Use Shortcuts App to Change App Icons on iPhone


iOS Shortcuts App

With the release of iOS 12 in 2018, Apple introduced the Shortcuts app. This app allows users to set up shortcuts, automated actions that the user can ask Siri to perform. Because of the amount of work the user needs to put in, Shortcuts never became very popular. However, it does allow users to do things that normally would seem difficult. In our post today, we look at how to use the Shortcuts app to change app icons on the iPhone.

Before we start, I should state we are not really changing any app’s icon. Instead, what we are doing is creating shortcuts that point to apps. The shortcuts can have different icons and names than the apps they point to.

Using Shortcuts App to Change App Icons

    • First, launch the Shortcuts app. If you’ve never used the app before, it’s probably tucked away somewhere. Searching for it using Spotlight is usually the best and quickest way to find the app. 
    • Then, in the My Shortcuts screen, tap Add (Add navigation bar and tab bar icon) on the top right corner to create a new shortcut.
    • In the New Shortcut screen, tap Add Action, then tap Scripting and choose Open App. This allows you to see a full list of apps installed on your device.
    • Tap Choose to select the app you want to open with the shortcut and then tap Next on the top right corner.
    • Give the shortcut a name, preferably something short and descriptive. You’ll be using this name to tell Siri to run this shortcut. You can also change the app icon here by tapping the icon. Apple provides a number of colors and glyphs you can use. Tap Done once you’ve named the shortcut and selected the icon.
    • The shortcut should now appear in the My Shortcuts screen. Tap the shortcut to run, or tap the Menu button to make changes.
    • Once you are in the shortcut, tap the Menu button on the top right corner, or tap the Share button at the bottom to add the shortcut to Home Screen.
    • Voilà! You now have a new icon in the Home Screen. Next time you want to run the app, just simply tap the new icon you just created. The Shortcuts app will open and it will then launch your app. You can also ask Siri to run the shortcut.

iPhone Battery Health Explained

iOS Battery Icon

In this post, we look at how to view and understand your iPhone battery health.

First, some background.

Apple got into trouble around 2017 when they implemented performance controls on older iPhone models with degraded batteries. According to Apple, this was to preserve system stability on those devices. However, they did this without first telling their users. When the news broke out, people were understandably furious. History will forever know this as batterygate.

One of the things Apple did to mitigate the situation was the new Battery Health feature in iOS.

Released in iOS 11.3 on March 29, 2018, the feature allowed users to gain visibility into their device’s battery health by displaying the battery’s maximum capacity. This seemingly simple piece of information was previously only available to users via third-party apps. The Battery Health feature also allowed users to disable performance throttling when using an older battery.

The Battery Health feature remains available today. 

How to View iPhone Battery Health

    1. Go to Settings
    2. Scroll down and tap Battery
    3. Tap Battery Health

iOS Battery Health Screen

Understanding Your Battery Health

In the Battery Health screen, you’ll see your battery’s maximum capacity, whether it’s capable of supporting peak performance, and whether you want optimized battery charging.

Maximum Capacity means how much charge your battery can hold. The number would gradually drop over time as you use your device and your battery ages. While Apple does not explicitly say at what point you should swap out your old battery for a new one, their iPhone Battery and Performance support page hint at 80%.

Peak Performance Capability tells you if your battery can handle peak performance. If iOS has determined that your battery can not support peak performance, it will turn on performance throttling, and this is where you can disable it.

Optimized Battery Charging was introduced in iOS 13. When the feature is enabled, your battery will wait to finish charging past 80% in certain situations. This improves your battery’s lifespan, as keeping the battery percentage more centered instead of complete charges and discharges reduces strain onto the battery.

Repeat Alerts – iOS Messages App

Ever noticed your iPhone buzzing again a couple of minutes after a message has come in? That’s the Repeat Alerts option for the Messages app doing its work.

By default, your iPhone notifies you twice of any new message received in the Messages app. Once when the message is first received, then again two minutes after that.

If you think repeated alerts are too much, or if you want the alert to repeat more than once at two-minute intervals, you can tweak the settings.

iOS Messages App Icon

How to Change Repeat Alerts Settings for iOS Messages App

    1. Go to Settings, then Notifications.
    2. Find Messages in the list of applications under NOTIFICATION STYLE and tap on it.
    3. At the bottom of the screen, you’ll see the Repeat Alerts option. By default, it’s set to Once.
    4. Tap on the option to change its settings. You can turn it off by selecting Never or select any of the other options available for the alert to repeat X times at two-minute intervals.

iOS Messages App Notifications Settings incl. Repeat Alerts 

iOS Messages App Repeat Alerts Options 

Want to read more of our iOS and macOS tips and tricks? Here’s a link to our Tutorials category. Want to check out Apple’s user guide on the Messages app? Here’s that link.

How to Recover Closed Browser Tabs – Chrome and Safari on Mac and iPhone

How to Recover Closed Browser Tabs - Chrome, Safari, iOS 13, macOS CatalinaAccidentally closing a browser tab can be infuriating. Fortunately, the process is easy to undo for both Chrome and Safari. Here’s how you can recover closed Chrome or Safari browser tabs on a Mac or an iPhone.


How to Recover A Closed Chrome Tab in macOS

To reopen a closed Chrome tab on a Mac, press Shift-Command-T (⇧⌘T) on the keyboard.

Recover Closed Chrome Tab on Mac Shift-Command-T

How to Recover A Closed Chrome Tab in iOS

To recover a closed Chrome tab on an iPhone, first, tap the More (More tab bar icon) button on the bottom right of the screen, and then tap Recent Tabs.

Recover Recent Chrome Tabs on iPhone


How to Recover A Closed Safari Tab in macOS

To reopen a closed Safari tab on a Mac, use the “undo” keyboard shortcut Command-Z (⌘Z).

Recover Closed Safari Tab on Mac Command-Z

How to Recover A Closed Safari Tab in iOS

To recover a closed Safari tab on an iPhone, tap the Tabs button on the bottom right of the screen, and then tap and hold on the Plus (Add navigation bar and tab bar icon) button in the middle of the screen to bring up the Recently Closed Tabs window. From there, you can pick any tab to recover.

Safari on iPhone Add New Tab Tap and Hold to Recover Closed Tabs

Do you find these tips on how to recover closed browser tabs helpful? If you would like to learn more Safari keyboard shortcuts, check out this post.

How to Use iCloud Keychain

iCloud Keychain is Apple’s take on modern cloud password management.

If you take a few minutes to think about one thing you hate the most about the internet, chances are the one thing will be dealing with passwords.

Humans, unlike computers, tend to forget things, very easily. This is why we need help managing our passwords, whether it’s writing one down and sticking it to your computer screen, or saving all your passwords in an Excel spreadsheet and password-protect the spreadsheet with “password” as the password – believe it or not, this is exactly what Sony did when they got hacked by North Korea in 2014.

Another form of password management is apps like 1Password. In the case of 1Password, like the name suggests, all you need to remember is one password, your master password, to open the app where all your other passwords are saved. The app then auto-fills passwords when you log into your favorite internet services. And of course, 1Password is available across different platforms and browsers, just as you’d expect in a subscription based service. 

iCloud Keychain is Apple’s take on modern cloud password management. It is available on both Mac OS and iOS. Your passwords are saved and synchronized between your devices via iCloud. Unlike 1Password, iCloud Keychain is a free service as long as you have an Apple ID and a device running iOS 7 or later, or Mac OS X Mavericks or later.

To use iCloud Keychain, make sure you are logged into your iCloud account on your device and have iCloud Keychain turned on.

Go to Settings on your iPhone or iPad, then tap into your Apple ID, then iCloud, scroll down and you’ll see Keychain, tap into it and toggle it on if it’s off. If your device asks for your Apple ID password, follow the onscreen instructions.

With iCloud Keychain turned on, try signing up with an online service. Notice when you create your password, your device is going to recommend one. The recommended password is a strong one, so strong that you won’t be able to remember it, but worry not, because your device is going to remember the recommended password for you, should you choose to go with it. Of course, you still get to type in your own password if you like.

Once you go through the song and dance of the signup process, head to Settings and then Passwords & Accounts, and then Website & App Passwords. You’ll be asked to authenticate, do that and search for the new service you just signed up with using your user name or the website address, and you’ll see your newly created account and password. You’ll even get to copy the password if you like, but know that whenever you try logging into the site, your device is going to remind you that you have a saved password you can use with just one tap and a quick authentication with your device password, Touch ID or Face ID.

The beauty of iCloud Keychain is it synchronizes your passwords between your devices via iCloud. Set up an account on one device, your password is going to appear on your other devices as well as long as you are signed in using the same iCloud account.

Try logging into the same website on your Mac, you’ll be prompted to use the password you just created on your iOS device.

Even though you can’t remember the recommended password and really you don’t need to, you can still see it on any of your devices when you feel like it.

On your Mac, launch the Keychain Access app and search for the new service you just signed up with, again using your user name or the website address, and you’ll see the same record on your Mac. Double click on the record, check “Show password”, type in your Mac password and voila you’ll see your new password right there.

Got a question regarding iCloud Keychain? Feel free to leave a comment.