When you live in a studio apartment, you tend to try and keep things minimal—no unnecessary tchotchkes, lots of shelves—to maintain some level of organization. But though I generally avoid hoarding tendencies in real life, it's, uh... quite the opposite for my iPhone 6.
I try a lot of apps, after all. And while the habit may have gotten its start because of my work, it's bloomed into a full-on "must have the latest and greatest app now" obsession. So it's probably good that my newest iPhone has a full 64GB of space—it's nice not to be constantly running close to that 32GB limit. Of course, owning a new phone also gave me a chance to reassess what exactly I wanted living on my primary Home screen.
That first screen is now largely organized into three sections: "Things I might need to tap while driving," "Camera stuff," and "Frequently used apps." The iPhone 6's screen is just large enough that I prefer having my navigation apps, music, and the like up near the top, so that when my phone is docked while driving, I can easily access and tap the icons I need.
Wallpaper: Sometimes, weird camera aberrations can turn out to be spectacular backgrounds. This was a panorama goof that included a stray finger; the resulting geometrics, however, happened to be the perfect fall coloration I was looking for on my iPhone.
Dark Sky: My favorite weather app starts the top "Things I might need to tap while driving" row. If you haven't tried Dark Sky yet, you're missing out on its excellent precipitation notifications and silky-smooth interface; I also like being able to glance quickly at full-screen radar maps with a swipe.
Settings: Though not really a driving app, Settings has lived in the second spot, top row for as long as I've owned an iPhone—and it just feels wrong to change it.
Maps and Google Maps: May they fight on forever more. I've tried having one or the other solely exist on my Home screen, but I end up always putting them both up there. I like Maps for the Siri integration; Google for transit and good directions whilst in the wilderness; and both of them when I want to put faster route tests head to head.
Tweetbot, Facebook, and iMore: The social trio live on the second row of my Home screen, all within easy thumb reach. Tweetbot's my go-to client for all things Twitter; Facebook exists because it turns out the roller derby community doesn't get Twitter so much; and iMore, well, that should be self-explanatory.
Beats Music: Once upon a time, the Music app lived in this space. But it is no more. Beats Music has overtaken that throne, because it routinely comes up with the best classic rock playlists to listen to while on the road. (I listen to Beats a ton at home, as well, but usually via my computer or Apple TV.) Apple's newest subscription service may not be perfect, but it gets music curation in a way no other streaming service currently does.
Row Three—The Work Apps: When I need to get stuff done for iMore or for my roller derby side-projects, I turn to these apps. Slack is our information HQ at iMore; Fantastical remains my favorite program for scheduling and viewing calendar appointments; Skitch lets me quickly annotate screenshots, maps, and all manner of images; and Transmit allows me to quickly upload files to servers around the world.
The Bottom Right—Camera Land: Thanks to iOS's Camera shortcut, I've gotten used to tapping in the bottom right area of the screen when wanting to snap a photo; as such, to force myself to test out third-party camera apps, I'll put them in the last vertical row where I have easy thumb access. Instagram has pretty much become a Home screen staple for its fun filters and social sharing, while third-party camera tweaking app Manual is currently vying to become a permanent addition to that column. I love how easy it is to adjust the iPhone's ISO, shutter speed, and focus from the app, and it lets me snap a lot of beautiful low-light pictures I would have probably missed snapping while using the default Camera app. And speaking of that app, it continues to live in the bottom right corner—just in case.
The Bottom Left—Miscellany: The remaining nine apps on my home screen aren't so much themed as they are arranged for easy thumb access, usually because I use them so often.
Messages is likely self-explanatory—I don't know about you, but iMessages have become one of my primary non-work forms of communication, and I like being able to quickly view and send texts from my Home screen. Dropbox, I use to store all sorts of pertinent photos, files, work documents, and miscellany that I'd like to be able to access from my iOS devices and Macs.
Photos gives me quick access to my image library, while Reminders, iBooks, and Notes offer me quick list-making, reading, and note-taking options, respectively. (Though I do find myself often swapping Notes out for note-taking app Vesper
Pedometer++ is my top no-nonsense fitness tracking app; it keeps me honest about my step count—and thanks to the iPhone 6's new M8 and barometer, also tracks how many "floors" of stairs I've climbed.
App Store remains a first-page program so that I may continue my app obsession. Passbook, in contrast, currently lives on my Home screen because I'm taking an absurd number of flights this month and occasionally want to see my passes when they don't show up on my Lock screen.
In the Dock, I've left most of Apple's defaults in place, save for one: Music. In its place is a nifty little app called Albums, which prompts you to listen to your iTunes library one album at a time, rather than bouncing around your songs or artists lists. It's a nice way to appreciate the music you do have when you get bored of everyday shuffling.
Okay, now that I've been overly detailed in my app-selection choices, what are you iPhone 6-wielding folks rocking with your extra home screen space? What do you think of my top-apps-for-navigation/right-apps-for-photos grid system—crazy, or genius crazy?
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Serenity was formerly the Managing Editor at iMore, and now works for Apple. She's been talking, writing about, and tinkering with Apple products since she was old enough to double-click. In her spare time, she sketches, sings, and in her secret superhero life, plays roller derby. Follow her on Twitter @settern.