Custom app icons slow down your iPhone
Custom app icons are the latest iPhone trend, and they look awesome. People can give their iPhone a unique aesthetic with unique icons and widget. There’s only one problem: custom app icons slow down your iPhone.
If you have set up custom app icons on your iPhone with iOS 14, you have already seen this problem in action. But, if you’re planning on setting up custom app icons on an iPhone or iPad, you need to know what you’re getting yourself into.
Update: In iOS 14.3, released on December 14, 2020, Apple fixed this issue. The Shortcuts app does not open when you tap a shortcut icon on your home screen.
Here is the problem in action
Here’s what using custom app icons looks like in action: every time you tap on one of your cute custom app icons, the app launches slower than if you just use its built-in icon .
To create a custom app icon, you’ll actually need to create a special shortcut that launches an app. You create the shortcut, give it whatever name and icon you want, then add it to your home screen. When you tap the icon, your iPhone launches the Shortcuts app for a second or two, then launches the app you want to use.
All those cute custom app icons will take you to the Shortcuts app first. All of the apps on your home screen will take an extra second or two to launch each time you tap on their custom icons.
There’s no way around this if you want to use a custom app icon on iOS 14. (The problem is the same if you’re also using custom app icons on an iPad with iPadOS 14.)
Let’s be honest: Apple never intended people to create custom app icons like this. You can use Shortcuts app for that because it’s so powerful, but Apple didn’t see that trend coming. It looks like a dirty hack because it is.
Yes, you can bypass the slowdown
Of course, you can work around this problem. Here are some ideas:
- Switch to recently used apps via app switcher rather than tapping their icons on your home screen, skipping the Shortcuts app. Swipe up from the bottom of your screen, hold your finger in place for a moment, then release your finger to find it. You can also swipe up from the bottom of your home screen and then directly to app previews on the left. Don’t swipe too fast or you’ll go straight back to the home screen.
- Have one or two beautiful custom app icon pages on your home screen so you can show off. Next, add several pages of normal app shortcuts that you can use to launch apps in a normal and quick way.
- Set up a beautiful personalized home screen with custom app icons and perfect widgets and background. You can then take a screenshot, share it on social media… and set up your normal app icons again to have a fast iPhone.
Of course, you can also live with the slowdown introduced by the Shortcuts app. Maybe you’re okay with the delays. It’s a compromise you can make.
Apple should fix this, one way or another
Apple can’t be happy that the latest iPhone customization trend involves people slowing down their iPhones. You can receive icon packs for android phonesbut they don’t slow down your phone.
Apple should respond by offering comprehensive icon customization options. People should be able to install themed icon packs and change their app icons, without involving the Shortcuts app and slowing everything down.
Or, at the very least, Apple could change shortcuts that just launch an app to launch that app immediately rather than going through the Shortcuts app. It should be possible to speed up shortcuts so they run faster.
Anyway, however, the way it works as of the release of iOS 14 is bad. Personalizing your phone is great, but you shouldn’t regret it every time you launch an app.