No Place Like Home Screen
Collect your greatest hits: Consolidate your most-used apps on the home screen.
So you're plowing your way through this website, and you're madly downloading the 200+ picks from the Best iPhone Apps book. Yay, fun! Until, um, you actually have to find any of those apps. Wading through the quicksand of a sprawling app collection is even less fun than having a cubicle neighbor who's in love with the latest whoopie-cushion app.
A little tidying can fix you right up. Best iPhone Apps author Josh Clark recently shared some of his organizational strategies at the O'Reilly blog:
Informal testing here in the O'Reilly laboratories indicates that flipping through the book tends to triggers bouts of deliriously eager downloading. Alas, freshly minted App Store addicts quickly discover that an ever-growing mountain of installed iPhone apps can create more headaches than they collectively solve. Productivity apps become ironic jokes when it takes a full minute of flipping back and forth through screens to locate them; and there's no fun in a game that you can't even find. A healthy collection of iPhone apps calls for an equally healthy hygiene regimen for your iPhone. Here are a few pointers for keeping your apps tidy and your data safe.
Among Josh's tips:
Safety First: Safeguard your privacy with a passcode.
Collect Your Greatest Hits: Consolidate your most-used apps on the home screen and in the dock.
Get Organized: Divide remaining screens by category, task, or state of mind.
Shine the Spotlight: When all else fails, Spotlight can help you find an app in your sea of downloads.
Do you really need 'em all? Prune unused apps.
iTunes 9 pitches in to help tidy up
With this month's release of iTunes 9 and iPhone 3.1, it's easier than ever to implement Josh's suggestions. The new version gives overwhelmed app collectors a gift: an easy way to organize the home screens on your iPhone or iPod Touch with your mouse, within iTunes itself:
Connect your iPhone to your computer via USB.
In the left pane of iTunes, click your iPhone to select it, and click the Applications tab to reveal the home-screen organizer:
Click a home screen from the right column to select it. Drag and drop icons within the screen or to another screen in the right column.
Got everything just the way you want it? Click the Apply button in the lower right of the iTunes window to sync your iPhone and kiss it with your new interior decorating.
Home screens, home screens, home screens
Curious what other in-the-know iPhonesters keep on their home screens? Check out First & 20, a collection of home screens from designers, developers and tech writers, along with their commentary on why they've got what they've got. The site also keeps a scoreboard of the top five apps from all the participants' home screens.
How about you? Share a comment to let us know what's on your home screen.
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