Sunday, September 22, 2013

iPad App: App Icons

I like customizing my devices—my phone, my iPad, my computers. If it can be personalised, I'm usually down for trying something new. And I wanted to try something new for my iPad since I rarely ever do anything aside from play games on it. So I decided to by App Icons by Tap Nation from the iTunes App Store.

Let me quickly preface all of this by saying that I wish I could get my money back.

When I first saw the listing, it was $1.99, but when you click the actual link, it comes up as $3.99; I'm not sure why. ($1.99 Google vs $3.99 iTunes).

Below, I've decided to give my thoughts and a descriptive overview of the application, and why it would just be better off saving your money.

Might've been an indexing error, but either way, I should've taken that as a caution to be weary. App Icons is available for the iPhone and the iPad, but I would just keep it away from both of those devices. After buying it and everything it has a pretty nice menu. It shows you the top 200 popular icons; it has different themes for you to choose from, and so on. Seeing this, I'm thinking, "Oh, this is going to be the real business." Not. Quite.

In the help menu, it tells you how to work for the iOS7 (if you've decided to update it). I did, and I figure that it's going to be helpful to know. Delete/hide all of your main, uncustomised icons in a folder and install your custom ones. After deleting, I decided to get right into customising.

The main screen is very sleek, and you can choose where to start. You can pick from apps, your SMS/MMS number, Email, or any URL that doesn't fit those parameters. Very handy, and yet, that's where the first problem lies. I went for the Apps section. Here's how I'm thinking it's going to work:
  1. It's going to find which apps you have and let you pick from there, or
  2. Let you select from the most popular, common apps for your device
Neither of those things were quite true. It starts off pretty average, giving me choices of "Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, WhatsApp, twitter", and "Skype", but then it starts going off the handle for me.

These apps are scattered far and wide all across the board. I can't even say how popular these are or how relevant they are to my interests, but I can just say that it left me incredibly limited on what I wanted. And on top of that, it has a handful (if that much) of the factory loaded apps. For the downloaded applications that I do have, sometimes it tells me to download them when they're already have them on my device, so.

The skins look nothing like their theme counterparts which have cakes, leather, or can be rounded for example. Despite this, they're still have a decent amount of variation, as do the frames. The "decor" tab is where you can add icon or other small things. You can't overlay decorations. You can't change colours on them, and you're basically stuck with whatever icons they give you. For apps, they have the eBay icon, twitter, YouTube, PayPal, Evernote, Skype, and a few others. And then they have basic icons such as a speech bubble, a WiFi icon, and so on. But they're limited as far as variation. You can't shrink their size or anything else. What you see is essentially what you get.

After you've customised your icons and have saved, you finally have the chance to install them. That's where it gets a little try. Not the installation bit, that goes pretty well and almost without notice. When you click on each icon, it doesn't necessarily replace the main icons you've hidden or deleted. These icons work more as bookmarks. They redirect you to Safari (or whatever your choice main browser is), and then it opens the application for you. There's always going to be that 3 to 5 second delay. And then some of the icons just ended up flat out not working for me. I want to say it was partially because of my iOS7 update, but it doesn't even recognize its own function.

After redirecting me to Safari, some icons say that they have a problem locating the bookmarked server, which I have no problem accessing if I go from the unmodified icon. All in all, these icons are fun to make and pretty to look at, but that's about it really.

Someone complained that these were too labor intensive, but if you download a customization product, I'm not really sure what you're going for, especially when it has themes you can just download if you don't want to do anything. Oh, people.


Save your money. If you're looking for something that's a little more varied and will actually work, try going to other applications first. App Icons does have some nice presets, but I don't honestly think it's worth $4. I wish I could get a refund, but I guess it's not that much of a loss in the long run. Maybe they'll improve it and make something better. Who knows?

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