Having a full twenty apps on the homescreen is too much for me. I keep the bottom row empty, and only have three apps in the dock to give a little bit of breathing room. All in all, I have seventy-one apps installed on my iPhone, while I mostly use only the twenty-seven apps that sit on the first two screens.
On my iPhone’s first Home Screen, the apps I have are:
iPod: Ironically, I rarely use my iPhone to play music or videos or podcasts. The times in my day I listen to music are either at my desk or in my car, and in those places I use my computer or in-dash CD player, respectively.
Notes: Used primarily for storing various bits of information I need while on the go. Such as directions to somewhere, or a key-pad code to some room at work. Also used to jot down ideas or thoughts that come to me. One of the most memorable times I’ve ever tapped out an idea for a blog post was while my wife was driving me home after just getting my wisdom teeth pulled.
Maps: This app gets used all the time. It seems I’m regularly in need of searching for the nearest coffee shop, ice cream shop, or auto shop. Also, the Maps app is one that I’ve noticed one of the most significant speed and usability increases since upgrading from an original iPhone to the 3GS. The addition of the GPS, plus 3G speeds and the compass makes the Maps app way more handy when on the go.
Weather: When I owned my Jeep wrangler, I used Weather Underdround’s iPhone optimized site all summer long because of their radar. It was good to know if rain was on the way and exactly how far away it was to know if I should put the top back on or not. But now that I own a VW GTI, I simply need to know if it’s going to rain in the next few days to know if I should was the car or not.
Birdhouse: For forming clever one-liners that aren’t yet clever.
Tweetie: The best Twitter client for the iPhone. Smooth scrolling and easy to use.
Fever: My RSS reader. And I don’t know which interface is better: the iPhone version or the standard version.
Settings: Though I don’t use it regularly, I like to keep my Settings apps close by. (It’s the same reason I have the OS X Settings app in my Dock still, too.) When I do need to access settings it’s usually to turn on Airplane Mode or turn off Wi-Fi.
Camera: For nearly the first two years I didn’t use my camera very much at all. It wasn’t until a few months ago, when I came up with the idea of For an iPhone, By an iPhone, that I began to take pictures at all. And now, with the latest and greatest camera and video capabilities in the 3GS, I’ve found myself taking a lot more candid photos and videos with family and friends that I haven’t made a habit of doing my entire adult life.
Safari: Since so many iPhone web apps have their own Homescreen clips or full-on iPhone apps, I rarely just open up Mobile Safari and type in a URL. Though that’s not to say I don’t use it every day.
Calendar: Synced to my MacBook Pro via MobileMe, I use my Calendar daily. Not only am I very focused when it comes to time management, I also go to quite a few meetings. From regularly scheduled one-on-ones with my staff and peers, to lots of random meetings each week. And a shockingly high amount of those meetings are set up when I bump into people while in line at our in-house coffee shop.
Things: Since I operate so much of my day out of Things on iPhone and on my MacBook Pro, I sync Things at least twice a day — usually once in the morning, and once in the evening. It would be the perfect to-do app if only it offered over-the-air syncing like MobileMe. But, even still, Things is fantastic.
The Dock: Phone, Mail, and Messages: These are the three apps I use habitually all day long, every day. Though I now search for contacts via iPhone’s Spotlight screen, I am constantly texting, emailing and making/receiving phone calls.