Tag Archives: homescreen

My iPhone 5 Homescreen

It’s been a while since I last wrote one of these things, and after reading about how good the Windows Phone 8 home screen is (and the story of how it came to be), I realised even though this kinda thing only interests a handful of people, it’s still interesting to me.

So here goes.

My previous iPhone homescreens were organised according to what I’m calling a “loose Ben Brooks configuration”, that is, one based loosely upon the methodology upon which Ben Brooks organises his homescreen. The iPhone 5 introduces a new dilemma in this regard, which Ben has also covered, but I’ve come up with my own spin on things. Instead of not using the very top row (which Apple’s new human interface guides says not to bother about, UI wise), I’ve simply added an extra row somewhere in the middle. Why? Because it’s really not that much of an issue being able to reach the entirety of the iPhone 5 display — even when using it one handed — like Apple’s “Thumb” ad shows.

Anyway, to the apps:

First row: Mail, Tempus, Maps, Photos

Tempus now occupies the position previously occupied by Calvetica. It’s a calendar replacement by the same developers, but somewhere along the way, I fell out of love with Calvetica. While it was still a great calendar replacement, it wasn’t the same app it originally was, something even the developers themselves admitted. Tempus is the minimalist calendar replacement I’ve wanted — but it has to be noted this is the only app on my homescreen that doesn’t support the taller iPhone 5 display. The developers say it’s coming “in the future“.

Also  notable is the Apple Maps app, instead of the great Maps+ replacement. I want to like Apple’s maps in iOS 6 because they’re superior in a number of ways (vectorised maps, much lower data usage, heaps of caching), and this is my way of doing so. For the record, Maps+ is just a small swipe-towards-the-left away, if and when I run into any issues.

Second row: Camera, Clock, Passbook, Clear

Passbook is here because I’m a big fan of the concept — if only more retailers would jump on board, it would likely be on your own homescreen, too.

Clear is here because it’s my go-to for doing short lists, fast. The completely gestural interface is insanely brilliant, and I enjoy it a lot — it’s a great app for making short lists very quickly. I don’t use it for actual reminders (because I’ve got Reminders for that), but it is useful for short lists: to-dos, shopping lists, games I want to buy, and so on.

Third row: Facebook, Articles, Dropbox, Felix

Facebook was one of the apps “promoted” from the second homescreen to the first, thanks to the four extra apps I can have on the first homescreen. I don’t use it as much as, say, Tweetbot, but it’s still there when I need it to be.

Articles for reformatted Wikipedia articles, and Dropbox for accessing my Dropbox documents when I’m out and about.

Felix is one of the better App.net clients out there — you know, that semi-exclusive social network that popped up recently. By nerds, for nerds. Netbot could just as easily be occupying this position, but Felix has Helvetica Neue on its side.

Fourth row: Instapaper, Soulver, Notesy, Foursquare

Instapaper continues to be the best way to read later and Soulver remains the best calculator.

Notsey takes over from Elements as my Markdown-enabled, Dropbox-syncing plain text editor of choice — it doesn’t use Museo Sans like Elements does, but I was sick of the error messages Elements would frequently pop up. Notesy is perhaps a touch more customistable than Elements is, but otherwise, they’re pretty much the same app.

Foursquare was also one of the promoted apps from the second homescreen.

Fifth row: Phone, Pocket Weather Australia, App Store, Settings

Pocket Weather Australia (a.k.a. Weather Au) is the best weather app for Australians, period. After languishing in a folder in the second page for too long, it now gains a spot on the homescreen — with the “feels like” temperature for my current location as the icon badge constantly updated. It’s an insanely beautiful app that’s also available on Android, if you’re so inclined.

Dock: Tweetbot, Messages, Safari, Music

Tweetbot is among the few apps that mean I won’t be leaving the iOS platform any time soon. I’ve never seen an Android app that even comes close to the quality of Tweetbot, and it’s unique in that it’s perhaps one of the only apps that actually deserves a place on the dock. It’s amazingly good. Oh, and I occasionally use it for Twitter, too.

I still mourn the loss of the iPod app.

Miscellaneous

I’m actually using one of the default background wallpapers. Apple has done an amazing job picking out the default wallpapers that come with iOS 6 — a few are flashy, yes, but the rest are beautifully subtle, two-tone affairs suitable for use on both the lockscreen and the homescreen.

If you want to enable the numeric signal strength without jailbreaking, follow these instructions.

My iPhone 4 Homescreen

It’s been a while since I updated my homescreen.me profile, and with the official release of iOS 5 and needing something to post up on my blog, I figured now was as good a time as any… Here goes!

Like many Apple faithful my home screen is fairly similar to what Apple provide as the default – with a few important changes.

Three years of iOS ownership means quite a bit of customisation. My home screen is organised in a loose Ben Brooks configuration, with a few stock Apple apps, some fantastic replacements for a few of the stock Apple apps, and some other great apps that I’ve found over the years.

First row: Mail, Calvetica, Maps+, Photos
Calvetica is a very good Calendar replacement set in beautiful Helvetica. It’s changed quite a bit since the original release, but it’s still very fast, and very capable.
Maps+ is like the original Maps app with much more of a focus on the actual maps, and less UI chrome to boot, while still staying highly functional. Packing all the same features (and then some) as the stock Maps app while having a very minimalistic UI is a winner in my books.

Second row: Camera, Clock, Articles, Dropbox
Articles gains a spot on my homscreen because it’s a really nice app that reformats Wikipedia articles for the iPhone, and Dropbox, well, that’s so useful for PDF documents (bus timetables, mainly) that it also earns a spot on my homescreen.

Third row: Instapaper, Soulver, Elements, Reminders
Here’s where things get interesting; Instapaper is just, well, Instapaper. By far one of the best apps to ever grace the iOS platform — it makes reading on the go an absolute joy.
Soulver makes calculations easy, even fun. It’s available on every Apple platform, and even syncs with Dropbox if you use it on more than one platform. You can write stories in it, and then calculate things using numbers in those stories. It’s not so much a calculator than it is a scratchpad for numbers, and it’s fantastic.
Elements is my new favourite text editor. Plain text, Dropbox sync, and Markdown support means that it ticks all the boxes — word count and a nice interface means that it goes the extra mile. It’s the one app that started me off with Markdown, and now almost everything I write is written in Markdown. Elements is the best text editor on any platform I’ve come across, period.
Reminders, as included in iOS 5, has meant that I’ve given up every other reminders/notifications-type app. Geo-fences and repeating reminders tick all the boxes — if you know what I mean.

Fourth row: Phone, Verbs, App Store, Settings
Phone is here because I rarely use my iPhone as a phone – perhaps that’ll change when people actually decide to call me, but for now it stays here.
Verbs is a great IM client for the iPhone. Admittedly, I seldom use IM when I’m mobile, but when I need to, Verbs is incredibly simple and has a great UI.

Finally, the dock: Tweetbot, Messages, Safari, Music
I’ve tried every Twitter app worth trying on iPhone, and Tweetbot wins all the awards. It’s the one app that made me come back to iOS from Windows Phone 7 and Android, and it’s not hard to see why — all the features you need (and then some!), a beautiful UI, and it just works for everything I need it to do.
My only gripe with this row is that Apple separated the iPod app out into two separate apps — Music and Videos. I liked the idea of my iPhone having its own little iPod inside…

I’m not sure where I got the wooden background from, but if you want it, it’s available here.

This post part of Blogtober 2011, just a little thing of mine where I (attempt to) post something up on my blog every day in October 2011.