My Home Screen: 2016 Edition

Another new year has arrived which means establishing resolutions, prioritizing goals and, more importantly to many of us geeks, reorganizing our home screen apps on our mobile devices.

As you can see, I’ve chosen to keep some of the stock Apple apps on my main screen. While the Phone, Messages, Contacts, Facetime and Photos apps are probably used by most people on iPhones there definitley are suitable alternatives. But these standard apps have worked just fine for me and I haven’t had any good reasons to switch. My family all use iOS devices which facilitates communication among iMessage & FaceTime: I love iMessage negating the 160-character texting limit and my phone-less daughter can use call any of us using FaceTime.

The Calendar, Camera, Weather, Maps, Wallet, Reminders and Safari apps, however, are replaceable. After iOS 9.0 was released last year I began using Apple’s Calendar, Mail and Maps apps exclusively since Siri and Notifications integrated with these fairly well. The same goes with Safari. It’s fast. I now use it instead of Chrome. Additionally, I haven’t missed Google Maps although I do tend to use it more on my desktop machine.

I have two different camera apps on my homescreen (which may change shortly). I use one with Location Services enabled (VSCO) and the other with it disabled. It’s just faster this way instead of manually having to switch the camera app’s GPS setting ON/OFF. The Apple Camera app may soon give way to the Lark app especially if I begin to use it more often for tracking exercise, nutrition and sleep.

The standard social media apps are still here: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, & Snapchat. I do use Swarm as often as I can remember. And, well, Facebook’s Messenger has been pretty necessary for me. New to this list is Beme. I’ve just started using this newer social media platform and it’s actually kind of unique in its recording technique. I hope Beme catches on. Surprisingly, YouTube is where I spend the majority of my online time now watching vlogs and tutorials — I can’t believe it took me this long to assimilate its educational/training advantages.

Gone from my homescreen is Apple’s Music app…banished to a folder on my second screen. I prefer and utilize the Podcasts app much more than any music service although SoundCloud has recently been promoted here for soundtrack research purposes — I’m pretty happy with it.

Finally, three of the more important apps I rely on are FitStar, Runkeeper and Waze. FitStar is the personal trainer on my mobile device I never knew I wanted. Some sessions can really kick my butt but I feel so much better after a workout. Runkeeper has been my running app of choice for a while now. It just works and doesn’t try to overcomplicate things. I hear there’s an Apple Watch app version as well which I will try when I purchase the next iteration of the Apple Watch. Last but not least is Waze, the obvious choice for anyone looking to avoid and/or report traffic. It’s usually very accurate predicting my destination’s arrival time. I also love that I can add a stop (normally Starbucks) to my trip and it will calculate that arrival time as well.

And there you have it…my choice of homescreen apps with which to enter 2016. There will certainly be changes but this is my “team” to start off the year. What does your homescreen look like? Do you have better apps to recommend? Share away. Oh, and BTW…Happy 2016!

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