The last Home Screen post was back in February and there have been some pretty major changes to how I use my iPhone since then. With starting to use my Fitbit and Aria scale daily, as well as changing how I listen to podcasts, I’ve had to make some hard changes as to what is staying in easy reach and what gets moved to a nested folder or Launch Center or what gets buried in the back pages.
1Password remains on the Home screen and continues to get more and more important with each passing day. I’ve had a few friends see the light on this app recently and all of them sing its praises. If you don’t have this application yet, you’re putting yourself at risk. I also save a ton of time when having to enter address or credit card information.
The standard iPhone Camera app is now gone from the Home screen and I have replaced it with the Utilities folder. As before, I have some critical apps in there that need to be quickly accessed but aren’t needed in just one click.
I started using Harvest to track my time and the app is pretty capable for that task. The app that runs on my Macbook Air runs at 5-8% of my CPU (according to “top -oCPU”) which is inexplicable. When I’m not in my office at work or home with my Macbook Air, plugged into a power source, I tend to shut down the Harvest OS X app and use the iPhone version to save laptop battery.
Instagram is in that folder too but since it was purchased by Facebook I’ve deleted my account. Instead, I created an alias which I basically use to lurk tattoo artist’s Instagram accounts since all of the best tattoo artists in the country show their latest work on there.
Google+ recently revamped their iPhone app. The functionality still isn’t quite there but it looks fantastic and hasn’t crashed nearly as much as the old version. It has a Flipbook vibe too it and I really like what they’ve done with the interface.
Soulver lives in this folder too and still gets a fair amount of use.
GV Mobile+ sits in this folder too, just so I have it around for easy access or so I can easily see a red badge if I have a message waiting.
The Fitbit app lives on this row as well, which I use all day long to track what I eat and drink. I outlined that whole deal in this post.
Nebulous Notes is still the reigning mid- to long-form text editing champ for me (on iPad too). I still wish it had a full search capability so I could search entire directory contents but, for now, I can rely on crafty naming tricks and using a few other apps to do deep searches. It hasn’t been a big enough problem to start exploring other options just yet.
Like before, the standard Phone app is on the front page despite my heavy use of Dialvetica. It’s there for the same reasons noted last time – I need access to recent calls or to re-dial a disconnected conference call number and Dialvetica doesn’t provide that functionality. Having this app handy also helps me see if I have a missed call.
Tweetbot has gotten a slew of new features since the last one of these posts. If this isn’t your favorite Twitter client, your brain is severely broken. Some might be turned off initally by the overhauled and completely custom look of the app, compared to other, more standard apps, but it is the attention to detail that makes this app sing after you use it for a while. I can’t see needing or using another Twitter client on iOS. I wish they’d create a Mac client so I can just go “all Tweetbot” and be done with it.
Rdio continues to be a great service. I use it to listen to music in the car or when I’m working. It’s a solid app and very stable. I still think this is well worth the $10 a month. Their music selection tends to be pretty great, especially for non-standard fare. They had the new Hot Water Music album Exister and OFF! EPs; they let me stream the new Torche album Harmonicraft and they had all of the Iron Chic albums when I went looking.
Drafts has entered the Home screen scene for me and quickly became an essential app. Lots of folks have been raving about this little piece of software on the internet so I won’t bore you with the same thing that’s been rattling around the echosphere. Suffice to say the first release was great and the developer just keeps improving it with each new version. I love this app.
Safari is still awesome and I use it a lot.
Mail is a sad necessity.
Sparrow is fantastic. Love the interface. Love the app in general. My current workflow is to keep all of my work email in the standard Mail app since that tends to be high priority. The push capabilities of Exchange and Mail.app make it pretty essential. I don’t know that Sparrow will ever be a great choice for corporate email. I do hook up all of my personal accounts on it now, however, and I love the experience of using Sparrow. Still, I qualify it as “good for handling personal email”. Early on, I kept thinking, “I can’t wait until Sparrow gets push notification” but I’m finding I don’t miss the fact that I have every email notifying me of its presence the second it arrives.
OmniFocus remains fantastic and essential on every platform.
The Quick Entry for Omnifocus icon has made a return to the Home screen. If you want to implement it, search around on the OmniFocus forums. It’s pretty easy to track down (or click the link). It is FAST. One tap launches OmniFocus and takes me directly to the Quick Entry screen. I toyed with using OmniFocus from Launch Center on the Home row, but it was still an extra click and, believe it or not, there are times when it matters.
Dialvetica is a fast dialer app for iPhone. I can usually dial contacts in 3-4 taps and that includes turning on the phone, opening Dialvetica and hitting dial. An acquired taste, probably, but I use it daily. It’s a cool app.
Messages became a lot less stable with the release of the beta Messages.app for OS X. I still have issues with its stability and features. I turned off all of the Messages accounts on my computers and deleted all evidence of the beta. After that, things quieted down and it has become usable but Apple’s entire messaging stack has become quite messy. I’m hoping Mountain Lion can straighten it out, but I don’t have high hopes.
Trillian was still an experiment when I wrote the last Home screen review in February. And now, months later, Trillian endures. It’s a stable, reliable chat application and the desktop sync now has me spoiled for any other chat client. Highly recommended. I wish they had a native iPad version.
Launch Center remains an experiment. I like the interface but I wish it worked with more apps. I use the Flashlight every night when I take the dog out. Having some of my travel and navigation apps in there keeps them handy but not too handy. I guess after four months, it’s probably a staple, right?