Since my Feature Checking post, I have been sent the link to, and seen numerous times in my RSS feed, posts regarding the ‘Icon Settings’ from the iphoneza.co.za site as a solution to the problem I raised regarding quick access to the WiFi switcher.
However, while I appreciate the idea, I just can’t get on board with using this ‘hack’ for that very reason. It just feels way too ‘hacky’ for me. You tap the icon, which launches Safari, which then itself launches the appropriate section of Settings.app. Though my initial skepticism was based on whether this would require an active data connection, which has since become redundant as I believe this requirement has been removed in updated versions, it just feels awkward to me. My problem with the WiFi switcher is related to the time it takes to turn it on, not necessarily the amount of taps I have to go through to get to it (though I realise there is a direct correlation there). This solution does not seem any faster to me, especially considering a real-use, everyday case.
Say I start to use these icons instead of launching Settings.app, where do I place them? I highly doubt I would be able to find a place for them on my highly prioritised Home Screen, especially with the unsightly icon images they currently sport. Therefore, I would have to hunt down the icon, launch it, which launches Safari, then launches Settings.app. That sounds like a worse experience to me. Let us also consider, that there are a number of these icons, so they may be organised into a folder. You then need to add a step at the start of the aforementioned process, to tap to open that folder. I realise that Spotlight is an option, but if you have a number of apps and media on your device, it is never usually faster for me than just launching that app (in this situation, as Settings.app resides on my Home Screen).
I mentioned the word “experience” previously, and it is one that is central to the enjoyment of using iOS, and, conversely, why I could never see myself using anything like this. When you watch the video, or install these onto your device, it feels like something running on a jailbroken phone, it breaks the experience.