By Brenda Bethman
I have a thing about the “what’s on your homescreen?” genre of blog posts / websites. I love to scroll through galleries to see what other folks put on their homescreens as the apps you choose to highlight on that precious phone real estate says something to me about the kind of person you are. I can happily waste tons of time looking at posts / sites featuring homescreens (click here, here, and here for just a few examples). Recently I realized that we here at SAWTT had never done such a post, so here it is. Below is a screen shot of my homescreen with some explanation for why those apps are there.
Row #1: App Store, Settings, Music folder, Safari. A lot of folks don’t put stock Apple apps like the App Store and Settings on the homescreen, but I like to have them there for easy access — especially since I’ve upgraded to the iPhone 5 and have become obsessed with battery life and find myself opening the Settings app multiple times per day to tweak settings in an attempt to squeeze out as much battery life as possible. The Music folder contains iTunes, the Music app, Pandora, and Podcasts — and Safari is another app I use multiple times per day.
Row #2: Messages, Maps, Cameras folder, Photography folder. One surprising development for me since getting an iPhone a couple of years ago is what a huge texter I have become. As someone who previously scorned the form, this is truly surprising. I have also developed digital hoarding tendencies — a recent need to restore my phone as new (thank you, battery issues) prompted a search for an app that would backup my texts (see this post for more on that process) and revealed that I had accumulated over 6,300 texts on my old phone is just two years. So, the Messages app definitely gets a prominent place on my phone. Maps, Cameras and Photography are also used frequently (and again, the over 2,500 photos on my device tells you something about my ability to hoard. I really need to work on that….).
Row #3: Facebook, Messenger, Tweetbot, Foursquare. This is the “social” row and these four apps are accessed many, many times per day. I’ve written enough both here and on my blog for readers to know how I feel about social media, so I see no need to elaborate. The surprise would be if these apps weren’t on my homescreen.
Row #4: Day One, Clear, 30/30, Drafts. The productivity row — Day One is a great journaling app that helps me keep track of both personal and professional highlights. Drafts is an awesome note-taking app that can send your text just about anywhere (to-do apps, note-taking apps like Simplenote, email, Day One, etc.). And Clear and 30/30 are the task management / to-do list apps that have stuck with me through my experiments with any number of such apps (see this post for an explanation of why I still prefer pen and paper for task management).
Row #5: Dropbox, Reeder, Pocket, Cue. Dropbox allows me instant access to any file I need on the go (and has in fact saved me by allowing me to email/text links to files I forgot to send to someone before hitting the road. With Dropbox, I can send the link from wherever I am). Reeder keeps me up to date on the (too many) blogs I subscribe to (again with that hoarding thing), while Pocket lets me save things to read later (and syncs with my iPad and MacBook so I can catch up anywhere). Cue is a recent discovery for me and an app I’m coming to like quite a bit — it pulls information from your calendars, contacts, social networks, etc. to provide an overview of your day. If you’re running late, you can text from within the app to let folks know that — you can also pull up a history of your interactions with the meeting attendees as well as get a weather summary for the day, including sunrise and sunset times. I’m still exploring it, but so far finding it quite handy.
Dock: Mail, Phone, Contacts, Calendar. These apps are the reason I have a phone in the first place, so it only makes sense to have them in the row that’s accessible from all screens.
Background: The background photo is a picture of a sunset in Ephraim, WI, taken in summer 2012. My husband and I have been vacationing there for the past three years and photos of water and sunsets grace most of my devices as backgrounds.
What about you? What’s on your homescreen? Why? Please share in the comments!