One of my favorite things to do during my downtime is to discover new apps and widgets to play around with on my smartphone. I’ll spend hours digging through various homescreens on forums, poking through the Google Play, Windows Phone and iOS app stores and more, all just to try to see if I can discover something I haven’t tried yet.
On that front, I thought it would be fun to show you, our readers, some of the home screens of the TechnoBuffalo staff. So I asked Jacob, Sean and Brandon to turn in photos of how they’ve decided to organize their home screens and why, and I’m also including my own from an iPhone 6 Plus. This is just a start, and if you dig the article, let us know and we’ll show you the home screens on our Android devices and Windows Phone, too.
Here’s a look at our iPhone home screens and, if you have any suggestions about what to tweak or want to discuss what yours looks like, let us know in the comments below.
1. Sean’s iPhone 6 Plus
Let me just say up front, before you judge me too harshly for the 80,000 or so unread emails, that includes my “I know signing up for this will lead to spam” accounts. Sometimes you need quick access to them to click links, so they’re in there, but no, I am not ignoring that many emails.
With that out of the way, I’m big on organizing my apps into folders by category, and then I organize the folders alphabetically. My folders spill on to page 2, and the remainder of page 2 and part of page 3 are made up of apps that haven’t decided where they belong quite yet.
Basically, for any app to continue its existence on my phone, I have to either a) access it on a regular basis or b) it’s pretty specific to a task. For instance, the “England” folder only gets used once a year when I’m their on vacation, but re-downloading those each November just doesn’t appeal to me. Otherwise, if you see it on there it means it is actively being used.
(And yes, I’m a Manchester United supporter.)
2. Jacob’s iPhone 6 Plus
When I switched from Android to the iPhone 6 Plus I felt restricted by Apple’s rigid rows of icons. In response I decided to mix things up by organizing my apps by color. The result is a work in progress—I don’t have enough red icons and the column on the right is a total mess—but I still have quick access to all my favorite apps.
You’ll note the left side is mostly green, the second column is blue, while the third is red and orange and the fourth is primarily gray/brown in color. As you already know from our recent list of apps you shouldn’t live without, I’m a huge fan of Venmo, so that’s within quick reach on my homescreen. As is Google Maps, my go-to for navigating New York City, and Hangouts, which we use for work. Google Play Music is also within quick reach, as is the Music player for all the files I have on my phone.
3. Brandon’s iPhone 6
I hate clutter. My desk at work, for example, pretty much consists of a monitor stand, Thunderbolt display and a space for my work-issued MacBook Air. That’s it. The rest of the space is pretty much open, immaculate, free from the terror of unnecessary items. Sure, I have a few figurines and pins for some much-needed personality. But otherwise I can’t do clutter. Hoarding terrifies me.
I very much feel the same way about my phone’s home screen. It’s only filled with the essentials, with the top two rows consisting of exactly what I need to get through my hectic (it’s not that hectic) existence. The bottom dock is filled with the four apps I use the most, easily accessible without needing to activate Reachability. The other apps—Google Maps, Sunrise, Evernote, etc.—are what I use more or less on a daily basis.
I know the iPhone 6 gives you space to include more apps. But I saw it as an opportunity to include less. Apple’s reliance on the grid layout only allows for so much flexibility, but I think I’ve come up with the layout that works best for me. Just don’t look at my second home screen, because that’s a friggin’ mess.
Todd’s iPhone 6 Plus
I sort of believe in organized chaos. There’s no real reason why my folders sit where they are on my home screen, but there is a reason for the apps that you see on it. I have a games folder for when I’m commuting on the subway and don’t have any connection, a full folder of news applications that I like to dig into daily, and quick access to the weather (I recommend Dark Sky), Evernote for note-taking (I’m slowly moving away from Notes), and to my photos.
I also love Pocket, which I access to read stories I’ve saved for later, and rely on Google Maps for finding my way just about anywhere I need to go. My social folder has Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, all of which I use daily, but also Foursquare, which I’ve since pretty much stopped using entirely. You’ll notice I’ve switched to Outlook for my e-mail client, which is fantastic, and that I prefer to keep camera down in the dock so I’m always ready to snap a picture.
As for my background? It’s just Apple’s default space one, which I really like.
Dig what you see? How do you organize your home screen? If you liked this issue of “Our home screens,” let us know, and we’ll come back with some more content covering what our Android phones and other devices look like. Yep, I usually carry between 2-3 smartphones at a time, and here’s a teaser look at my Galaxy Note 4 setup:
Which staffer has your favorite homescreen? Here’s a quick recap: