Sometimes I feel like I live in the midst of one huge iOS vs. Android conflict. There aren’t many issues (tech-related ones, anyway) that can generate so much passion and hatred in some of my friends. Sometimes it seems as if life itself depends on whether you choose to use an iPhone or an Android device.
Personally, I think there are pros and cons in each. One of iOS’s most infamous cons is its lack of flexibility. While on an Android device you can create widgets and shortcuts for settings you use often, in iOS there is no other choice but to bore down into the settings menu, find the setting you’re looking for and change it. True, you can always jailbreak and get the thing over with, but wouldn’t it be nice to have some settings shortcuts in iOS without the need to jailbreak?
Jeff Broderick’s Settings
Jeff Broderick is a UI/visual designer, who created this really nifty solution for non-jailbroken iOS users. Using his Settings web app, anyone can add shortcuts to various popular settings, and access them quickly without having to dig for them each and every time.
These are merely shortcuts to the settings menu, not real widgets, so the solution is by no means perfect, but considering the iOS constraints, this is a really handy shortcut which can save you lots of time in the long run. Plus, it looks really cool. So how does it work?
Setting Up Shortcuts
To start, point the browser on your device to http://brdrck.me/settings. Note that when I tried this in Dolphin, it didn’t work, but it worked well in Safari.
You will find an array of frequently-used settings shortcuts you can choose from. When you find one you want to install, simply tap on it.
Some shortcuts come with several icon options, and some come with only one. Once you’re satisfied with the icon, tap on the install button to install the shortcut.
This will redirect you to the settings menu where you can install the shortcut as a profile. Tap “Install” to proceed.
You will be prompted with a “Do you really want to install?” question, and will also have to enter your device’s passcode if you have one.
The installation will now complete, and you can head over to your homescreen to find the new shortcuts. Tapping one of the shortcuts will automatically lead you to the specific place in the device’s setting where you can change it. So if, for example, you need to change Safari’s settings a lot, installing the shortcut will bring you to that specific place in the settings with only one tap.
Uninstalling A Shortcut
If you’re not interested in having shortcuts anymore, you can easily remove them. To start, you can of course delete the shortcuts as you would delete any other app. Long-tap the shortcut icon and tap the X. This will delete the shortcut icon from your desktop.
But removing the settings shortcuts this way doesn’t entirely uninstall them. To do that, access the Settings, and in the General tab, scroll down to find Profiles. Next to it, you will see the number of shortcuts you have installed (unless you have other profiles installed, that is).
Tap on Profiles to find a list of the installed shortcuts. Choose the one you want to remove and tap it. Here you can remove the shortcut by tapping “Remove”.
As you can probably imagine, Apple doesn’t really like shortcuts like this. There is a rumor that such things will stop working on iOS 5.1, but I haven’t seen anything specifically regarding Jeff Broderick’s Settings. If you’ve already installed the beta version of iOS 5.1, you’re welcome to let us know if this still works on it.
What do you think of Apple’s decisions regarding iOS’s flexibility? Do you wish you could do more things, or is this whole flexibility thing overrated? Share in the comments.
Image credit: Jeff Broderick
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