Inspired by an old tweet by @mgsiegler, I occasionally take a look at how my home screen is evolving. Here's the latest incarnation.
You probably can tell that I'm a notifications-off, blibbets-off kind of guy, even for text messages and emails. I like having control over when I get to look at the screen.
You'll also notice that I'm a no-folders-on-the-homescreen person, too. There's something satisfying about having your top 28 apps duke it out for your attention. (Most of my other apps are in themed folders in a single extra screen.)
So, which apps made it in Q1 of 2019?
- Settings - Someday I'll be able not to have Settings prominently displayed. Just not today.
- App Store - Still love discovering new apps. Although there don't seem to be as many new ideas as there used to be.
- Genius - Everything should have a wiki.
- Instagram - Yes, I shouldn't use a Facebook property. Everytime I think I can get out, they drag me back in.
- Teams - It's not Slack (boo). It's also not Skype (yay). Generally well done and well thought out, even if certain builds take forever to load.
- NY Times - I used to read 50-75 different sources in a RSS feed. Now I stick to the Old Gray Lady.
- Camera - Photos are the new keywords.
- Notes - I've used Bear. And Evernote. And Notion. And Scrivener. And Ulysses. And Drafts. I prefer Notes. Even without any PC support (other than the weakish Web client). The sharing from Books is a killer feature.
- Wallet - I use contactless payments way more than I ever thought I would.
- Shortcuts - My favorite. I've wrapped most of the Azure Cognitive Services in Siri Shortcuts. Not perfect, but a lot of fun. Wish I could write shortcuts that could access incoming SMS messages, though.
- Music - Good enough.
- Overcast - I commute close to 2 hours a day. "Oh No! Ross and Carrie" at 1.75x speed makes it all better.
- Twitter - Indispensable source of NLP news, sports play-by-play, and people who have more interesting lives than mine.
- Arx - Best (more like only) ArXiv client on iOS.
- At Bat - Bryce Harper is a Phillie. For the next 72 bajillion years. Or until he hits .230 and the Yankees come a-calling.
- Linkedln - Not as valuable as it used to be (2014-2017). Then again, I'm not looking for a new gig.
- Mendeley - Few redeeming qualities, but best paper reading list app on iOS, now that Papers3 has EOLed.
- Life Cycle - Best lifelogging app since Saga, says the former Saga CEO. It's really, really good: accurate, gets sleep durations, integrates with other apps, and doesn't kill your battery. Could do more with the insights it serves up, but I am just looking to pick on it because it's everything I wanted Saga to be.
- Watch - I haven't figured out how my Apple Watch makes my life better. The app stays until it stops giving me joy. Or until I need to stop resetting my watch.
- Books - Better than Kindle. Even if it isn't.
- Reddit - I had a 9 year old account with 348 (total) karma. Then I realized I was the only one with a handle that was my real name.
- To-Do - Microsoft product. It's ok. I liked Todoist better, especially when it was hooked up to my Cortana calendaring email agent, calendar.help.
- Feedly - Dislike the new UX. Still too hard to hook up new RSS feeds. Dismal content discovery. But it integrates with Pocket nicely, and I love Pocket as an annex for my brain.
- Strava - Super cool, especially when synced to maps created using the mapping app Footpath; you can export Footpath route maps/tracks in GPX and then import them into Strava via a Strava Labs site.
- Messages - Surprisingly plain. So much could be done here with security/encryption and intelligent services. I miss Emu.
- Phone - Ring, ring. It's a robocall.
- Outlook Beta - Very nice. Even though I avoid it at all costs. No fault of the app, though. It's well-executed and super snappy. And as a MSFT employee, I get a cool new launch icon.
- Edge Beta - I use Safari for personal use. Edge is good for work, especially if work is Microsoft.