Instant Access to Websites with your iPhone and iPad

Updated May 4th, 2020.

The iPhone’s Safari browser is nice and quick. What isn’t quick is typing in a web address– it takes longer to tap-tap-tap into Safari than it does to read the articles when you get there. There are ways to make getting to websites in Safari quicker; here are two of the best. The second one’s better than the first but read the whole thing anyway.

First, use the bookmarks. The icon looks like an open book, at the bottom of the Safari app (circled in red below). Tap that button and you’re on your way. Of course, you have to get bookmarks into your iPhone. The easy way: set them up in Safari on your Mac, check the box in iTunes to synchronize bookmarks, and sync. Or add them via the Share button on your iPhone (keep reading).

Having bookmarks makes using Safari on your iPhone a lot easier– just tap Safari, tap the Bookmarks button, scroll around through the folders and eventually you find what you’re looking for and then you tap that. Whew. Not easy enough.

Here’s the right way: add icons for your favorite websites to your Home screen so you can load them in one tap. Actually, make that “Home screens.” As long as there is room for another icon on one of your Home screens this tip works. When there’s no more room, you can’t use this tip.

So how do we do it? Easily, that’s how:

1. Go to the web page that you want to make an icon for.
2. Tap the “Share” button (just to the left of the bookmarks button). You’ll get this screen:

You want “Add to Home Screen.” Choose that, and you get this:

Like they say– “An icon will be added to your home screen so you can quickly access this web site.” Adjust the name as desired (more on that later) and tap the blue “Add” button. That’s it. Here’s how your Home screen might look after adding this site:

One tap on that red-circled icon and you go straight to the web page. Pretty neat, but not actually pretty. There’s room for improvement. Two tricks: first, before adding the icon to the Home screen, stretch the web page until you’re looking at exactly what you want the icon to look like. Here’s an example, using

I know this guy.

NOW when you hit that “Share” button your icon will look pretty good, depending of course on who’s looking. Mom likes this one.

The second thing to do is to keep the name short. As we saw above, “The Boyce Blog” turned into “The Bo… Blog”– sounds a little stinky. Shorten up the name and you’ll end up with something that fits, as seen below.

Next time you want to go to the Boyce Blog, poke that icon in the nose and the page will come right up.

(Bonus: to get rid of an icon just touch it and hold it until it wiggles. Then tap the circled X in the top left corner of the icon. Double-bonus: this whole thing works for iPads too.)

Copyright 2008-2022 Christian Boyce. All rights reserved.

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