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 widgets. There’s only one problem: Custom app icons slow down your iPhone.

If you’ve set up custom app icons on your iPhone with iOS 14, you’ve already seen this problem in action. But if you’re planning to set up custom app icons on an iPhone or iPad, you need to know what you’re getting into.

Update: In iOS 14.3, released December 14, 2020, Apple fixed this issue. The Shortcuts app doesn’t open when you tap a shortcut icon on your Home screen.

Here’s 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 used 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 of these cute custom app icons will take you to the Shortcuts app first. All the apps on your home screen will take an extra one or two seconds to launch each time you tap their custom icons.

There is no way around this if you want to use a custom app icon on iOS 14. (The problem is the same if you are also using custom app icons on an iPad with iPadOS 14.)

Let’s be honest: Apple never wanted people to create custom app icons this way. You can use the Shortcuts app for this because it’s so powerful, but Apple didn’t see this trend coming. It sounds like a dirty hack because it is.

RELATED: How to use custom app icons on your iPhone and iPad

Yes you can bypass the slowdown

Of course, you can work around this problem. Here are some ideas:

  • Switch to recently used apps through the app switcher rather than tapping their icons on your home screen, ignoring the Shortcuts app. Swipe up from the bottom of your screen, hold your finger in place for a moment, then release it to find it. You can also swipe up from the bottom of your home screen and then directly to the app previews on the left. Don’t swipe up too quickly or you’ll be taken straight back to the Home screen.
  • Have a beautiful page or two of custom app icons on your home screen for you to show off. Then add several pages of normal app shortcuts that you can use to launch apps in a normal and fast way.
  • Set up a beautiful personalized home screen with custom app icons and the perfect widgets and background. You can then take a screenshot, share it on social media… and set up your normal app icons again for a fast iPhone.

Of course, you can also live with the slowdown introduced by the Shortcuts app. Maybe you’re ok with the delays. It is a compromise you can make.

RELATED: How to Create Custom Widgets on iPhone

Apple should fix this problem somehow

Apple can’t be happy that the latest iPhone personalization trend involves people slowing down their iPhones. You can get icon packs for Android phones, but they don’t slow down your phone.

Apple should respond by offering full icon customization options. Users should be able to install thematic icon packs and change their app icons, without involving the Shortcuts app and slowing everything down.

Or, at the very least, Apple could change the 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 the shortcuts so that they run faster.

Either way, the way it works from the release of iOS 14 is bad. The personalization of your phone is great, but you shouldn’t regret it every time you launch an app.

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