How to Make Your iOS Home Screen Feel Faster

I’ve been in mobile devices since 1997, and if there’s one thing that I absolutely MUST have, it’s a fast home screen. If getting back to my home screen(s) and navigating through them results in poor performance, then quite honestly, my entire device experience can be tainted.

iOS’s home screen and app launcher haven’t been updated since the original introduction of the original iPhone back in 2007. Yes, the UI has seen updates – the implementation of folders and the like – but honestly, Apple hasn’t updated the iOS home screen looks or functionality at all in the past nine or so years of iHistory.

It used to be that the ONLY way you could make a change to the iOS home screen was to jailbreak the device. Honestly, the practice of jailbreaking an iDevice has declined in popularity. I jailbroke an iPhone 5 for about 27.5 minutes and simply couldn’t take it. Granted, that was about three years ago; but I’m nearly certain the experience in the Cydia store hasn’t changed much.

ios-jailbreak

However, if you have a lot of apps on your iDevice, and if you’re running an older iDevice with the latest version of iOS 9 on it, it’s quite possible your device has a slow home screen. If you’re experiencing this type of performance issue, then I have some good news for you – it’s possible to give your iDevice a bit of a performance tweak by turning on the OS’ animations, and no, you don’t have jailbreak your device to make it happen.

There are some minor things you need to know about before you get going, though:

  1. This tip involves taking advantage of a bug – or glitch – in iOS. While it will NOT introduce any malware to your device, it is possible that Apple may “fix” this bug in a future version of iOS, and then there goes your performance boost.
  2. This is not a permanent fix. This only works until you either turn your iDevice off and on or until you perform a reset. (Hold the Wake/ Sleep button and Home button down until you see the Apple logo, and then let go.)

So this one is good and bad: If you don’t like removing iOS’s Springboard animations and want to put them back, it’s easy to do so. If you like the results and can live without the animations, you’re going to have to repeat this process if you’ve had to power cycle or reset your device.

To apply this performance boost to your iDevice, follow these steps:

1. With a freshly restarted or reset device, open “Settings –> General –> Accessibility –> Assistive Touch,” and toggle the Assistive Touch switch to on (so it should be green). When you do this, the Assistive Touch nub (an on-screen charcoal gray button) will appear near the bottom-right corner of your iDevice screen.

iOS-Home-Settings

2. Hit your Home button to return to the home screen. Drag the Nub to the bottom of your screen, and put it as far into the right-hand corner of the screen as you can.

iOS-Home-Home

3. Invoke Spotlight Search on your device by swiping down on the middle of the Home screen. (Not the top, as you may bring down Notification Center. Instead, you need to swipe down in the middle of the screen so you don’t bring down Notification Center instead of activating Spotlight.) Dismiss Spotlight IMMEDIATELY after the nub jumps above the on-screen keyboard. If you time it right, you’ll see that Spotlight’s interface speeds up a bit, indicating that you’ve activated the OS glitch and turned off Springboard.

iOS-Home-Spotlight

4. Try launching an app to see if the animations are gone. If they are, then you did everything correctly. If not, then repeat step number 3 until you get it. My research on this topic indicated that it’s a matter of timing and that you may have to repeat this quite a bit until the animations turn off.

5. Turn off the Assistive Touch feature you enabled in step number one. It doesn’t have to stay on for this to work.

Getting better performance on an iDevice used to involve getting the most current iDevice (with the better, faster hardware) or required you to jailbreak your device and put up with all of Cydia’s problems and potentially malware-ridden software.

However, thanks to a small glitch in iOS 9.x, you can turn off Springboard animations and get a faster performing device with just a simple five-step process.  Do you know of any other performance boosting tips for iOS?  Why not join us in the Discussion area below and tell us about them?

Image credit: I feel the need for speed

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