The release of iOS 14 is a particularly interesting one thanks to a couple of new additions to the iOS roster. Widgets are the big new feature, allowing users to move widgets from the Today View to the Home screen, much like Androids, but the customisation doesn’t end there. Savvy iOS users have also noticed that you can change app icons in iOS 14, with some impressive results. (We’ve all seen the Windows 98-themed Home screen, right?).
If adding widgets and a fancy new wallpaper to your iOS 14 Home screen isn’t enough to scratch the itch, here’s how to customise your app icons on your iPhone in iOS 14
How to customise app icons in iOS 14
The idea of changing your app icons is an exciting one, and it is possible in iOS 14 and iPadOS 14, but there are some limitations that users should be aware of.
The biggest is that tapping the new app icon won’t open your app of choice – not initially, anyway. Tapping on any custom app icon will take you to Apple’s Shortcuts app, which then automatically runs the script that opens the app. The whole process takes seconds, but it is a little jarring compared to opening an app usually.
The second drawback is that custom app icons won’t display app notification badges, so you might miss important messages or tweets.
If you don’t mind the workarounds, here’s how to change your app icons in iOS 14:
On your iPhone or iPad, open the Shortcuts app.
Tap the + icon in the top-right to add a new shortcut.
Tap Add Action.
Search for Open App in the search bar and tap it to add the action to your shortcut.
Within the Scripting element, tap Choose.
Search for, and select, the app whose icon you want to customise.
Tap the three dots in the top-right.
Tap Add to Home Screen.
Tap the default app icon and browse for your new app icon, be it in the Photos app or in Files.
Rename the shortcut to the app you’ve chosen to replace.
Tap Add in the top-right.
Name the shortcut and tap Done to save.
Head back to your Home screen and you should see your new app icon, ready to be used. If you want to get rid of your original app without deleting it, take a look at how to remove apps from the Home screen in iOS 14. And, to get more out of Apple’s latest software update, take a look at the top iOS 14 tips and tricks.