2019 Homescreen

Phone Homescreen large

2018 was a year of personal growth and challenges, and part of that journey was giving up social media — at least for the most part.  The band-aid stings as its ripped off, but I quickly realised it was only making my mind more cluttered and prone to distraction.  I still have several of the apps installed for work but those are now buried in folders on the second page.

The other big change was moving from an iPhone 7s to an iPhone XS — the extra screen real estate feels like a waste, more pixels in exchange for a phone that’s harder to use with one hand.  This change has also meant that since I use few apps (at least I try to), they are now are a few centimetres further away from the bottom of the phone, and thus a few centimetres further away from my thumb.

With that said, the camera is significantly improved, and I especially enjoy having the telephoto lens — it’s useful for everything from creating creamier bokeh to scanning documents without shadows since the phone can be further away from the paper being scanned and out of the way of the light source.

The battery life is now so good on this phone that I rarely ever get below 40% charge in a normal day and I’ve subsequently turned the percentage indicator for the battery off.

As far as the apps on the phone go, they’ve remained largely the same however I’ve moved many of them around — the new screen size was quick to show me which I used often and was inconvenienced by, and which I could relegate to the tundra of the upper-left-hand corner.  Turns out the apps I need quicker access to weren’t often the apps I thought (e.g. podcasts, I listen maybe once a day and thanks to the lock screen controls I don’t need access to the app as often).

The only new addition this year not in a folder is the camera app Halide.  It’s an incredible camera replacement for the stock app, especially for shooting depth shots since it bases it’s calculations not on a ‘face’ as Apple’s in-built camera does, but on the full depth map which is great for smaller objects like wine glass stems or straws, and does a better job at reducing the ‘smoothing’ Apple’s algorithms produce — it’s a little pricey, but highly recommended if your iPhone has a telephoto lens.
It’s replaced the official camera app on the homescreen since that’s available from the lockscreen and pull-down menu — it’s still the camera app I use most often, but Halide is there for when I want to get creative.

Since buying two office units and starting to rent them out, I’ve had to manage a workplace properly for the first time which has bought it’s own challenges.  It’s meant the purchase of security cameras, integrated alarm systems, smart locks and more, which all have their own apps — apps I need easy access to frequently.
It’s also seen the introduction of stock-management app Sortly, Xioami’s Mi security cam app (meant for home use, but works perfectly for my purposes), HP’s printer manager to get new people set up with the printers and reorder ink, the building’s alarm app to monitor who unlocks and (doesn’t) lock up, as well as a saved webpage for the awful Virgin Media Business router.

I’ll likely write another post about the new offices in the coming months, but I’m also posting Instagram Stories from my private account (@ltgbangs) about the renovation and built-out should you want to check out how it’s going.

The full list of apps (starting from the top left):

Phone
Photos
Spark
Misc Folder
Fabric –
Gyroscope –
Mi Fit –
Day One –
5 Minute Journal –
Uber –
Letterboxd –
Cineworld –
1Password –
Philips Hue –
Authenticator –
Twitch –
News –
Patreon –
Overcast
Google Calendar
YNAB
Oak
Halide
Safari
MyFitnessPal
Strong
Office Folder
Sortly –
Virgin Media Router –
YI Home –
HP Smart –
HKCSecureComm –
Audible
Tesla
Spotify

And in the dock:
Messages – nothing beats
Bear
Omnifocus 3
GMail

2018 Homescreen

Rowesk 2018 iPhone Homescreen

The apps I use most frequently changed more this year than any before, so I thought it might be interesting to keep a record of what my homescreen looks like at the beginning of the year.

So here’s the list, from top left:

  1. Phone
  2. Google Calendar – the best Calendar app
  3. Photos
  4. Camera
  5. 1Password – mandatory in this day and age
  6. Settings
  7. Spotify – Moved from Apple Music mostly for the better playlist and search functionality
  8. Audible – This comes and goes based on whether I have a book I’m listening
  9. Daily Folder – contains things I use several times a week, but don’t want to delegate to a second page, such as the Mi Activity Tracker, Day One, GoodReader — mostly for audiobooks and downloads, Apple Mail, Cineworld, IMDb, Letterboxd, and Google Hangout.
  10. Philips Hue
  11. YNAB – I swear by this service, nothing has made a bigger impact in my life than this app in the last year
  12. MyFitnessPal – Calorie tracking — great scan functionality
  13. Strong – the best workout app I’ve tried, and I’ve tried them all
  14. Overcast – best podcast app out of the 10+ I’ve tried
  15. Safari
  16. Omnifocus – to-do list and project management, how I get things done
  17. Oak – my favourite unguided meditation app
  18. Streaks – habit tracker, kinda limited but easy to use and beautiful
  19. Spark – all 3rd party email clients suck, this one doesn’t suck as much as the rest
  20. 5 Minute Journal – quick daily reminders to note down things you’re grateful for
  21. Tesla – how I preheat my car — will likely move to second page once spring comes around

And the dock:

  1. Messages
  2. Bear – lightweight and fast Evernote replacement
  3. Tweetbot – favourite twitter app
  4. Inbox by Gmail – best Gmail iPhone app, but doesn’t support multiple accounts or 3rd party email

 

Looking through this there’s already some apps I would change immediately, and I don’t like the aesthetics of having a single app by itself on the bottom row even if it will be moving to the second screen within a couple of months.