How To Add Your Favorite Contacts To iPhone’s Home Screen Without Jailbreaking

BY Rounak Jain

Published 2 Feb 2013

While the phone app on your iPhone lets you select favorite contacts from your contact list to easily call them, it can take three taps to finally end up on the calling screen. In this article, we tell you a trick by which you can call people you frequently contact right from your homescreen, without the need for a jailbreak.

To do this, you’ll have to first download iPhone Configuration Utility, a software developed by Apple, targeted for enterprise device management. You can download and install the Windows version from here, and the Mac version from here. After you’re done installing the app on your PC or Mac, follow the steps below. (Although the screenshots  below show the Mac app, instructions for the Windows version should be fairly similar.)

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Step 1: Open iPhone Configuration Utility and click on the “Configuration Profiles” label on the left.

Step 2: Click on “New” at the top and you’ll notice a new profile has been created with default values.

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Step 3: Fill in the required fields for the profile. I named my profile “Speed dial,” enter “com.yourname.profile” as the identifier and, if you want, you can fill in a brief description that explains the purpose of this profile.

step 3Step 4: Now scroll to the bottom, click on Web Clips, and then hit “Configure.” You’ll see that there are a set of fields that you have to fill in values for.

Step 5: In Name, enter the name of the contact you’d like to call. In the URL field, enter “tel://” followed by the phone number. You can also choose the icon that will appear on your iPhone’s home screen for the shortcut. In my case, I chose a retro phone icon from here. Enable the “full screen” checkbox as well.

Step 6: Now connect your iPhone via your USB cable and wait for it to appear under devices at the left. Once it does, click on the “Configuration Profiles” tab on the right. If everything went right till now, you should see the configuration profile you created, along with an install button on the right.

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Step 7: Click the install button and your iPhone should automatically get unlocked and prompt you with a screen that asks you for permission to install the profile. Once that’s done, you should see the icon along with the name you had entered.

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Step 8: Tap on the icon and it should open a web view with an alert asking you to confirm whether you want to proceed with the call. Once you confirm, your call will be placed.

The flow would have been even better had Apple not put a confirmation alert every time you tap the web clip icon, but it still takes just two taps, where as the Phone app favorites could take two and at most three taps to end up at the calling screen. You can even use this trick to quickly message people, just enter “sms://” in the URL instead of “tel://”. When using the SMS url, iOS doesn’t even ask for a confirmation and directly redirects you to the compose window, making it a one-tap process.

If you have multiple iPhones, you can simply export the profile from iPhone Configuration Utility and mail it to all devices as an attachment, making this process work over-the-air without the need to be connected via USB.

We hope you find this helpful in your daily usage, if you have further suggestions, chime in the comments below. Of course with the iOS 6 jailbreak the iPhone would become even more productive, with tweaks like these.

Related: List of hacks that don’t require a jailbreak