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Customize iPhone Without Jailbreaking

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The middle section of the main Accessibility screen provides a slew of visual customization options. Users can make text bold, turn on button shapes (which looks like older versions of iOS), increase contrast and reduce motion. The Increase Contrast option provides some useful customization settings. Users can reduce transparency, which makes iOS look more solid. It’s also possible to darken colors, thereby enhancing contrast. You can also toggle on/off labels for iOS settings.

By far, the most useful customization option I found was under Home Button settings. After upgrading to iOS 10, I was annoyed that unlocking my iPhone with Touch ID required an extra click. This was done to protect the lock screen, which now displays widgets when you swipe right. You can actually turn this off by tapping Home Button on the Accessibility screen. Next, turn on Rest Finger to Open.

As you can see, Accessibility settings aren’t just for disabled people. There are options that provide a modicum of customization options. While this pales in comparison to what Android offers, if you like iOS, this isn’t a huge issue. That said, no one is forcing you to have the same tired grid of icons on the Home screen. Virtually every iPhone user I know seems to scan the Home screen to launch an app. There are alternative ways of using the iPhone that don’t require jailbreaking your device.

Remove Icons from Home Screen, Use Spotlight as a Launcher

iPhone critics complain about the Home screen’s stale appearance. I have to admit, that grid of app icons is mundane. You don’t have to face this tired, old look every time you unlock your iPhone. Personally, I have removed all of the icons on my Home screen — even the ones on the Dock. For me, Spotlight is a much more intuitive way to launch apps. It also gives me an unobstructed view of my wallpaper. Launching Spotlight is much easier with a clear Home screen. There are no apps to accidentally launch when I swipe down on the screen.

The best way to get rid of your app icons is to virtually sweep them under the rug. Tap and hold on an app to invoke the Home screen’s edit mode. Next, drag an app onto another app to create a folder. Add all of your apps to the folder and then drag it onto a new Home screen. Click the Home button to exit Home screen edit mode. Swipe back to the first Home screen and enjoy the view.

To launch Spotlight, simply swipe down on the Home screen with one finger. You only need to type one or two letters of the app. Spotlight is also smart enough to present the apps you use most. For the most part, you won’t need to type anything. Theoretically, this may be more effort than simply launching an app. But when you have a screen full of apps, you need to visually scan the grid of icons to launch an app. I have found that keeping the Home screen clear and using Spotlight is efficient and aesthetically pleasing. You can also use Siri to launch apps, if you prefer. next page →

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