You are using an outdated browser. Please upgrade your browser to improve your experience.
Home Screen Icon

In iOS 10.3, Developers Can Change an App’s Home Screen Icon Without an Update

Are we one step closer to an iOS Dark mode?
Apple's Software
January 26, 2017

Another notable change has been spotted in the first beta version of iOS 10.3, which was seeded to registered developers earlier this week. Apple will now allow developers to change an app’s Home screen icon without requiring an app update.

The new feature was first noticed by Developer Steve Stroughton-Smith (via iDownloadBlog).

Some interesting possibilities

Some interesting possibilities

According to Stroughton-Smith, the app will require user permission to change the icon – but it’s unknown if that will be needed each time an icon changes or just the first time.

Currently, the app icon must be visible on the screen for it to change. This change could open up some unique possibilities for app developers. For example, an weather app’s icon could change to mirror the conditions outside. It could also be used to inform users of different promotions and much more.

Interestingly, iDownloadBlog speculates that this ability to change icons without an update could possibly be an important step closer to bringing the highly requested Dark Mode to iOS devices.

Other changes

Other changes
The Apple ID profile screen is one of the new features in iOS 10.3, currently in beta testing.

The Apple ID profile screen is one of the new features in iOS 10.3, currently in beta testing.

As for the iOS 10.3 software itself, users can look forward to a number of interesting new features. AirPods owners should be happy to hear that the Find my iPhone app has been updated to allow users to track down a lost AirPod by reporting each earbuds last known location. If in range, you can also have each earbud play a sound to help locate it, much like numerous Bluetooth trackers on the market.

My colleague Bryan M. Wolfe recently took a look at the new Apple ID Profile screen in the software.

But easily the biggest improvements focus on reviews. By the time the software arrives, developers will be able to reply to App Store reviews. Developers have long asked for the ability to reply directly to App Store reviews. Currently, there is now way for developers to respond if a user is having an issue with an app or if they left a negative review.

With iOS 10.3, Apple is also making it easier for users to leave reviews. Currently, users are forced to leave the app completely to offer a review. When the new iOS version is officially released, you can author a review from inside the app. That’s another change developers and app users should be happy to see.

The software will go through a number of beta versions, and could be released to the general public sometime this spring.