I’ve started doing something new with my iPhone home screen this year—I’m trying to keep changing it more frequently, based on what’s going on in my life and what kinds of apps I find myself most accessing while on-the-go. The upside is that more stuff is accessible without scrolling. The downside is that I often forget where something is because I’ve memorized the old location.
My dock is pretty standard—Phone, Mail (my most used program), Safari and the App Store. I end up reviewing a lot of iPhone apps and keeping the App Store in my dock lets me download updates, check for alternatives, etc.
In going with my new plan of eschewing apps I don’t use much, I’ve moved many of the built-in apps to the second page. This includes Weather, Compass, Voice Notes, iPod, Photos, iTunes, Stocks and Calculator. It’s just as easy for me to go the the second page and get to that stuff. Still, Messages, Calendar (another frequently used program) and Contacts are all at the top of my phone. I’ve replaced the standard Camera application with Camera Genius because I like the extra options and it pretty much has the same features as the Photos app and Camera Roll built-in.
I like having the Settings easy to access, because I often find myself turning stuff like WiFi on and off, depending on the connection with my crappy Wireless-G router at my house. I hate that I can’t use my iPhone with Wireless-N on my Airport Extreme. Maps is one of those apps that’s just indispensable, and one of the best mobile implementations of a mapping app around. Based on Gruber’s constant accolades, I tried Simplenote last year and fell in love. It’s replaced Notes as my go-to Note taking app. The fact that I can sync it with my Mac makes it that much better, because I like the option of working on stuff from multiple places without a lot of mess.
I really appreciate a good built-in alarm application and Clock more than fits the bill. One of my most long-standing beefs with my BlackBerry (yes, I was a Mac using CrackBerry addict before finally relenting and agreeing to give AT&T money just so I could have an iPhone) was that you could only have one alarm clock at a time. That’s crazy. I love having multiple alarms for different purposes that I can turn on and off.
TripDeck is a fairly new member of my Home Screen, mostly because I’ve got a few trips coming up and it’s a really good way to keep track of everything in one place. It syncs with TripIt, has a trip-wide note system, a great interface and will do plane arrival status checks. When I’m not traveling, it’ll likely move to another page.
Fever is my RSS reader of choice. Google Reader is fine, but I cover tech news and movie news. Think about that for a second. Just one of those categories is total overload, but both? If I didn’t have something like Fever that could sort stuff for me, I would be in no-way as productive.
I’ve really become hooked on Amazon’s Kindle app. I don’t have a Kindle myself (and don’t plan on getting one unless they do actually give them to Amazon Prime members for free), but the ease of buying and consuming books is really terrific. I can’t wait to use the iPad and both the Kindle app and the iBooks app to really start reading more.
Dropbox is a big part of my personal productivity system and I like to have files and info on my various Macs accessible from my phone.
HippoRemote is hands-down my favorite remote control app for the iPhone. I’ve tried about a dozen of them and lots and lots of them are great, but HippoRemote is really slick. It also works well with Windows 7 Media Center, which my fiance uses to power the projector screen in his office—so it’s a total Home Screen stalwart.
Ember was a bit pricey ($10) when I bought it, but if you want to access 37Signals Campfire from your phone, it’s the way to go. We use Campfire at Mashable and this app makes it possible for me to check in or leave a quick note when away from my primary computer.
Birdbrain was actually an app I discovered after reading Tim Van Damme’s First & 20 profile and I love it. I long ago set-up a rule to archive and move any of my Twitter new follower notifications and this is a great way for me to see who has followed me/unfollowed me, retweeted things I’ve said, etc. Love it.
Tweetie almost goes without comment. It’s still the best Twitter client around and I love it. It’s just fantastic.