Sunday, March 31, 2013

Pinterest WIN: Customize your iPhone home screen apps!

I saw a screen shot of someone's iPhone layout on Pinterest and had to customize my phone!

Here is a how-to, as the app is not all that easy to use. tried to make it simple for everyone to understand but it is a lengthy tutorial. You have been warned.

**The concept is easy, you are creating a shortcut to the actual app on your home screen with a pretty shortcut picture. 

1. Download Cocoppa. It's free in the app store.

2. Open the app and make a free account. It looks like this when you're done.

3. You need a nice pile of pretty icons ready to change all your apps over and ready to make shortcuts etc.
Because the app is badly translated from who knows what Asian language, it is basically impossible to use the tags function or the categories function for anything other than confusing yourself.
Browse about, click on any icons you like, press the like button.
The search function sort of works for some apps but you end up missing the best icons as the creators haven't always saved them with english titles.
The tags section is just ridiculous.

4. View your liked icons. Click the Mypage bit on the bottom.
Click like at the top next to your name.
Choose your icon for your first app.

The first icon we will make is for a store App. 

1. Click the icon you want to use. Press set up link.
2. Press App Search. Resist the temptation to laugh at the false advertising on "you can easily create shortcut..." 

3. Search the app name.
Pray to the God you like best that the search function will work. It sometimes will not find the app you want AT ALL, and suggests the most ridiculous apps that are clearly not what you searched for.
Press the correct app if it shows up.
Add gloss if you want, decide if the icon looks nicer with it on or off.
Change the Icon name to whatever it is you want.
Press OK

4. Press yes. The app will open up safari where you will see the image on the right. 
Press the circled button to add a shortcut to the home screen. 

5. Wait for the image to change to the one you wanted (a second or so) and click add to home screen.
Change the name if you fancy. 
Click Add.

6. Put the new icon where you want it.
Move the old icon to the very back of your phone where you will shove them all in folders out of the way. If you delete them the new icons will not work.

When you click the new icon it will take about a second to open the app as it is a shortcut link, if you have no patience you might not like it. But I personally think it is worth the tiny second wait.

Repeat for all the store bought apps you want changed. Changing original iphone apps comes later.

The next icon we will make is for a speed dial.

1. Pick the icon you want from your likes list.
Click set up short cut.
Press phone number.
Either enter the number manually or get it from the phone book.
Click done when finished.

2. Add gloss if you want. 
Change Icon name
App will go to safari. 
Click add to home screen.

3. Change name if needs be.
Press Add.
Move in place.

Shortcut will ring your contact when pressed.

Set up email short cut.

1. Pick icon from likes list.
Press set up link.
Click mail.
Either click the contact where the email address is also stored or enter manually

2. Change icon name.
Add gloss if you want.
Press OK
App will open safari.
Click add to home screen

3. Click add.
Move icon in place.

Icon will open up a new email message with the address already filled out.

Set up text or imessage shortcut.

1. Pick icon from likes list.
Press set up link.
Click message. 
Click phone number.

 2. Enter phone number from phone book or manually.
Change icon name.
Add gloss if you want.
Press OK.
App will go to safari.

3. Add to home screen.
Move app in place.

App will open messages to that contact. imessage if they are an iphone user, text if not.

Set up internet link.

1. Pick app.
Set up link.
Press URL.

Enter URL.
You know what to do now...

Link will open up website. 
Use to link to news sites. Blogger homepage. Reddit. Etc etc. 

Change standard apple apps.

Right, here is the slightly trickier bit but by now you should know the gist of how to add short cuts. Some original apps (anything that doesn't give the option to delete when you make the apps bounce, such as mail and music and phone etc) can be opened with a short cut. Some can not, or if they can I have no idea how. Some are a bit impractical such as mail.

In order to not further patronise I'll keep it brief. Set up the icon the same way as you did for URL.

Instead of entering a website address enter one of the following.

To open music = Music:
To open messages = SMS:
To open maps = Maps:
To pictures = photos-redirect://

They will open straight to the app. 

The next couple are not as straight forward.

To see mail inbox you need to enter mailto: when the icon opens the new message click cancel and you will be back inside you inbox. You will probably prefer the original icon so you can see the notifications. 

To open safari you need to enter an address as you cannot open a blank safari page (well I don't know how). I used a link to google.

Some others I could not get to open. For those I just downloaded alternatives from the app store, such as a notepad that wasn't the standard Apple notes or a new weather app. A lot of the time you can get better apps than the ones that came with the iphone anyway. 

What if I can't find my app in search? 

Truthfully, you're screwed. The search function is outrageously bad. 
I deleted my weather app because I couldn't find it in the search to create a short cut. I searched weather and downloaded whichever one came up. 

Like so:

Go back to the app and click set up link. Then do the usual. 

The app also has some pretty wallpapers, click the wallpapers tab at the top of the homepage to browse. 

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