms and groups on the Home View page.

Personalize the Home View screen

Home View is the screen that opens when you launch the Home app for the first time. You can also access it by tapping the Home icon in the bottom menu bar. Home View is where all controllable devices in your HomeKit home are displayed, sorted into Rooms and Favorites. There are also scenes and camera groups here. Now you can rearrange them to better suit the way you use the devices.

Reorder the sections in your Home view

  • Open the Home app on your iPhone.
  • Tap the three dots in the top right corner to open the Menu.
  • To select Reorder the sections.
  • You will see a list of all rooms and groups (cameras / favorites / scenes) shown in the initial view.
  • Touch and drag the three horizontal lines next to a room or group and drag the selection to the desired position in the main view.
  • Blow Doneand your Home View will be rearranged.

You can now rearrange device buttons and panes just like you can organize apps on your iPhone home screen.

Edit the tiles in your Home view

  • Open the Home app on your iPhone.
  • Tap the three dots in the top right corner to open the Menu.
  • To select Change initial view. (You can also long press on any button / tile and select Change initial view.)
  • All tiles will go into “jiggle mode”.
  • Drag any square where you want on the screen. You must remain in your designated Room.
  • You can rearrange any panes on the main screen, including the new shortcut buttons at the top, Scene panes, and Camera panes.

You can also resize any tile in the Home view if it is below the Room.

  • To do this, tap the tile when it’s in jiggle mode.
  • A resize arrow will appear in the upper right corner.
  • Tap it to make the tile large and again to make it small. There are two size options.

You can now banish that forgotten smart plug by hiding a device from Home view.

Hide a device from the main view

If your Home View is cluttered with a lot of devices that you rarely access in the app, you can hide them to keep your Home View a little neater.

  • Open the Home app on your iPhone.
  • Long press on a device tile and select Remove from Home view.
  • The box will disappear from the main view but will still appear in the single room view.
  • To bring it back to the main view, find it in the room view, long press and select Add to initial view.

There are a ton of icons in the new Home app, especially for scene customization.

Customize the icons in the Home app

Customizing icons for devices and scenes can make it easy to quickly find what you’re looking for. In the new Home app, there are now 15 options for icon lighting (compared to the previous 10), while other categories have redesigned the icons to make it clearer that the icon represents, for example, a ceiling fan or a fan table.

The biggest change in terms of icons is in the scenes. There are now over 100 new icons, compared to just 12 in previous versions. You can choose a crackling fireplace, birthday cake, book, or ghost emoji to help you encapsulate what your scene will bring to your home. Also, you can now assign one of 12 colors to your scene.

Change the icon for your light or other devices

  • Open the Home app on your iPhone.
  • Long press the device you want to change the icon for.
  • Faucet Accessory details from the pop-up menu.
  • Click the Settings icon in the lower right corner (or swipe up from the bottom).
  • Tap the current icon.
  • A menu of icons will appear.
  • Select the new one.
  • Faucet Done.

Change the icon for your scene

  • Open the Home app on your iPhone.
  • Press and hold the Scene button you want to change.
  • Tap the icon.
  • A menu of icons and colors will appear.
  • Select the icon and color you prefer.
  • Faucet Done.

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