Everyone (myself included) talks a lot about the iPhone’s home screen. It needs folders, it needs backgrounds, it needs more customization, it needs a redesign… you get the idea. In fact, so much of the time we’re talking about the things Apple needs to do to let us change the home screen that we forget how much power we currently have over it. There are a lot of ways to alter the look and feel of your home screen. Everything from the organization of apps to the choice of wallpaper has a huge impact on not only the aesthetic aspects of your home screen, but its usability too.
I’m very specific about my home screen organization. I have my main page which is mostly dominated by stock Apple apps (Mail, Safari, Camera, etc.) and a few essential App Store applications like Facebook and 1Password. There’s also a folder at the bottom left called “My Stuff” full of useful utilities and tools that would be on my main home screen if there was room for then.
My second page has two rows of folders in between one row of games and one row of utility apps. The games at the top of this page are whichever four games I play most at any given point, and same goes for the utilities on the bottom. Every other app I use on a consistent bases is sorted into one of the eight folders in the middle of the page – Games 1, Games 2, Games 3, Entertainment, Utilities, Harry Potter, and Blurg. Blurg is the folder for apps I never use but can’t delete.
And finally, I have a third page that’s about half filled with new applications that I haven’t spent a lot of time with and am not sure if I like. These are mostly games I’m trying out, but Newsstand is there as well because I can’t put it in Blurg, can’t delete it, and I hate to see its ugly face.
And then, of course, there’s my dock. Phone on the left, Music next to that, followed by Twitter and Messages.
For the wallpaper, I like to choose simple photos. Nothing with people in the picture, nothing with too many different colors, no patterns that are too busy. I wish Apple would add the option to blur a photograph if you’re using it as a home screen background, because I think that would look very cool. I generally stick to stripes or the stock Apple wallpapers for the home screen background.
Obviously I’m very meticulous about the state of my home screen, but I can’t be the only one. With something you come into contact with so frequently, it’s only natural to have a “correct” place for everything. It’s sort of like organizing your bedroom. Or maybe it isn’t… my roommate never arranges his applications. There are no folders on his multiple home screens and apps are arranged in the order in which they were downloaded. Needless to say it drives me crazy.
So how do you home screen? Do you only have a few apps per page like Cam? Do you let your apps lie wherever they fall and don’t bother to sort them into folders? Do you keep everything alphabetical? Let me know in the comments section below or on twitter @TiP_Jake.