How to customize your app icons without jailbreaking

By , May 26, 2013

custom app no jb

When your iOS device is jailbroken, customizing how it looks can be as easy as installing a WinterBoard theme. There’s literally thousands of them in Cydia to choose from. The options get much more limited, however, if your device is hack-free.

But that doesn’t mean it’s impossible. We’ve covered a number of ways to modify a stock iOS device in the past, and we’ve got another one to show you today. Here’s how to customize your iPhone or iPad app icons, no jailbreak required…

This simple trick comes from the folks over at Tooliphone, courtesy of their iCustom web app. The tool allows you to create both custom app icons and blank spaces for your Home screen. And it’s all done using URL schemes and Safari shortcuts.

All you have to do is open mobile Safari on your iOS device and visit tooliphone.net. There you’ll be presented with two options: create an empty space, or create a custom icon. Once you’ve selected one, the app will guide you through the remaining steps.

Here’s a video of the web app in action:

Admittedly, the whole process is pretty tedious. You can only customize one icon at a time, and you have to point the web app to the URL of an icon image for each app. And since you’re really just creating shortcuts, you’re going to have a ton of duplicates.

But I guess if you’re just really against jailbreaking, or you’ve upgraded past iOS 6.1.2 and can’t at the moment, this is a way to change up the look of your iPhone or iPad. And if you have the time and patience, you can really make your device look unique.

Have you tried this out yet? Thoughts?

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  • http://twitter.com/rick5up Ricky

    The web is in weird language

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001066896936 Sean Sears

      It’s called “French”, It’s an old language. Often heard spoken by French people… from France.
      You tend to be taught it in schools..

      • Barry

        My school recently removed the class.

      • David Villamizar

        Mine never had :(

      • sambuzzlight

        damn.. haven’t seen anyone get fried in any more civil way than this

      • Samuel Major

        Well, main language in Québec, Ca dude.

      • f1ght3r

        Quebec sucks. Bunch of self entitled babies.

      • Dan

        Hahaha I live in Québec (but I am originally from Ottawa, Canadian and proud) and I agree with this comment.

      • jo

        Hey woah French is the best language ever! Vive le Francais! And Quebecers are not babies! French is the best. Quebec and French is REALLY great.

      • Rioku Harusame

        French sucks. Learn something useful, like Latin.

  • Dan

    It’s kind of weird they post a French link on this site. I don’t care personally since I’m French, but I doubt most of the readers here are.

    • http://twitter.com/aidanharris1 ✪ aidan harris ✪

      Anyone heard of a website called Google Translate….

      • Dan

        It was just an observation. Don’t get why some people got their panties in a bunch and down voted, but whatever. Also, if you actually speak two languages, you should know that Google translate is not very good.

        Ie (from the link provided, translated with Google): Automatic generators improbable phrases in different areas, such as the famous pipotron.
        -Having understood the French version, this makes no sense I can assure you.

      • Bob

        Cool story bro.

      • jo

        You’re really cool because you speak french. French is so amazing.

      • Dan

        French is too complicated lol. I’m French and I find it easier to write in English.

      • jo

        Well yeah kind of but it is cool once you get the hang of it.

        A guy I know is so fanatic about Quebec he said out loud ”ahh” when a person said, ”fleur de lys”. He knows all of Quebec’s geography and politics by heart too! He loves french so much. A lot more than me.

  • Pod2g2

    The language doesn’t matter for me.. This website customization tool is AWESOME :)

  • Francisco Perez

    I’ll just wait till there’s a JB available for iOS 7

  • Alex

    This url icon shortcut process is idiotic.
    Grab yourself a copy of iExplorer for Mac or Windows. You can browse app file structure directly on a NON jailbroken iPhone and actually replace the icon file itself. An update to the app will of course cancel out your changes, but this allows you to theme the app icon without a stupid Safari load screen switch crap or whatever.

    • Japheth Mast

      I don’t think you can do that for stock apps though :(

      • Ian

        Um, I can’t even change app icons. :/

    • jo

      I tried that and its a little complicated. I tried it with ifunbox.

  • dpacemaker

    People just the first page is in French, after clicking on the custom icon the next page is in English. Lets not go all crazy before you actually do anything.

  • http://WorldstarHipHop.com/ Joshua Jones Makaveli

    I stick to jailbreak themes.

  • tooliphone

    Hi all !

    I’m the TooLiPHoNe.NeT webmaster.

    Thanks to idownloadblog for this post, I’m happy to see new users trying iEmpty and iCustom !

    Sorry but indeed, my tooliphone home page was only in french (iEmpty and iCustom are fully translated in english). :-(

    I’ve juste translated a part of the home page in english following your comments, thank you for them !

    Don’t hesitate to tell me if you have questions or comments about iEmpty and iCustom apps.

    I do my best to make them usefull and allow a bit of iOS customization… even if depite of many Apple/iOs limitations, it is not perfect without jailbreak !

    See U, and don’t forget to share the apps if you like it !

    TooLiPHoNe.NeT

    • jo

      Tooliphone is really great!

  • Rickm_jr

    So I recently came into a problem with my iPhone 5 jailbroken. I had to restore to 6.1.4 :/ thought I’d share the story:
    Not sure how installing MIUI theme and turning the switch on in winterboard caused the issue but it happened after it. It wasn’t in a respring loop but it never moved from the apple logo to the springboard. I had access to the file system through iFunbox but had no idea how to fix the issue.
    Holding the volume up button did nothing for me on boot, resulted in the same position “apple logo and stop, no springboard/lockscreen” but I think the iPhone loaded everything but the springboard because I still had access to the file system. I also think it entered halfway into safemode because it was plugged via usb into my computer and I heard it beep for connection 2 times every reboot.
    I thought of using “iLexRAT” and even tried to install OpenSSH and OpenSSL via iFunbox to SSH in and use iLexRAT through PuTTY but I kept getting “Connection Refused”
    So just curious if anyone has had a similar situation and found a way to fix it for future reference.
    After continued failure of the above, I tried deleted some mobile substrate libraries (the ones that are recreated each restart) to see if it was a configuration problem, but still no fix. Any ideas?

  • Ian

    I gotta say this.
    I LOVE YOU I LOVE YOU I LOVE YOU.
    Okay, seriously, I lost my beloved theme (Glasklart) and I’ve been dying to get it back. You made my day, my week, and oh, why not, my year. :D

    • Skudge

      Haha no worries. They’re always updating it. I mean the flaterize theme is a couple of days old. Closest thing to a theme we’re gonna get. This also doubled with an effective background works a treat :D. Also make sure you’re in safari when installing the profiles otherwise it won’t work.

      • Ian

        Thanks! Installing a new theme now!

  • jo

    I will try!

  • ProfessorX1®

    I’ll pass on this one. I’m waiting for a downgrade method for A5+ chip devices running iOS 6.1.3 and up.

  • Beta382

    You could also just download iFunBox and replace the app’s icon images with the artwork you want. Click, drag, drop. No link hackery or anything of that nature.

    The only downside is you have to reapply the changes each time you update the app.

  • tooliphone

    Don’t forget that iCustom doesn’t allows ONLY to change iOS app icons using a shortcut…

    You can ALSO :
    - create phone call, facetime, SMS, email shortcuts (with a friend picture for example) to directly call, SMS, write an email to somebody
    - create website shortcuts to open websites using a different browser than default iOS Safari mobile (for example using Chrome, Opera mini, Dolphin, iCab, Atomic, Puffin, …)

    Let’s try this too ! :-)

  • jo

    well its a little tough.

  • http://www.facebook.com/VladWeber Vlad Weber

    Most people want mobile apps but think it is too hard to create them. Fortunately now there are quite a lot of useful online services which allow building apps without programming skills and in hours. I am using SnAPPii at the moment and really glad I can feel like a mobile app developer and make apps on my own.

  • Pavlaras

    I believe that filling the home screen with crap and hiding it with blank icons…. Only one thing I will say. If it wasn’t for jailbreak team , apple would never be so successful so go ahead and jailbreak. That’s all.

  • jack

    A VERY informative blog, and for entrepreneurs like myself, a great place to pick up ideas that will help facilitate my own.