Apple released a semi-major update to its iOS operating system last night. The iOS 14.3 update added two significant features to the iPhone: the Apple Fitness Plus subscription service and App Store privacy labels. However, fans of customizing their iOS 14 home screens with custom icons are much more excited about the iOS 14.3 update for a smaller change it brought to the iPhone. Here’s why:
Previously, if you wanted to customize your home screen with bespoke app icons in iOS 14, you couldn’t get around the fact that you weren’t actually changing an app’s icon. Rather, you were creating a shortcut to a specific app via the Shortcuts app. That shortcut is the thing you assigned the custom icon to. The downside to this method has always been that tapping the shortcut icon you created wouldn’t launch the app it was associated with outright. Instead, it would first launch the Shortcuts app, which would then open the actual app you wanted to open in the first place.
While not a major hindrance from a usage standpoint, the fact that the Shortcuts app always needed to open first before the actual app the custom icon was created for took away some of the wow factor of finally being able to customize your iPhone’s home screen icons.
But in iOS 14.3, Apple has now made it so that when you tap a custom home screen icon you made using the Shortcuts app, that icon no longer launches the Shortcuts app first. Instead, it directly launches the app the custom icon is linked to. Under the new method, you’ll briefly see a new banner appear when you tap a custom app icon, but the banner is much less intrusive than the entire Shortcuts app opening (check out the banner in the Twitter embed below).
It’s a small change, but one home screen that customizers are thrilled about. If this change now makes you want to customize your iPhone home screen, you can check out how you can do it by reading our explainer here.
Home Screen icon customization just got a whole lot better with iOS 14.3!
I’ll take the quick banner message over launching Shortcuts app before launching intended app ????????????
— Thientam Bach (@Surenix) December 14, 2020