Last week, I upgraded my iPhone 7 to a giant iPhone 11. I had the iPhone 7 for almost 3 years, but was desperately in need of an upgrade due to my love of taking a lot of photos for my blog and Instagram. I recently shared my discovery on customising the Home Screen on my new iPhone on my Instagram stories. I thought perhaps I might have been the last person on earth to discover this, but many of you, like me have just opened up our eyes to a whole new customisation of iPhone apps.
As promised, I would do my diligence to create this tutorial as a simple way I know through pictures. I have watched many YouTube videos with various ways to explain this process, but this is my 2020 interpretation of everything I have learnt from customising my iPhone Home Screens.
To begin with, it doesn’t really matter what model of iPhone you have, so long as you can update your phone Software to the latest: for me it was iOS 14.2. I believe anywhere from iOS 13+ Home Screen customisation will work.
The first thing to do after updating your iPhone software is go to your web browser on your iPhone and check this website: icons8.com. There is an option to sign up if you want or simply skip that and go straight to search the app icons you want to replace. As an example, I want to switch up my Music app. I type music in the search bar and an array of icons will appear below. The All styles drop down menu is your choice to decide the style you want your icon app to appear. For my iPhone theme, I have chosen Hand Drawn, but you can have a bit of browse and see what tickles your fancy. I chose the music app icon I want to use and click on the icon. Below will appear the icon slightly bigger and all I do is click on the icon, which will show up on a new screen giving me the option to Share, Add to Photos or Copy. Select Add to Photos as this will come in handy later. Repeat these steps if you are planning to give multiple apps a make over.
Back to your Home Screen, you should be able to see an app called Shortcuts, it may be on your Home Screen or located on your App Library (swipe right to the end of your iPhone screen). Once you find the app, click on it–it should appear to the shortcuts menu: All Shortcuts, Share Sheet, Apple Watch. Click on the All Shortcuts and wait for it to load in your next screen. On your top right hand corner, click on the + sign.
On New Shortcut, click on + Add Action, then select x Scripting app. Following on the screen should appear with a list of Scripting: Apps and Control Flow. Under Apps, click on Open App. Then click on Choose and enter the App name you wish to replace the icon image. As an example, I enter Music and click on the Music app as it appears below the search bar. Repeat these steps for every icon app you want to switch up.
Upon choosing the Music app, on the top right hand corner, click on the … 3 dots. A new screen will appear with Details on the app name. Type Music (or whichever app name) then select Add to Home Screen. On the next slide, click on icon next to the app name (you may need to type the app name again) and select from the drop menu: Take Photo, Choose Photo, Choose File. Select the Choose Photo and pick the photo you downloaded earlier from the website. Repeat these steps when you want to switch up your icon apps.
The icon you saved earlier, as shown on 1. will appear tiny. You must zoom in and expand the icon to fit the white square. For this demonstration, increase the size of the icon within the red box. Once you are satisfied, select Done at the bottom of the screen and Add on the next screen and then Done. Keep selecting Done until you get back to All Shortcuts page.
After getting back to the base menu: All Shortcuts, here you will see all the apps you have customised icons. For every time you replace an icon you will need to use the Shortcuts app to change up icon image. Use the … 3 dots on the existing apps to edit the icons or the + on the top right hand corner for all new customised icon app. Swipe up to exit the Shortcuts app and on your Home Screen you can compare the new Music icon to the original.
To hide the original icon apps, simply click until you have 3 options: Search, Edit Home Screen, Remove App. Select the Remove App then choose Remove from Home Screen, where it will go into your App Library that Apple will organise for you.
- Customise your icon apps to tailor your Home Screen theme(s)
- Change it up whenever you like or not
- Creativity is in your hands
- It is time consuming, as you would have to do it per app to customise icons.
- Notifications on original icon apps are non-transferable to new customised icon apps. (This may be due to the recent software updates that might have disabled this option.)
- There is a second lag when you click on the customised icon apps to load the actual app. It bounces from the bookmarked shortcuts app before reaching the actual app. (There is a way to solve this, but I haven’t tried it myself, though it may be just another lengthy process.)
If you want to find out how I customised the appearance of my Home Screen (adding widgets to style the Home Screens), stay tuned for a part 2.