How to quickly access settings from your Home Screen

IconSettings Icons

For a while, iPhone owners who jailbreak their devices have been able to add icons for changing settings to their home screens. Now it’s possible to do the same thing without jailbreaking, using a handy website and mobile Safari’s “Add to Home Screen” feature. Here’s how.

What you’ll need

All you need is any iOS device; this works with all versions of iOS, and only uses a website to set up the icons on the home screen. The only thing to keep in mind is to make sure you only add icons for settings your device actually has; for example, using the website, it’s possible to set up a shortcut to the Siri settings page, but only the iPhone 4S has that settings page, so the link will break on other devices.

Method

  1. To get started, use your iOS device to open the IconSettings page, over on iPhoneZA. Scroll down and you’ll see a long list of links with the names of pages from the Settings app.
  2. Tap one of the links to open a new page. A pop-up will appear asking if you want to open in Settings; tap cancel, because you still need to be in Safari for now.
  3. Tap the Action icon in the toolbar, which looks like an arrow coming out of a box, then tap Add to Home Screen. A new sheet will slide in, allowing you to rename the shortcut if you wish. Wait a couple of seconds, and an icon will appear in the square to the left of the text field.
  4. Tap Add at the top of the screen, and the icon will be added to your home screen. It can be moved and deleted in the same way as a regular app icon. Tap the icon, and you’ll be taken to the corresponding page in Settings. You can add as many of these to your home screen as you wish.

Things to consider

First of all, don’t worry about breaking any rules doing this; it’s all above-board, since these icons are simple links using Apple’s “prefs:” URL scheme. It’s the same as when a developer uses a custom URL scheme, so Apple is fine with people using it.

It’s also worth noting that although these shortcuts can make it easier to access buried settings pages with one touch, this isn’t quite the same as the popular jailbreak app, SBSettings, which actually toggles settings when you tap the icon, not just take you to the Settings app. However, short of jailbreaking, this is the best alternative.

Finally, you may notice that some of these don’t save much time over simply opening Settings. For example, Wi-Fi is right at the top of Settings, so it only takes a few seconds to open it manually. However, some of the other available icons are quite handy; for instance, Bluetooth is buried under General, and so takes a few taps to open. Using IconSettings makes accessing the Bluetooth settings a lot faster.

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