My iPhone home screen has changed quite a bit since it was first featured on First & 20. Part of this change came when Apple introduced folders in iOS 4 – the rest with changes in work and life.
I’ve left the dock alone, as it works logically for me. I’ve thought about putting the Messages app on the dock, but I prefer it’s original location for aesthetics (don’t like having the two green icons together), and because I’m used to it.
Phone: After all, the iPhone IS a phone. I find myself using other forms of communication more frequently (SMS, Email, Facebook, etc.), but I still make good old-fashioned phone calls everyday.
Mail: I use this multiple times daily, to check both work and personal email accounts. Definitely one of my most used applications.
Safari: Not something I use super frequently, but I use it often enough to warrant keeping it on the home screen. I leave it on the dock because I’m used to its location.
Music: I use the Music app daily, at the gym or on bike rides. Sometimes it even reminds me to go to the gym if I’ve been lazy.
Before I decided which third-party apps made it on my home screen, I had to decide which didn’t. I immediately got rid of the Voice Memos, Stocks, YouTube, iTunes, and the Contacts applications. I’ll rarely use any of these applications, and have never, even once, used the Contacts application.
Messages: Default location, used very often. Didn’t move to the dock as I find the icon too similar to the Phone app icon.
Calendar: I use the iPhone Calendar to keep track of my personal appointments.
Photos: Used quite often as I’m into photography.
Camera: I had always used the camera quite often, and with iPhone 4, I use it even more.
Maps: I often use Maps when looking up the phone number for a restaurant, or finding an address when Navigon isn’t able to.
Settings: I wouldn’t need this on my home screen if I could adjust brightness and Wi-Fi settings from the status bar.
When iOS 4 was first introduced, I created a whole bunch of folders (games, entertainment, news, etc.) and stuck them on my home screen. About a week later I realized that I didn’t use most of these apps that were previously on other pages, and that it took an extra tap to access apps that I did use on a regular basis.
I’ve now created one folder called “Apps” to house everything that my home screen can’t fit, that I need quick access to or use often.
Movies: I go to the cinema quite often, so I use this app quite frequently.
Calcbot: I’m terrible at math, and enjoy the robotic sounds this calculator makes when doing calculations. Sometimes I miss the larger buttons of the default calendar though.
Notes: I use Notes primarily for lists of good restaurants, music and movies to check out, etc.
SoundHound: Used pretty frequently to find out what song is playing on the radio. Without quick access to the app, I could miss a song.
App Store: More often than not, I’m browsing the App Store for marketing reasons or to update Apps, rather than actual App shopping.
PlainText: I use PlainText to jot down marketing ideas when they come to me (unfortunately I can’t use this in the shower), as I know they are automatically backed up via Dropbox.
TD: The horribly-made-but-forced-to-use app to access my online banking.
Pastebot: Primarily used to send screenshots taken with iPhone back to my Mac (for work), but also used as a storage space to access important images (i.e. the photo I took of my new Dudley lock combination).
Navigon: Since my car was stolen last fall I no longer have a separate GPS device in my car, so I rely on this. Great for business trips too!
WeatherEye: Replaces the default Weather app – more detailed information, and usually more accurate.
Flashlight: Not something I use too often, but when I do, I need quick access to it.
Clock: Used mostly for alarms, but also to see what time it is when I want to Skype my friends around the world.
I’ve very picky about which third-party apps make it to my homepage. The application has to be useful, used frequently, and (generally) have a well designed icon. My home screen is all business. Games are stored in their own folder on page 2, although I rarely use them. At one point Angry Birds was on my homepage, but after losing my save file 90% of the way through the game, I stopped playing. Cut the Rope was also on my home screen until I realized it was much more fun on iPad.
CNN: Not a huge fan of the CNN iPhone app, so I have a bookmark to the Web app, which is designed quite well. I wasn’t really a “news junky” until the iPhone came around – now I seem to check it multiple times daily.
Things: I use Things for personal projects that I’m working on. I also use it as a to-do list for things like camping trips and vacation planning.
Daylite Touch: Our company not only makes Daylite – we use it to run our own business. Daylite let’s me see what meetings I’ve been invited to, what my co-workers schedules look like, or see any tasks that have been delegated to me. It does a lot more than this, but these are the things I personally need access to when I’m mobile.
Facebook: I’m pretty active on Facebook, so I use this app quite often. I do more browsing than posting from iPhone, but I’m able to see what friends are up to, find out event details when I’m out and about, and update my status to let my friends know where they can find me.
Tweetbot: I manage several Twitter accounts (my personal account, and the Marketcircle accounts). Being able to quickly monitor the search strings I’ve setup is incredibly useful – especially during product launches.
WhatsApp: I stayed away from 3rd party messaging apps for a long time, but now that some of my closest friends are living in other countries, it lets me keep in touch with them with in text-message-style for free.
Skype: More and more of my friends have moved away to other countries and Skype lets me keep in touch with them. The 3G video calling works really well.