Minimal Mac: Enough talked a while back about their iOS minimalism. I decided to share my home screen here, because I feel that it is pretty close to being as minimal as possible.
Mail: Something I use all day, every day. I think most people do?
Evernote: I use Evernote to store all of my notes, thoughts, and things I don’t want to forget. It’s used for both work and personal. I used to use it to write my articles for my blog, before I switched to WordPress.
Percents: Indispensable, as my day job requires me to calculate percents all day long. This app makes the process go that much faster! I would recommend this calculator to anyone who needs to work with percents a lot.
Camera: This will probably get put into a folder when iOS 5 comes out. As there will be a camera button on the lock screen.
Calendar: I try to keep all of my appointments and things that are time sensitive in there. Doesn’t wind up being that way, unfortunately.
PocketCloud: The best RDP/VNC solution I have come across. Especially since I need quick access to the Function keys. I use this app mostly for work, but I will use it to control my home server from time to time.
AirVideo: Easily my favorite app on my iPhone as it allows me to stream video that isn’t in any particular format wherever I am. And I can even use the HDMI adapter to display it on a TV. It’s like having every DVD I own, in my pocket ready to go.
Remote: I have several Airport Expresses around the house for streaming music over Airplay. So this app is necessary to be able to control my massive music collection while not near my Macbook Air.
At Bat 11: I am a pretty big baseball fan, so this app is a must. Being able to listen to any game live has become a must have for me.
Clock: I like to set my alarm quickly at night. So, unfortunately, it lives on my home screen.
Nike + GPS: I just recently got this app because it was available for free. I would recommend it to anyone who is trying to lose weight! It tracks not only where you run, but how long you have run, and the distance. It keeps track of everything, posts to Facebook when you start running/walking/biking/rollerblading, and when you are done it posts the distance you just did. I have found it very motivational for me. It also allows for people to “Like” your status on Facebook, and every time someone does that or comments on your status, you will hear cheering come over the music. A+ app, and a must have for almost anyone! Also, there is twitter support for those that would rather it connect with twitter.
iTunes: Now, some people might find this a bit of a hassle to use, but I use it all the time. I use it for podcasts, to stream them right to my phone without downloading them. For me this isn’t an issue since there is only really 2 podcasts that I listen to, Minimal Mac: Enough and WDWToday. Though, once in a while I will pop over to the BetaMouse Podcast, and the B&B podcast. So, for what I listen to, the default app is enough.
Safari: I use this for a good chunk of what I do on the phone. I have my bookmarks setup so I can use features on my phone that I don’t need to carry more apps for. Some examples are the android web cams I have around the house. Each has their own web address and port, so I can quickly access the live streaming feed. I enjoy using Google Tasks, so there is a bookmark for it. Also, Google Reader has it’s own bookmark. Of course there is a bookmark to my zip code’s weather on weather.com. Other things I will use Safari for instead of an app is Twitter, and Facebook though there is no bookmark for those. I don’t want to catch myself becoming addicted, again.
Settings: It’s on the home screen for one main reason. That is because I need quick access to my personal hotspot. Especially since I experience an issue where if I don’t join it over wifi for a little while, I am unable to access it without rebooting the personal hotspot. Very annoying, and something I hope is fixed at some point.
Dock: Phone and Messages are something I use constantly throughout the day. So I decided to just leave them on the dock, together.
I only have 2 folders, and they are reserved for one of two types of apps. One folder holds apps I don’t normally use, and are mostly the default installed apps. The other folder is for secondary apps, that I do use, but don’t usually need quick access to. It’s debatable wether that folder should be a second screen or not. As folders require you to be accurate with your finger twice when trying to get to an app, rather than just once. In the near future I might just have a first and secondary screen. The secondary screen will hold the folder with the default apps that I don’t use in it.
Baseball Superstars 2: If you are a fan of baseball games and/or RPG games. This is easily one of the best non-simplistic games that iOS has to offer. I have been playing since the 2009 version. There are free versions of the games available now, as well as currently being 99 cents. Can’t recommend this series enough!
BeatMaker 2: This is easily one of the best music making apps for the iPhone right now. It’s so in depth, and yet it’s not overly complex to use. It’s not garageband easy, but it’s definitely got more going for it than the garageband app. It’s built for the iPhone, unlike garageband, at least for the moment.
Bebot: It’s 99 cents, and it’s a super powerful synth and couldn’t be more easy to use! It even has a plug by Jordan Ruddess.
Speed Test: Great speed test app, that is free and quick to use. I use this mostly for work, but sometimes out and about while using a 3G connection.
Bracket Pro: It’s 99 cents, and is a bit basic. But I enjoy building brackets when I am going to be playing a game with people, that can require some competition. It’s quick and easy, but not the most customizable. But gets the job done without pencil and paper. Biggest down side, is it only allows for 8 players/teams. Though it will do double elimination for you with the switch of a button.
Mouse World Radio: A fantastic minimal app that streams Disney World music 24/7 and is ran by the legendary Mike Newell, who is on the WDWToday podcast. Most of the music and sounds that are played on MWR were originally recorded by Mike, himself! It’s very impressive and can definitely help you get that fix of Disney you need between trips. It’s both a free app, and streams over 3G!
Notes: Sometimes I need faster access to something that I don’t plan on keeping very long. A good example is what parking lot I am parked in for the night. Nothing permanent remains in my Notes, those get converted over to Evernote at some point if needed.
BeeJiveIM: It’s a bit pricey, but does pretty much every protocol that you could want. It’s very powerful with lots of options. I would recommend it to anyone who needs or wants to use more than one protocol at once. Although currently I am only running Facebook and AIM on it. I took off MSN and Yahoo since I only know a couple people that use them so not worth keeping the connection on my phone.
WordPress: When I updated my website to WordPress, it was one of the first things I looked for, and I am pretty happy with their free app. I utilize it to create topic names for posts, as they come to me. So when I get back to my laptop or when I get sometime to myself, with just my phone available. I elaborate on those couple words I jotted down with the app. Definitely, has been a driving force in me writing more for my blog.
TD Bank: It’s a fairly basic app, all of which can be done on their website, but isn’t formatted as well as the app. Nor do things load as quickly as they do with the app, so it stays. If you have an account with TD Bank, it’s a must have unfortunately.
Photos: I don’t take a whole lot of pictures with my phone. This is in the folder because most of the time I will hit the camera app and jump into the photo gallery from there.
Maps: It’s useful, but I don’t use it enough to warrant a spot on my home screen.
Calculator: I don’t use this because I use percents so much.
Compass: I haven’t had a need for the app, but I enjoy using the compass built into Maps.
iPod: I just double tap the home button when I want to get to my iPod.
Contacts: I just use the Phone app.
Game Center: I don’t use the app, but I do post stuff to it through the Baseball Superstars app.
Youtube: I will usually search out what I am looking for in Safari and then be transported to YouTube. So, no need for the app to be quickly available.
Stocks: I only check this from time to time to make sure it’s not crashed.
Weather: I just use Safari and weather.com for my weather needs.
Voice Memos: I’ve never been a big fan of voice memos.
iTrip: Unfortunately, when I use my Transit Connect, it doesn’t have an AUX input for the radio. So, I had to get an iTrip from Griffin, and every time you plug it in it prompts you to download their app. I have found no way to turn that off, so I just decided to get the app so it would stop nagging me. But actually it is quicker and easier to change the FM channel in which it broadcasts. As the little controller on the device doesn’t have any brightness and you can’t read the screen unless it’s dark out. Overall, not a bad app even if I wish I wasn’t nagged into getting it.
Tango: A must have for video chat over 3G and across multiple platforms. It really does “just work”, and I recommend it to anyone who gets a smart phone. Tango utilizes push notifications for when you get a call from someone, so you don’t have to have it running the background to receive those video calls! It’s free and automatically updates with your phone’s contact list as more people download the app since it utilizes your cell phone number as your username.
App Store: I don’t download new apps very often, and updating only comes every few days so I moved the App Store to my secondary folder.
Well, I hope you’ve enjoyed taking a tour of my iOS minimalism. I know it’s been fun thinking about all of the apps I use and how I use them. It’s even gotten me thinking about getting rid of a few, possibly, in the near future.
Please feel free to post your iOS home screen apps in the comments below. Questions and comments about mine are appreciated, as well.
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