A new app called Mycons launched today picks up on the iOS 14 home screen customization trend by making it easier for anyone, including non-designers, to quickly create their own custom icons and purchase pre-made icon and wallpaper packs from Designer.
With the release of iOS 14 in mid-September, millions of users took advantage of new features like iOS widgets to customize their iPhone homescreens. As part of this trend, users have also rediscovered how to use the Apple Shortcuts app to create custom icons for their favorite apps to suit their new homescreen aesthetic.
As a result, apps for customizing the home screen appeared at the top of the App Store in the days and weeks after iOS 14 launched.
The trend doesn't seem to be flash-in-the-pan either. Today, Widgetsmith, the leader in custom widgets, remains # 8 on the list of Best Free Apps on the App Store (No Game) at the time of writing.
While most of the new customization apps focus on creating their own iOS 14 widgets, the ones that help users design their own icon sets are more difficult to find. Some existing apps like Launcher have been redesigned to meet user demand for icons, while others have introduced paid icon marketplaces like Brass.
Meanwhile, Mycons offers both a toolset for customizing symbols and the option to purchase pre-made symbol packages.
If you want to create your own symbols, you can use the symbol Studio ”in Mycons to get started. Some introductory features are offered for free, and a one-time upgrade of $ 9.99 unlocks all functionality.
"I wanted to release the app with a handful of free basic design features so that users could get a feel for how things work and still make their homescreens look nice without spitting out their hard-earned cash," explains Mycon developer Daniel McCarthy.
Once the full customization features of Icon Studio are unlocked, you will find that they are quite extensive.
You can choose solids, gradients, or even a photo as the icon background, or use a premium background that you have purchased.
If you set your own color as the background, Mycons allows you to choose between using a color grid, a color spectrum, adjusting sliders, or entering a specific hex color number to get just the right shade.
The app also includes a searchable database with thousands of icons and logos to choose from – including icons for your most used apps as well as hard-to-find generic icons like the RSS icon. For some of the most popular apps – like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube or Snapchat – you even have different options to choose from.
You can then place the symbol in the middle, top or bottom left, or top or bottom right. You can also customize the icon's color, size, and transparency.
Mycons also makes it very easy to create a number of custom symbols at once.
After you've designed your icon template style, you can toggle the Enable Batch Export option to select multiple icons and then apply the same background to all of them. Then tap the “Export” button to send all of the icons to your camera roll at once.
If you don't want to create your own symbols, Mycons also offers packages that you can buy.
On a separate tab in the Icon Studio, you can use Mycons icon packs from designers to purchase one-time in-app purchases. These cost between $ 7.99 and $ 9.99 and come with a range of backgrounds (wallpapers) to match the custom icons. In some cases, these are also available in multiple colors and styles.
Once purchased, you can use the style with your own custom icon designs. This is an advantage over buying an icon pack from Etsy, where you only get a set number of icons, for example – but no tools to make your own in case you're missing a few.
At the start, the designs on offer come from just three developers, the Mycons developer Daniel McCarthy, the artist Alanna Ranellone and the painter and photographer Jenna McCarthy.
Now that the app is live, Mycons is opening up to other designers who can apply to join the marketplace via a link on the app's Settings tab.
Not all designs are accepted, however, says McCarthy. Instead, the marketplace is curated to ensure that all designs are unique and of high quality.
McCarthy, who previously worked as a designer himself, plans to offer Mycons' designer partners how they would like to be paid: either as commissioned work at a competitive market price or as a percentage of sales.
A performance bonus is also offered in the event that an icon pack becomes a hit, but the designer has opted for the "contract rate" option.
"I always try to do what is fair and right," explains McCarthy. "If a design partner does contract work and their designs are hugely successful, I'm not going to let them get ripped off," he says.
Designers are also credited in the app and can link to their own websites or social media accounts if desired. That way, their Mycons marketplace list could serve as the lead gene for their own design business.
Mycons is a free download with in-app purchases from the App Store.