Moving iPhone Icons

I like the iPhone, but it can still send me into a hissy fit

Steve Jobs and iPhoneTo my mind, the iPhone is a lot slicker and nicer to use than any Android phone. But there’s one aspect of it that’s just dreadful and I don’t know why it hasn’t been addressed yet. This is the fact that trying to move an app’s icon from one screen to another causes a trail of mayhem as lots of other icons get moved around completely needlessly in the process. If you want to use a smartphone efficiently – or any other type of computer for that matter – you don’t want to have to search for the means of launching an app (or program) just because everything’s been moved around as a by-product of moving a single icon. It’s insane. It’s one of the many examples of computer idiocies that make me wonder if the people who make and sell us this stuff actually use it themselves or have ever listened to any feedback from anyone who does.

Rubiks Cube
Re-positioning iPhone icons can seem as frustrating as trying to solve Rubik’s Cube
Yes, I do know that it’s possible to re-arrange icons a bit more easily via iTunes, but that is definitely a case of a sledgehammer to crack a walnut when all you want to do is move one or two icons about. Besides, you want to move an icon when it occurs to you. You hardly want to send yourself some kind of a reminder to move one icon the next time you happen to be in front of computer and can connect your iPhone to your iTunes.

I’ve looked online for a better way of doing this but haven’t found one. I have, however, worked out a partial solution to the problem. I say “partial” because it might still mess up the icons on the screen(s) where the icon started and/or finished, but at least it will leave icons on the intermediate screens untouched.

What you do is use the iPhone’s dock (the bottom row of icons on the screen) as a “holding area” for the icon you wish to move. It works if you do the following:

  • Begin by going to a screen that has space for at least one more icon.
  • Press and hold (thus beginning the “move” process) on any icon in the dock and slide it up to a spare slot on the current screen.
  • End the “move” process by clicking on the “home” button. Your dock now has a spare space on it.
  • Navigate to the screen that currently includes the icon you wish to move.
  • Press and hold on the icon you wish to move, and, when the wiggling begins, drag the icon to the dock.
  • End the “move” process by clicking on the “home” button.
  • Navigate to the screen where you wish to place the icon.
  • Click and hold on the relevant icon (that is now in the dock).
  • When the wiggling begins, slide the icon up to the desired location.
  • Click on the “home” button to end the “move” process.
  • Navigate to the screen where you placed the icon that you originally moved from the dock.
  • Click and hold on that icon until the wiggling begins.
  • Slide the icon back onto the dock.
  • Click on the “home” button to end the “move” process.

Yes, that really is a list of 14 instructions just to move an icon from one screen to another.

(Last updated 11/09/2023)