Last week I fell in love with Launch Center ($0.99) from App Cubby, an iPhone app that lets you create one-tap shortcuts for frequently performed tasks like composing an email, launching an app, updating Twitter and more. Yesterday I described how you can create “profiles” in the app, arranging tasks in a way that supports your profession or interest(s).
Today, reader Andrew Burgess pointed out that Launch Center can be used to create shortcuts to iOS system preferences, too. This saves time but also fulfills some of my wishes for Apple’s Notification Center.
Launch Center opens an app via its unique URL. For example, “tweetbot://” will open Tweetbot. David at AppCubby has conveniently posted a list of app URLs.[1. David has thoroughly updated that list to include instructions on how to use URL schemes with Launch Center. Thanks, David!] That’s great, but as Andrew points out at Shaky Takes, there are also URLs for iOS system preference screens. Best of all, they work with Launch Center.
To create a Launch Center task that opens the Bluetooth system preference, for example, follow these steps:
1. Create a new app shortcut
2. Enter “Bluetooth” as the title
3. Enter “prefs:root=General&path=Bluetooth” in the URL field
4. Tap Done
Now, tapping that task brings you right to the Bluetooth preference screen. It doesn’t stop there. All of these iOS preference screens are available via URLs. Now you can have one-tap access to Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, Airplane Mode…you name it. All from within Launch Center. Here’s a list of app URLs compiled by Lifehacker Australia:
- About – prefs:root=General&path=About
- Accessibility – prefs:root=General&path=ACCESSIBILITY
- Airplane Mode On – prefs:root=AIRPLANE_MODE
- Auto-Lock – prefs:root=General&path=AUTOLOCK
- Brightness – prefs:root=Brightness
- Bluetooth – prefs:root=General&path=Bluetooth
- Date & Time – prefs:root=General&path=DATE_AND_TIME
- FaceTime – prefs:root=FACETIME
- General – prefs:root=General
- Keyboard – prefs:root=General&path=Keyboard
- iCloud – prefs:root=CASTLE
- iCloud Storage & Backup – prefs:root=CASTLE&path=STORAGE_AND_BACKUP
- International – prefs:root=General&path=INTERNATIONAL
- Location Services – prefs:root=LOCATION_SERVICES
- Music – prefs:root=MUSIC
- Music Equalizer – prefs:root=MUSIC&path=EQ
- Music Volume Limit – prefs:root=MUSIC&path=VolumeLimit
- Network – prefs:root=General&path=Network
- Nike + iPod – prefs:root=NIKE_PLUS_IPOD
- Notes – prefs:root=NOTES
- Notification – prefs:root=NOTIFICATIONS_ID
- Phone – prefs:root=Phone
- Photos – prefs:root=Photos
- Profile – prefs:root=General&path=ManagedConfigurationList
- Reset – prefs:root=General&path=Reset
- Safari – prefs:root=Safari
- Siri – prefs:root=General&path=Assistant
- Sounds – prefs:root=Sounds
- Software Update – prefs:root=General&path=SOFTWARE_UPDATE_LINK
- Store – prefs:root=STORE
- Twitter – prefs:root=TWITTER
- Usage – prefs:root=General&path=USAGE
- VPN – prefs:root=General&path=Network/VPN
- Wallpaper – prefs:root=Wallpaper
- Wi-Fi – prefs:root=WIFI
In this way, Launch Center has delivered something Notification Center hasn’t: one-tap access to Bluetooth and Wi-Fi settings (among many others). Fantastic.
Launch Center is a 99¢ utility that keeps getting better. If you don’t own it, you’re nuts.
Update: Reader Aaron wrote with good and bad news. First the good. You can get to personal hotspot with “prefs:root=INTERNET_TETHERING.” The bad news is, “…in the current iOS beta, none on these system pref URL’s work anymore.” Drat.
Also, Dean notes that you can access the personal hotspot preference with “prefs:root=Personal_Hotspot”.