How my iPhone 5 home screen looks, Fall 2013.
Wallpaper: The Prompt iPhone wallpaper, from The Prompt podcast. Really makes the frosted glass effect stand out beautifully. Plus it’s the vintage Apple colors, which is right up my alley.
Builtin apps: Camera, Mail, Clock, Maps, Messages, Settings.
Tweetbot has been my Twitter client of choice for years now.
I greatly prefer Songza over Pandora for streaming radio. Though I really should pay for Spotify, which I use the heck out of on the desktop.
While I started out on Instapaper, I find Pocket a far superior alternative for a ‘read it later’ service. It links with everything I use, including IFTTT, and has a really nice desktop client. My queue is very large, but I get a whole lot of reading done with this app.
While Find My Friends has a use, my family uses Glympse for location sharing, because of the web interface, the fact that you don’t need a client to see location data (so it’s actually useful when I’m sending to people who don’t use Glympse themselves), and you can set destinations, and expirations. And my favorite thing is that it gives an ETA when you’re viewing someone’s location. If push came to shove, Glympse would be the reason I have a smartphone.
Chrome is my browser of choice on every computing platform I use (Chromium on Linux). Sync, open on other devices, and speed are the main reasons why. I really hate when a URL opens in Safari on my iOS devices. If your app can specify Chrome, I’m far more likely to choose it over a competitor that does not give me that choice.
In the post-Google Reader world, I chose Feedly and have been quite satisfied so far.
I gave Apple’s Podcasts app a try, I really did. But in the end I bought PocketCasts, which I had also used in my Android days. So much more comfortable. The iOS7 redesign is really gorgeous, though my iPhone spends its time playing podcasts over Bluetooth in the car, so I don’t look at it that much. The iPad version, though, gets a good look during the day. I don’t sync podcasts between the two devices right now, as I have separate podcasts for each use case. I’m thinking about changing that, though, because of PC’s great filters.
The built-in weather app is a great improvement over previous versions, but the Yahoo! Weather app is perhaps even better looking, and far more useful. I will say that I am still in search of the perfect weather app, though it’s not a real intense search. This one is closest for me right now.
I have a few tuners, but Tunable makes my home screen. It’s a great tuner, includes a metronome and chord generator, and has a great interface. It keeps me and my horn in tune and on time. I kind of like where it is on the screen, how its color blends in somewhat with the wallpaper.
I don’t know how I got along without Soulver, math-challenged that I am. This app is constantly running on my Mac, and Dropbox integration gives me the same documents on my iOS devices.
I once had a love-hate relationship with Drop 7. Eighty-eight is a new (and less Zynga) version of the same game. So addictive. This one has a very nice visual style as well.
The only other game I play on my iPhone these days is Giant Boulder of Death (sorry, iTunes link). This was recommended by Myke on a recent episode of The Prompt, and it’s pretty freakin’ great. By the same guys that did Super Monsters Ate My Condo, which might still be my favorite mobile game of all time. I do like this one more on the iPad, but I keep it on the iPhone for a quick game.
The first spot in my dock goes to Evernote, because it’s the greatest thing in the world. Well, the computing world. While I still bemoan the lack of a desktop Linux client, pretty much my whole digital life is in Evernote.
On my iOS devices, the venerable Pocket Informant takes the place of the Calendar, Reminders, and Contacts apps for me. I will always miss MoreInfo, still the greatest PIM ever made, but PI has been around for 15 years or so, and WebIS keeps making it better. The iOS7 redesign has been very kind to it.
There’s the Google app (sorry, iTunes link), because Siri is not as good as Google Now. It’s the quickest way to do a voice search on the web, though if I’m typing the search comes from Drafts.
And the last app on my dock is Drafts, because I find myself doing more actual work on my iOS devices, and having workflows and URL schemes for very quickly doing common tasks is pretty great stuff. I’m still learning how to craft these things, but just with the little ones I’ve done so far it’s been terrific. I’ll go to Drafts to make a quick Evernote note rather than open up the Evernote app, send SMS with Drafts rather than bother with the Messages app, same with email. It’s much faster and it’s one interface to just about anything I have to do with text on iOS.
So that’s what the iPhone looks like to me right now, in October of 2013. I’m sure things will change, apps will fall in and out of favor, but I do like to occasionally document what these pieces of my life look like from time to time.