What’s on the first screen of my iPhone

Been 3 months since I last talked about what apps I’m using, there have been some changes.

The bottom row remains Mail, Messages, Calendar, Safari. I use all these many many times a day, almost hourly. Calendar is the least used but I still need it all the time.

First screen: the default Apple apps that have a home here are Weather, Maps, Camera, Calculator, Settings, Clock, Phone, Stocks.

  • I use Phone a lot but wonder if it needs a spot since I can get there through double-click of the button, but for now it remains.
  • Stocks is the other that is least used, I just don’t check Stocks all that often, it may be the next to get shoved off the page.
  • Weather I use a lot and I have like 20 cities stored. I’ve considered some of the paid options but I like the simplicity of Apple’s app.
  • Maps I use daily. Have started to use the bookmark feature a lot. It is not a perfect app, I wish I could see my custom maps I’ve created at Google Maps.
  • Calculator I use frequently since I am taking courses. However it may get pushed off in favor of something better soon…
  • Camera gets used weekly for throwaway pics — parking spot at airport, etc. I don’t care about all the fancy photo apps since I use a real camera for photos I care about.
  • Settings continues to have a homepage spot just so I can turn wifi on/off. There has to be a better app for this.
  • Clock — I use the alarm when travelling and the timer for cooking.

Non-Apple apps on the first page:

  • Echofon, my current Twitter app. Solid. Used every couple hours
  • Byline, RSS reader. I used to just use the mobile google reader site which is pretty good, but this is better.
  • WordPress for blog posting. Sadly my post frequency is way down but still need it.
  • Tripit for travel details. I love Tripit.
  • 2 Across for the NYTimes crossword (subscription required). I usually skip monday/tuesday puzzles since they are fairly routine but enjoy the later puzzles. I generally finish tho my times are not competitive with real crossworders at all.
  • Todo, synced with RememberTheMilk. Love todo lists. Is this the best app? Maybe not but I flipped to it some time ago and remain happy. It has like a jillion more features than I use.
  • Lose It! to track daily calorie usage. Been working to drop a little weight this fall, and this app helps. If I track my calories I can usually control my portions.
  • ESPN Scorecenter. Particularly on football Saturdays. I got cranky this week because the ESPN data feed seemed to be a half hour or more behind, grr. So I looked at CBS Sports, SI.com, Fox Sports, ScoreMobile, and Sportacular. For the most part these all miss the mark, they are just a rendering of the web property into an app. This is useless. The ESPN app lets me pick my teams and sports and focuses just on the scores of those entities, that is what I want. So for now, it remains the king.

Things that recently lost their front page status:

  • Facebook. OK I like the fact that old friends can find me. But the constant nattering about Mafia Wars, Farmville, all the surveys and crap that Facebook Inc wants me to do — this is all a waste of my brain. And damned if I can figure out how to tell Facebook to quit nattering at me about all this crap. Twitter has a much higher signal-to-noise ratio for me.

Things that want to get to the front page:

  • some note taking app. I am trying out aNote right now. Not blowing me away. But I do keep little snippets of notes and would like something here…
  • iMathlab. A MATLAB lite app. For some classes of quick calculations this BLOWs the calculator away. The first version was buggy but getting better.
  • AccuDial. OK this isn’t really right yet. But a dialer app that a) dials conf calls correctly, b) syncs with cal, and c) is remotely configurable by folks at my office (perhaps thru cal sync) would be most desirable.

Apps that I am playing with but not sure what will happen to them:

  • LaTeX Help. Doing way too much math formatting these days.
  • Ego. Needs more drivers — Facebook for instance.
  • Gist. Interesting but doesn’t really help me yet.
  • foursquare. Not really getting into it.
  • Bento. I want to like it but I always end up finding databases requiring too much overhead.

Games come and go. Current things I am trialing:

  • Word Spin. Boggle-ish.
  • Missile Command
  • Fling
  • DoodleJump
  • Puzzloop
  • Cribbage
  • Civ Rev (tho I actually haven’t used it yet)
  • Shanghai
  • Flight Control
  • Bebot

There are a whole bag of travel apps I keep around that get occasional use: Urbanspoon, ZAGAT, Yelp, KAYAK, Flight Update, Topo Maps. Hugely useful at times. And a bunch of useful but not frequently used apps — Starmap, Zillow, GuitarToolkit, Clinometer, Amazon.com, Air sharing, Air Contacts, WiFiFoFum, MiGhtyDocs, m.UW, LinkedIn, Pandora, Shazam, SMugMug.

Apps still on the phone but I never use: Google Earth, Whole Foods, Remote, Drinks Free, Wine Guide, EBay, Offender Locator, Healthmap, Kindle, NikeID. Just haven’t bothered to delete. They all seemed like a good idea at the time. Kind of like that Flock of Seagulls song — seemed like a good thing to download at the time.

2 thoughts to “What’s on the first screen of my iPhone”

  1. It is nice to hear that you have had some experiences with IMathlab even though the first edition was slightly buggy as you said.

    I wonder what your experiences with the latest versions are; also which version do you currently use?

  2. I use the current version, i update regularly. That said, I don’t use it that much because most of my Matlab programming is pretty extreme stuff that iMathLab doesn’t handle. I still keep it around and it is useful but I am not really sure how to make it essential. should it just be a great matlab offline editor (because you will never be able to pick up all the matlab commands and process them locally). should it be a replacement for the iphone calculator in which case you need to push it a different direction?

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