iOS 14.3 beta makes it easier to set custom app icons

Apple introduced the second developer beta of iOS 14.3 yesterday, and it includes a major change to Shortcuts. With iOS 14.3 beta 2, the Shortcuts app no longer opens when you launch a shortcut from the home screen, which in turn has major benefits for those using the Shortcuts app to set custom app icons.

Alongside the release of iOS 14 in September, the ability to set custom app icons using the Shortcuts app went viral. iPhone users were enamored by support for home screen widgets in iOS 14, and they quickly turned to the Shortcuts app as a way to further customize their home screen aesthetic with custom icons.

The downside to using Shortcuts to set a custom icon, however, is that the Shortcuts app launches every time you tap on the custom home screen icon. This is because you’re essentially creating a shortcut that’s sole action is to open another application, and using the custom icon for that shortcut on your home screen.

In iOS 14.3 beta 2, however, the Shortcuts app no longer opens when you launch a shortcut from your home screen. This means that you can set custom app icons on your home screen and launch the associated app, without the Shortcuts app automatically launching first. Instead, a compact UI banner appears at the top.

This change was first spotted by users on Reddit and picked up by Apple Terminal.

Here’s how it works for setting custom app icons:

  1. Open the Shortcuts app
  2. Tap the “+” button to create a new shortcut
  3. Tap “Add Action”
  4. Search for “Open App” and look for it in the Actions list
  5. Tap “Choose” and pick which app you want to customize
  6. Tap the three-dot icon in the upper-right
  7. Tap “Add to Home Screen”
  8. Name the shortcut the app name
  9. Tap the icon to the left of the app name and choose your custom icon from the Photos app

Of course, this has numerous other benefits than just setting app icons. With iOS 14.3 beta, the Shortcuts app will no longer open when you launch a shortcut of any kind from the home screen. Hopefully, this is a change that remains throughout the rest of the iOS 14.3 beta testing period and into the final release.

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