As someone who has been testing iOS 7 for months, I can tell you that when it drops, some app icons are going to stick out like a sore thumb. Why? Because icon design that looked good in the house Scott Forstall built are going to look really out of place in the house Jony Ive knocked flat to the ground.
Unfortunately, unlike on OS X, there isn’t an easy way to swap out an app’s icon for a custom one of your choosing. That said, a new app called Iconical has figured out a workaround. The app lets you customize your homescreen, no jailbreak required, by taking advantage of the custom URL schemes of over 14,000 apps. This, my friends, is a clever idea.
Here’s how it works. Many iOS apps have a custom URL scheme that let other apps call up some of their features or launch them. It’s a smart method that iOS developers have figured out how to use to replicate services on iOS devices: even though Apple’s draconian iOS sandboxing rules makes it impossible for apps to ‘talk’ directly to each other on iOS 7, you can hack the functionality using custom URL schemes.
What Iconical allows you to do is make any custom URL command on iOS 7 into a web app, and turning it into a web app means you can launch it from the homescreen and modify the icon. Iconical allows you to just specify the custom URL you want to ‘launch’, then specify an image as the app icon, either from Iconical’s default pool of icons, a picture saved on your Cameral Roll, or by drawing it on the screen. And if you think your icon will be useful to others, you can squirt it up into the Cloud for other Iconical users to make use of.
Iconical is due to be released tomorrow, and will cost $0.99 for a week, after which the price will double.