Safari-based iOS shortcuts offer quick access to Bluetooth, Airplane Mode, more

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
A developer has discovered a way to add quick access to specific controls in the iOS Settings application, such as the ability to turn on or off Bluetooth or activate Airplane Mode, through a Web app launched via a home screen icon.



The tweak, dubbed IconSettings, is available for free from iphoneza.co.za. The Web-based shortcuts do not require that users "jailbreak" their device, a term used to describe hacking the iOS mobile operating system to allow users to run unauthorized software and modifications.



With IconSettings, users can choose which specific aspects of the iOS Settings application they want quick access to. Options include general use features like Bluetooth, Airplane Mode and Personal Hotspot, while highly specific aspects of the Settings application including options for the Keyboard, Date and Time, Accessibility and Software Update are also available.



Users must simply visit the IconSettings website on their iOS device and visit the link that applies to the setting they want to add. Click the "Cancel" dialog, then add a bookmark link to the home screen, and the quick link will appear complete with a custom-built icon graphic.



The functionality, which is only available on iOS 5.0 and up, takes advantage of a feature within the iOS Safari Web browser. Tapping on the bookmarked icon on the homepage actually launches a new page in Safari before immediately opening the appropriate section of the native Settings application.







By adding an Airplane Mode link to the home screen, tapping the icon will immediately place the iOS device in Airplane Mode (no wireless data connections) without the need to launch the Settings application and select the appropriate option.



Unlike with Airplane Mode, a Bluetooth link added to the home screen will not automatically toggle Bluetooth on or off, but it does immediately bring users to the Bluetooth setting option. Previously, users had to select the Settings application, choose General, and then Bluetooth to access this page.



For years, some users have been jailbreaking their iPhone or other iOS devices to gain quick access to features like enabling or disabling Bluetooth, in order to conserve battery life. But with IconSettings, users can access this functionality without going through the jailbreak process, which voids Apple's warranty for iOS devices.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 37
    Very interesting, let me try this!
  • Reply 2 of 37
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by akf2000 View Post


    Very interesting, let me try this!



    sure, go ahead
  • Reply 3 of 37
    Finally!
  • Reply 4 of 37
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    This is great! However I would prefer if Apple had a Settings option that would allow you to list various Settings of your choice in the Notification Bar that best suit the user's needs.
  • Reply 5 of 37
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by bloggerblog View Post


    sure, go ahead



    I did it!
  • Reply 6 of 37
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    This is great! However I would prefer if Apple had a Settings option that would allow you to list various Settings of your choice in the Notification Bar that best suit the user's needs.



    Sooooo completely concur. I've had my phone jailbroken until iOS5 (just haven't gotten around to it since the update) almost entirely because of SBSettings allowing quick access to toggle WiFi and adjust brightness (amongst other goodies). This may let me avoid jailbreaking again!
  • Reply 7 of 37
    nagrommenagromme Posts: 2,834member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    This is great! However I would prefer if Apple had a Settings option that would allow you to list various Settings of your choice in the Notification Bar that best suit the user's needs.



    Or in the double-click bar: you already have volume and rotation-lock and (for iPad) brightness, which are system settings. So I?m thinking just let that bar grow taller than one row when you swipe to it, allowing room for more controls; and let you choose which ones you want there.
  • Reply 8 of 37
    I have this and it works... Would be nice if Safari let you hit back if you've got 8 tabs open though. I hate losing pages... and it's like I'm always hitting 8 tabs.
  • Reply 9 of 37
    aizmovaizmov Posts: 988member
    I don't see any usability advantage.
  • Reply 10 of 37
    I generally don't do hacks, so I'm not going to try this, but is it launching the native Settings app and taking you straight to a sub-section, or is this HTML-based versions of those sub-sections? Does this mean that the sub-sections are referenceable using special URLs? That would make sense.
  • Reply 11 of 37
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Aizmov View Post


    I don't see any usability advantage.



    Power saving by turning on/off Bluetooth without going 3 menus deep in Settings app? Quick turning off wifi when the WLAN is blocking content or when it's super slow vs 3G?
  • Reply 12 of 37
    Hi AppleInsider!



    Thanks for the awesome review!



    Glad to see most of you are enjoying our tool!



    I joined here to say thanks firstly, and also let you all know we just released IconSettings v2.1.



    This adds .mobileconfig files which can now install all icons for you automatically and do not leave blank Safari tabs open anymore!



    To see the changes, please refresh the IconSettings homepage.



    Thanks and enjoy!



    iPhoneZA
  • Reply 13 of 37
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by coolfactor View Post


    I generally don't do hacks, so I'm not going to try this, but is it launching the native Settings app and taking you straight to a sub-section, or is this HTML-based versions of those sub-sections? Does this mean that the sub-sections are referenceable using special URLs? That would make sense.



    This isn't a hack - compare these URLs to those that take you directly into a section of the iTunes store. These work the same, only they take you to a specific settings area with far less clicking.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ChristophB View Post


    Power saving by turning on/off Bluetooth without going 3 menus deep in Settings app? Quick turning off wifi when the WLAN is blocking content or when it's super slow vs 3G?



    Exactly why I like to turn WiFi on and off. When I get to my office, our company WiFi blocks access to parts of the Internet (and requires me to sign on to VPN to access anything), so I like to switch over to 3G. Then when I get home, I want to be back on WiFi. Likewise in the morning, before my eyes have adjusted, I like to check email on my phone with the brightness almost all the way down. Then when my eyes adjust, I want it back up.
  • Reply 14 of 37
    aizmovaizmov Posts: 988member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ChristophB View Post


    Power saving by turning on/off Bluetooth without going 3 menus deep in Settings app? Quick turning off wifi when the WLAN is blocking content or when it's super slow vs 3G?



    Tops you can save one click if you are turning Bluetooth on/off. With WiFi it is the same number of clicks.
  • Reply 15 of 37
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by i-PhoneZA View Post


    Hi AppleInsider!



    Thanks for the awesome review!



    Glad to see most of you are enjoying our tool!



    I joined here to say thanks firstly, and also let you all know we just released IconSettings v2.1.



    This adds .mobileconfig files which can now install all icons for you automatically and do not leave blank Safari tabs open anymore!



    To see the changes, please refresh the IconSettings homepage.



    Thanks and enjoy!



    iPhoneZA



    I don't want to sound ungrateful, but do want to offer some constructive criticism: if you got a graphic designer to design the icons, your discovery would be a home run! As it stands, the icons are low resolution and some of them are poor choices in design.



    With that said, thank you for making this available. It will no doubt help many people who were looking for quick access to some of these features.
  • Reply 16 of 37
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by iPedro View Post


    I don't want to sound ungrateful, but do want to offer some constructive criticism: if you got a graphic designer to design the icons, your discovery would be a home run! As it stands, the icons are low resolution and some of them are poor choices in design.



    With that said, thank you for making this available. It will no doubt help many people who were looking for quick access to some of these features.



    Hi! Firstly you are welcome



    Thank you for the constructive criticism It is always appreciated.



    We unfortunately are not Graphics designers ourselve (as you can see), and we are trying to locate a graphics designer who would be willing to make us some icons.



    If you (or anyone else) does come accross someone who is willing to contribute icons and have their name credited on the site, please do send them our way!



    We wanted to be careful too in using icons that Apple would create a fuss about, otherwise we could have used their nice stock/pro icons or Mac icons for example



    Thanks again and stay tuned because we will update this and add more features such as .mobileconfigs.
  • Reply 17 of 37
    So... essentially Safari is able to launch the settings app and then make one selection only (hence automatic airplane mode, and everything else is just opening a menu).



    If Apple doesn't like this, 5.0.2 may remove the ability of Safari to launch settings at all, or at least do no more than launch settings... Interesting.
  • Reply 18 of 37
    Isn't this a security issue? A website that can change your settings!
  • Reply 19 of 37
    gqbgqb Posts: 1,934member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    This is great! However I would prefer if Apple had a Settings option that would allow you to list various Settings of your choice in the Notification Bar that best suit the user's needs.



    I just want Siri to be able to do it directly.
  • Reply 20 of 37
    gqbgqb Posts: 1,934member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by bloggerblog View Post


    Isn't this a security issue? A website that can change your settings!



    Its not changing anything... its just opening up the correct control panel location.

    Looks quite handy (at least until Siri can do it as is the proper solution.)
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