Apple has changed the way home screen shortcuts work on iOS, making one of the nicest customization features even better than before.
Since iOS 13, you can use the Shortcuts app to customize your iPhone’s home screen app icons for just about anything. However, the feature really took off in iOS 14, as you can hide the real app icon on the home screen instead of having both the real and alias together. That led to people swarming social media to show off their custom home screens and icon packs.
But there were and always are issues with creating custom app icons with shortcuts. The most important? You don’t actually change the app̵
The second main problem made it strikingly obvious that you haven’t changed the real app’s icon. When you tap on the bookmark that was disguised as an app, iOS would open the Shortcuts app first, then the app it was associated with. That’s not a very smooth transition, to say the least.
However, with iOS 14.3, Apple is changing that. As of 14.3 beta 2, when you tap on a bookmark created with shortcuts, it will take you directly to the app while showing a less annoying banner notification to let you know your shortcut worked. It’s faster and seamless everywhere. Still, Apple could make it even better by allowing us to turn off the banner notification for an even better experience.
Now if you run the same shortcut through Siri, the Shortcuts app will still appear briefly before handing your screen over to the connected app. We hope Apple also integrates the faster, more seamless transition for Siri, but let’s just be glad we have what we have now.
Some apps offer the option to choose from user-selectable icons, which are icons hand-picked by the app developers, but few of them. Plus, it’s still limiting as you can only choose from icons the developers want you to use. That’s what makes the way of shortcuts more attractive – because you can make those icons whatever you want.
Apple’s iOS 14.3 is still in beta, which means Apple is still testing the software. Before the company officially releases 14.3 to the general public, the only way to get this feature on your iPhone is to sign up for the beta. It’s not hard to do, but you should know the risks before doing this – namely, that beta software might be buggy and you could lose your data if you don’t create an archived backup beforehand.
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