in Apps, iPad, Tutorials

The new dock has been a great addition to the iPad in iOS 11 and has made getting to those those apps which you use a lot very easy. This has made many people question how they should layout their homescreen(s) since these changes. Some people have moved to putting several apps into a folder so that they can access any of their apps from multitasking whenever they need. However, after a recent video a watcher requested a different kind of idea for their homescreen. They wanted two app icons on their homescreen, one in the doc and the other on the homescreen.

There are a few reasons why you might want this sort of set up. Perhaps you want the quick and easy to access doc, but still want to keep a similar layout to your iPhone set up. Or perhaps you want to have a deep folder system on your dock and a simple to navigate homescreen with single apps. Or perhaps you want to do something more impressive that we’ll look at later. Well there is a simple tool to help. Check out the video

Workflow, the key to multiple app icons on your homescreen.

Workflow is an app which is now run by Apple. It lets you chain actions together to do things such as stitch photos together to create a gif and then upload it to a cloud storage system. You can trigger these workflows in several ways including from the action extension in the share sheet, from a widget, by pressing the trigger in the app or by creating an app icon for your homescreen.

How to Use Workflow to get multiple app icons on your homescreen

Workflow has different levels of support for different apps. In some cases it is deeply connected allowing for some really powerful actions. This includes apps like Ulysses where it can do many different actions. In some cases it can only do basic actions such as opening an app.

However, even this basic function is useful creating multiple app icons. First it helps to find an icon to use, or you can use workflows built in app icon generator, whatever you prefer.

Next start creating your action. Simple create a new workflow, then go to the action option. Next start typing either the name of the app you wish to open, or if you don’t have that option, you can type “open app”.

Next customize the appearance by clicking the setting wheel. Then click on icon. If you have the app icon then you can click homescreen, and select photo so that it can be your icon. Otherwise you can choose the colour you want and then the glyph for your icon. The services section has some of the more popular app icons.

Finally click add to homescreen and then follow the instructions to add the icon to your homescreen.

Now you can move this icon around as you like. For example, you might want to have an option to add a task to your todo application by simply pressing the app icon. This might make sense for your homescreen so that you can unlock your iPad and then add a task quickly without even launching the app.

Give it a go!

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