Apple doesn’t offer true individual customization of its products or interfaces for its users, and if anyone wanted to customize the look of their Apple products – specifically their home screens – they’ve been around for a while. With the release of iOS 16 in September, there is an opportunity for Apple to give consumers the required autonomy.
The only cell phones I had were a Nokia (shout for snake, My first love), Blackberry, iPhone, and none of which I fully customize.
I’m currently using my 7th iPhone, and I’ve always accepted that my phone’s home screen looks simply how it looks. Sure, I can “tweak” the home screen layout with enterprise apps, widgets, and folders, but I’ve never been able to make it more me – You know, how Android users can optimize their phones With them. That all changed this week when I tried to customize my phone’s home screen with two icon packs I bought on Etsy.
Using this article as my reference — as well as its author, my colleague Michael Potock — I’m slowly becoming familiar with Shortcuts, Widgetsmith, and everything in between needed to create a custom home screen aesthetic on my iPhone. This is what I had to do – which I will never do again because it took so long.
Choose an icon pack
First of all, the huge number of icon packs available on the internet is enormous. It’s fun for a minute to browse through the options, but I quickly lost interest and patience; It’s a bit like the difference in shopping at the mall versus an independently owned store.
You can find free icon packs, get icon packs from Etsy, or make your own (although I hear that’s tricky), and there are, quite literally, tens of thousands of packs to choose from. I spent about five minutes online before deciding on this $6 icon pack, and it got to work.
Download multiple zip and PDF files
This step was where things started to hurt, even if at first, it was only small. Using instructions from an Etsy seller, I had to download zip and PDF files, drag them to the desktop, open them, and then open the folders the zip created, all of which was pretty boring. Once I had access to folders of icons and widgets, of course I had to choose Which Icons and widgets I wanted out of the hundreds available in the icon pack – I really had no idea how bad it could be.
Copy and paste the icons in the pictures
I didn’t expect this step to be so daunting, but Wonderful Was it ever. You have to refer to the apps you already have on your phone with the corresponding icons from your downloaded zip folders, and Then You have to copy and paste those symbols into the images. Make sure iCloud is synced employmentor you won’t be able to access the codes you chose on your phone.
Use shortcuts to redesign apps
Enter: the absolute center of my frustration with customizing the Apple Home screen.
I’ve never been so familiar with an app the way it has come to be with Shortcuts during this process, and I’m sure I’ve barely scratched the surface of everything Shortcuts can actually do.
I don’t even know where to start.
Basically I had to open the shortcuts, hit the + sign in the top right corner, click on “add action”, type “open app” in the search bar, then click on “open app” under “scripting” and then choose from a list With the apps I have on my phone for customization One who are they.
Let’s say I wanted to customize the Instagram app.
Once I chose Instagram, I had to click on the three little blue lines in the top right corner, choose “Add to Home Screen,” rename the app, choose the iCloud synced photo to accompany the app, and finally, tap “Add.” Salah. Honestly, this is all exaggerated as far as I’m living it all over again, and I hate that I feel compelled to write about it, but here we go.
At this point in the process the app came in handy with the icon pack I purchased, downloaded, copied and pasted into images, then effectively redesigned the shortcuts to match, to my delight. I then had to redesign via the shortcuts with every app I want on my home screen, which took at least two hours. Now, the fun part?
Aesthetics above all
If you’re like me – someone who likes things to look even and consistent – this part of customizing your home screen can take hours. You have your apps redesigned and turned into shortcuts! It’s the right color palette (you think)! I’ve renamed every app to lowercase (except WhatsApp) for reasons you can’t explain so eloquently!
Even if you’re not like me, and are more creative with the way you use space, deciding how you want to use your clean home screen with your new, lively app icons can also take hours. Important note here, which takes extra time: when tidying up your home screen, you need to long press on the original apps to “remove from home screen” to smooth out the clutter and make room for your shortcuts, being careful not to delete The original app – otherwise your shortcuts won’t work.
I really like how my phone looks now after a full morning of customizing my home screen, but there still Issues.
The gray widget calendar at the top, for example, doesn’t actually sync to my iCal, but it does open the Widgetsmith app – something I had to download to build this particular widget in the first place; There is no workaround for this, lest I download a third-party calendar app, and I surely not. This means that I have to either swipe right on my home screen to access the actual calendar or search for it in the dropdown. When I mentioned it to my co-worker Kyle – an Android user – his only response was “omg.” Oh my God really.
Plus, every time I open any of my newly created dirt apps (re: Shortcuts), I see this little hit that comes and goes – which can be dismissed with a swipe – but will appear every time I open a forever shortcut:
Last but not least, now that I’ve redesigned all my apps to look exactly as I want them with the help of my icon pack on my home screen, I’m left with a bunch of icons, widgets, and wallpapers in my photo album(s) in a format addition To compress files and folders on your desktop that now need to be cleaned.
iOS 16 to the rescue?
After chatting with some of my colleagues in 9to5GoogleIn this article, I learned a few things Apple’s upcoming iOS 16 can do to improve this process.
To start, iOS 16 can simply include files Which Themes available for our home screens, not to mention the customizable ones. Did you know that what took me four hours would take about a minute and a half on an Android device? I’ve seen a video being done. Android users have so many built-in themes to choose from, and that hardly scratches the surface.
More specifically, did you know that when you choose a color theme on your Android device for your home screen, the phone’s native apps are automatically updated to that specific color palette? Imagine that you don’t have to create and customize each of your apps individually in a shortcut, whether they’re third-party or not. If iOS 16 in as little as possible It allowed us to customize native apps and tools with pre-selected themes, which would be a huge step in the right direction.
I want to say here for the record, that on a scale of technological intelligence – 10 being very tech-savvy, and 1 not being at all – I’m like… 7, probably, at least compared to the average person (not Compared to literally Which from my co-workers). However, this process was nothing short of hell, even with the help of my co-workers, even as someone who knows and understands very specialized information about a very specific technology. In total, I spent about four hours creating the aesthetic for my home screen, from start to finish.
What have we done to Apple, except to be hugely loyal customers – and to me, incomprehensibly – customers who have refrained from customizing our devices? Now that I see what my home screen can look like – while also understanding on a level I wouldn’t – what it takes to have a home screen you love, I want Everyone Have icons, widgets, and themes that reflect their personality. Why does Apple refuse to give us any autonomy as consumers?
As I was bemoaning my co-workers 9to5Google About my customization ordeal, Ben Sean said gleefully, “Come to Android — it’s so much easier 😂I won’t, again for reasons I can’t explain, but that’s not the point.
The point is that Apple to keep personalization from its user base is, at this point, an old, frustrating, and downright weird approach for a company that promotes creativity, inspiration, and innovation in each of its individual products. If you wanna be inSpyrd by my device, to be cretiff With my device, to innocentTax my device, so why can’t I make it my own?
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