This simple ‘hack’ brings back Instagram’s original, beloved icon

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Earlier this week, Instagram rolled out an updated user interface focusing on monochromatic, flat design – except for the icon itself, which received a very colorful makeover.

The new icon has unified the look of Instagram’s three apps, bringing it in line with the Hyperlapse, Boomerang, Layout icons. Coincidentally (perhaps), it also closely resembles Apple’s own icons that received the rainbow gradient treatment in iOS 9. Not everyone is pleased with that decision, however. Luckily, for those who wish for a return to the days of yore, UX designer Juan Ramirez has come up with a hack to restore the legacy Instagram icon on iOS devices.

To be clear, this isn’t the type of hack that’s going to damage your phone. You don’t have to jailbreak anything, and it’s perfectly safe. As reported by BGR, it works by taking advantage of a trick in iOS that allows for webpage shortcuts to open apps, shortcuts that can be pinned to a user’s home screen. Ramirez simply created a shortcut that launches Instagram, while using the classic icon to represent the web app. On his website, he laments that, alas, there is nothing he can do about changing the icon when it shows up in other places, such as in push notifications.

To revert to ye olde Instagram icon, simply squirrel the app away in a folder you’ll never look at, navigate to Ramirez’s shortcut webpage (make sure you’re on Safari on iOS), and then simply follow the onscreen instructions to save the web app to your home screen. Voilà!

For some, this may seem like much ado about nothing – does it really matter what icons look like? – but our smartphones have become intrinsically linked to our daily lives. They comfort us, console us, and when things change, some of us panic. It’s reassuring to know that people like Ramirez are out there, fighting the good fight and keeping us sane.

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