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iOS 10.3 will let apps change their Home screen icon at any time, no update required
Tucked away amid a flurry of new reports covering upcoming new features in Apple's operating system updates, like Theater Mode on Apple Watch and Siri in watch apps, Night Shift on Mac and Find My AirPods on iPhone, Apple yesterday quietly announced that developers will soon be allowed to change their app's Home screen icon programmatically, whenever they like.
In other words, an update is no longer required to push out the new icon artwork.
The seemingly unimportant change opens up a world of new possibilities for interactions with your favorite apps that simply were not possible before.
Taking advantage of the iOS 10.3 SDK, developers can now use a new Instance method to specify the primary app icon as well as one or more alternate icons.
iOS developer Steve Stroughton-Smith explained that apps must ask your permission before changing their icon. Granting permission yields an alert like the one you see below, informing you of an icon change.