iOS 14.3 fixes the most annoying part of custom app icons with shortcuts « iOS & iPhone :: Gadget Hacks


Apple has changed how home screen shortcuts work on iOS, making one of the coolest customization features even better than before.

Since iOS 13you can use the Shortcuts app for customize your iPhone home screen app icons just about anything. The feature really took off in iOS 14, however, since you can hide the real app icon from the home screen instead of having both the real and the alias together. This has led to people flooding social media to show off their personalized home screens and icon packs.

But there always were and still are problems with creating custom app icons with shortcuts. The main ? You are not actually changing the app icon. Instead, you create a “bookmark,” a fake app that tells iOS to launch the real app — much like an alias on desktops.

The second main issue made it obvious that you didn’t change the actual app icon. When you tap on the bookmark disguised as an app, iOS first opens the Shortcuts app, then opens the app it’s linked to. It’s not a very smooth transition, to say the least.

With iOS 14.3, however, Apple is changing that. From 14.3 beta 2, when you tap on a bookmark created with Shortcuts, it takes you straight to the app while showing a less obtrusive banner notification to let you know your shortcut worked. It’s faster and more transparent all around. Still, Apple could make it even better by letting us turn off the banner notification for an even better experience.

The faster transition in iOS 14.3 (left) compared to iOS 14.2 (right).

Now, if you run the same shortcut through Siri, the Shortcuts app will appear again briefly before passing your screen to the connected app. We hope that Apple will also integrate the faster and more seamless transition for Siri, but let’s just be happy to have what we have right now.

Some apps give the ability to choose from user-selectable icons, which are icons handpicked by app developers, but they are rare. Moreover, it remains limited since you can only choose from the icons that the developers want you to use. This is what makes shortcuts more appealing, because you can create these icons however you see fit.

Apple’s iOS 14.3 is still in beta, which means Apple is still testing the software. Before the company officially releases version 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 be aware of the risks involved before doing it – namely that beta software is potentially buggy and you could lose your data if you don’t create a archived backup beforehand.

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