Buyer beware: A recent iOS update seems to have broken the shortcuts this app produces. I haven’t investigated any fixes/alternatives yet. I probably won’t bother.
Icon Project (£0.69) is an iPhone app for designing iOS style icons to use as shortcuts on the homescreen.
These icons can be used as shortcuts for making calls and sending SMS or email messages to specific contacts. You can also create shortcuts to web pages or web apps, just like you can from within Safari, but with your own icon. This is where things get interesting…
Create shortcut icons directly to settings
IconProject allows you to create shortcuts directly to the settings for Bluetooth and Wi-Fi which you may frequently access, but are buried several layers deep. For example, if you were to enter
prefs:root=General&path=Bluetooth in place of a website URL, the resulting icon will jump you directly1 to the Bluetooth settings.
Below you can see the app in action, and four of my own new icons being put to use.
I have occasionally considered jailbreaking my iPhone, but have so far decided that the rewards don’t justify the effort. The one feature that has tempted me most are the on/off toggles for settings like Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. Unless Apple decide to implement similar toggles, this could be the best option for regular users.
Here are some other icons I made in about five minutes:
The first two icons above were created using the stock graphics that come in the Icon Project app; many of the elements are garish/fun, but it is possible to create some nice simple designs too. You can also import your own photographs (or other artwork); ideal for creating shortcuts to call your favourite contacts.
The one request I would make is for the inclusion of more useful icons: More metaphors for things like network, Wi-Fi, brightness, volume, Twitter, settings etc. would be very useful.
Here is a handy list of actions possible:
About -> prefs:root=General&path=About
Accessibility -> prefs:root=General&path=ACCESSIBILITY
Airplane Mode On -> prefs:root=AIRPLANE_MODE
Auto-Lock -> prefs:root=General&path=AUTOLOCK
Brightness -> prefs:root=Brightness
Bluetooth -> prefs:root=General&path=Bluetooth
Date & Time -> prefs:root=General&path=DATE_AND_TIME
FaceTime -> prefs:root=FACETIME
General -> prefs:root=General
Keyboard -> prefs:root=General&path=Keyboard
iCloud -> prefs:root=CASTLE
iCloud Storage & Backup -> prefs:root=CASTLE&path=STORAGE_AND_BACKUP
International -> prefs:root=General&path=INTERNATIONAL
Location Services -> prefs:root=LOCATION_SERVICES
Music -> prefs:root=MUSIC
Music Equalizer -> prefs:root=MUSIC&path=EQ
Music Volume Limit -> prefs:root=MUSIC&path=VolumeLimit
Network -> prefs:root=General&path=Network
Nike + iPod -> prefs:root=NIKE_PLUS_IPOD
Notes -> prefs:root=NOTES
Notification -> prefs:root=NOTIFICATIONS_ID
Phone -> prefs:root=Phone
Photos -> prefs:root=Photos
Profile -> prefs:root=General&path=ManagedConfigurationList
Reset -> prefs:root=General&path=Reset
Safari -> prefs:root=Safari
Siri -> prefs:root=General&path=Assistant
Sounds -> prefs:root=Sounds
Software Update -> prefs:root=General&path=SOFTWARE_UPDATE_LINK
Store -> prefs:root=STORE
Twitter -> prefs:root=TWITTER
Usage -> prefs:root=General&path=USAGE
VPN -> prefs:root=General&path=Network/VPN
Wallpaper -> prefs:root=Wallpaper
Wi-Fi -> prefs:root=WIFI
In addition, these you can use application URL schemes to create useful shortcuts to many apps. For example
tweetbot:///search?query=OccupyCardiff will launch TweetBot and perform a search for the term ‘OccupyCardiff‘. Most of the Twitter apps seem to have extensive support; I’m not sure how useful the others will be.
- Actually, clicking this shortcut will briefly launch Safari, which will then redirect you to the settings. Not exactly elegant, but still quicker than finding your own way there.