How To Apply Themes On iOS Without Jailbreak

If you often find yourself compulsively looking for new ways to spruce up your iOS device, make it your own, then it is likely you’ve hit a wall more than once. See, iOS doesn’t offer much in the way of customization – it is one of the core arguments fans of rival platform Android often use to criticize or mock Apple’s mobile OS.

Where the competition offers apps that let users completely replace the stock Home and Lock screens with highly-customizable variants, iOS only lets you change the wallpaper. The options therein are scarce as well, though there are quite a few apps on the App Store that make clever use of custom wallpapers to give your Home screen a certain faux-theme. It might work for some users, but it can’t exactly be called customization.

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Unfortunately, that’s all you have to work with if you own an iPhone, iPad or iPod touch, unless you’re willing to hop onto the jailbreak bandwagon, which wouldn’t be an unwise decision if you take your cosmetic customization seriously. Regardless of how serious you are about giving your daily driver a new coat of paint, jailbreaking isn’t for everyone. It comes with its complications and, if you intend for your device to stay jailbroken, you may have to skip more than a few official iOS updates.

Good news is, we’ve found a way you can have your cake and eat it too. It is called iSkin and it lets you apply themes to your iOS Home screen without having to jailbreak. Of course, you have to keep in mind that, being a non-jailbreak solution, iSkin will be subject to limitations. iSkin’s themes, despite having been borrowed from the Cydia store jailbroken devices, won’t be able to re-skin the UI as do jailbreak-powered theming platforms. Instead, it adds themed icons for apps of your choice to the Home screen without touching their existing icons. but for now, it is the closest you can get to theming your device without having to jailbreak.

Here’s how it works.

Installing A Theme

1. On your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch, launch Safari and head on over to iskin.tooliphone.net.

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2. Scroll down the page and select one of many available options to browse available themes. When you find one you like, simply tap on it.

3. On the page that follows, scroll to the bottom to find the “Install theme” section. Select the Lock screens and Home screens options here to download backgrounds of choice for your theme, using the Back button at the bottom to return to this page.

Note: You will have to open each wallpaper, then hold down on it to save it to the Photos app and set it as your wallpaper the usual way. Not every theme offers more than one wallpaper. The page specifies the devices for which each wallpaper has been designed.

4. The third and final option here lets you specify which app icons you want to add to your Home screen. You can also specify alternative labels for the icons you choose.

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Note: Themes might not have icon skins for all of your apps. Also, based on the theme you’re using, your device and the version of iOS it is running, all icons might not work. For those that do, you should see a white intermediary screen before the app launches. This is normal.

5. Once you’re done, simply hit Install.

6. On the Install Profile screen, hit Install, enter your passcode and tap Install twice more to confirm. Voila! All the themed icons you selected are now on your Home screen, complete with custom labels.

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Note that you can also browse for themed icons by app from the iSkin home page.

Removing Themed Icons

Installed icons can be removed individually from the Home screen the same way you uninstall an app. To remove all themed icons at once, here’s what you need to do.

1. Launch the Settings app.

2. Navigate to General > Profiles, and select the profile you just installed (it is labeled with the name of the theme and has “iSkin” mentioned in its description).

3. Tap Delete Profile and enter your passcode.