A Single Screen of iPhone Apps

After hearing how Katie Floyd of the MacPowerUsers consolidated down to a single page of apps on her iPhone, I decided that it made a lot of sense for me to do this as well. I was getting to the point where I had so many apps that I would often have to use the search (finder) feature in iOS (by swiping down from the center of the screen) in order to find and open the app I was wanting to use. I just had too many apps and too many screens of apps to keep track of. The other reason for me to go with this approach is that I switch off between my work provided iPhone during the work week and my personal iPhone during the weekends. Having a single screen of apps on both phones makes it much more consistent for me. Below is a screenshot of my current SINGLE iPhone screen:

My Current iPhone 6 Plus Home Screen

My Current iPhone 6 Plus Home Screen

Yes, I cheated. I have 4 folders of apps. But this ends up working out really well.

  • Productivity: This folder has any work or productivity related app. If I am working then most likely any app I need is going to be in here
  • Utilities: This folder has things like calculators, converters, Apple's Health app and shopping apps like the iTunes Store and App Store apps.
  • Leisure: This folder has apps that I use when I have time to use my iOS device for fun things like reading, playing piano, doing a FaceTime call, watching videos, meal planning (yes, I consider this fun and not a productivity thing).
  • Information: This contains weather apps, web site statistic apps that I check on a regular basis, my online class application (Canvas) and Slack. Any app whose sole purpose is to present me with information on a regular basis...status.

The secret ingredients to make all this are are two killer apps:

Launch Center Pro: I use Launch Center Pro as a way to quickly launch some of my more frequently used apps that didn't make the cut for the precious real estate of my single app screened iPhone. Launch Center Pro has some really amazing automation options built into it and just barely scratch the surface of what it can do with how I use it. But even with just my simple use cases, this app is worth its weight in gold. Go ahead, add up all the times you have wasted looking for an app. How much was that time and frustration worth to you?

Contact Center: Contact Center is made by the same people that make Launch Center Pro...Contrast. It has much of the same look, feel and functionality as Launch Center Pro, but it is focus on your contacts and streamlining the way you communicate with those contacts. My favorite 2 features of this app are: - The ability to collect all in one place all the people that I am able to call via FaceTime audio. FaceTime audio is far superior in sound quality than a regular cell phone call, so if I know I am going to talk with someone for a long time I would much rather go this route. Apple doesn't make it intuitive or easy to initiate a FaceTime audio call. This app makes it lightning fast and fool-proof! - Group texts. They can get you in a lot of trouble, but I do use them occasionally and when I do all I need to do is select the group I want and start typing. Finding an old thread within the messages app or typing in multiple addresses is now a thing of the past.

Contact Center is free, but is has an iAds banner at the bottom taking up a row of potential contacts and actions. I highly recommend making the one-time in-app-purchase and freeing up that bottom row. But since it is free you can try it out at no risk and give it a test drive.

I'm still adjusting to the single app-screen approach with my iPhones but I have to say I am really liking it. I have yet to find myself struggling to find an app. It is either an app that is on my home screen or is in Launch Center Pro, and if it isn't I generally don't bother looking for it and just use the finder to launch the app (you know, like I used to do AFTER I would flip through an embarassing number of app screens on my iPhone). It takes a little bit of time to move all your apps into this configuration but for me it was well worth the time and effort.

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