Tech & Media|Technology

How to Make Your iPhone “Aesthetic” With Shortcuts

If you are looking to aestheticize your life, then your iPhone is a perfect place to start.

Phones are miniature portraits of modern life. You carry it around in your pocket and take it out to see what sort of day you are having or are about to have. So it is only natural that you would want your phone to be an aesthetically pleasing bearer of this message.

In March of 2021, Apple released iOS update 14, which finally, finally allows users to modify their interface. The biggest change included in this update is the ability to use different icons for apps than the ones provided.

Replacing icons is just the first step, however. Your creativity can go further than that.

These icons can also change in size. Try this for a fun experiment:

  1. Find a quote that inspires you or makes you smile.
  1. Change your apps’ icons to be the words of this quote.
  1. Organize and resize the icons to make the quote visible.

Suddenly your iPhone is inspiring you every time you open it up! Changing icons means you can make them say whatever you want, and changing their size means you can make them as visible as you want.

There are also things you can do that take a bit more precision.

Imagine you have a group photo with all your friends. You want to use it as your phone background, but you do not want it hidden behind your app icons.

The icons of iPhone apps are usually sized at 180 by 180 pixels. Knowing this, you can divide your picture into a grid, where the squares are 180 by 180 pixels big.

Then, save each square of the grid as its own image. Once you replace your apps’ icons with the squares that they are covering up, it will appear as though there is no app icon at all.

But sometimes, you don’t want a seamless image. After all, not every aesthetic is seamless. Seamlessness hides the effort that goes into creating an aesthetic. It creates the illusion that the aesthetic is natural, that all the component parts fit together.

But what if you don’t want to hide your effort? What if part of your aesthetic is showing that you made it out of disparate parts?

Here is a fun thing to do if mosaics are more your aesthetic:

  1. Get the AutoDesk Sketchbook app from the app store.
  1. Just doodle. Draw curves, loops, and whorls that appeal to you.
  1. Cut that image up into 180 by 180-pixel pieces, but don’t pay too much mind to making it a perfect grid.
  1. Replace your app icons with the images you made

The best part about this is that rather than just using your app icons to remake the same image, you can make an entirely different image out of the components you created out of the doodles.

These are just a few experiments. Hopefully, this will help you express yourself and find a way to show off your aesthetic using your shortcuts.