With iOS 14 bringing widgets to the home screen, I suspect my iPhone setup will go through a substantial transformation this fall. So this will likely be my last iPhone home screen update under the current iteration of Springboard. Although, to be fair, I thought similarly during the beta period in which iPadOS gained widgets on the home screen and that didn’t turn out as I initially thought.
The difference this time around, though, is that adding widgets to the iPhone home screen doesn’t force you to shrink the size of the rest of your app icons or push all of your app icons to one side for no good reason. Even considering how widgets on the iPad home screen played out, I’m far more hopeful that I’ll actually use widgets on my iPhone home screen.
- Fantastical: The best calendar app for iOS.
- Instagram: a little shortcut I put together that launches the Instagram app on iPhone and opens the Instagram website on iPad.
- Headspace: An excellent meditation app, highly recommended by The Sweet Setup, and something that I can expense at Automattic.
- Ulysses: My favorite writing app — everything I publish on Initial Charge is written in Ulysses.
- Define: A simple shortcut that asks for input and then searches for the definition of the given term in Terminology.
- Simplenote: An application that I occasionally do support for at Automattic and all of my work-related notes and weekly updates I share with my team.
- Things: The first and only to do list application that ever clicked for me. I’ve stuck with it for years and I have no interest in even attempting an alternative — at least not in their current iteration.
- Reeder: My Instapaper client of choice. It gives me the ability to sort my saved links by domain and makes it much easier to load the original web page.
- Day One: This has become more and more important in my life with Josh around. I do my best to journal all the most important moments and it has become my repository for all of the bests photos I take of family and friends.
- Apollo: I probably spend more time on Reddit than I should, but Apollo makes it so darn enjoyable.
- Edit: A simple scratchpad/note taking app. I use it for drafting email, composing tweets, and taking notes that I don’t intend to keep long-term.
- Balance: a shortcut that displays a menu listing all of my finance-related applications and launches the chosen app. It’s a simple way to keep my home screen tidy while still giving me quick and easy access to these types of apps.
- Bear: For all of my non-ephemeral, non-work-related note taking.
- Calzy:My favorite calculator app for iOS.
- Prism: I maintain a music library in Plex and this is my preferred method of playback. It’s more akin to the simple, straightforward Music app for iOS that existed before the introduction of their streaming music service.
- Unread: A gorgeous RSS reading application with native support for sharing to read later services.
- Tweetbot: The best Twitter app ever.
- Overcast: I’ve tried just about every podcast client on the platform, Overcast is the best. It offers all of the most useful features — strip-silence, voice boost, the ability to subscribe to password protected feeds — and can has iPad support.
- Pandora: With my Plus account, I can pick a station and listen to ad-free music that I’ve curated over the course of nearly fifteen years with their thumbs up/down system.
- Dark Noise: I just recently switched to Dark Noise from Noisli when I discovered at the app had the ability to create custom mixes. I’ve been enjoying the custom icon options.
- 1Password: My favorite password manager on any platform.
- Screens: I use this to manage our home media server and help out when my mother-in-law runs into trouble on her iMac.
- Wegmans: Given the state of things, we’ve been ordering groceries for delivery more frequently. Wegmans our favorite store in general and by far the best grocery store in our area.
- last.fm: A shortcut that opens the last.fm website so I can check the services recommendations.
- WordPress: Another app that I do support for at Automattic, but I also use this to manage a few websites alongside a few family members.
- Google Photos: My wife and I use the service for backing up our photos to the cloud. We prefer it over iCloud because of its ability to automatically share our photos with one another.
- Slack: For work-related communication.
- YouTube: For watching videos on politics, board games, video games, comedy, and more.
- Blink: The app is no longer available on the App Store, but it’s still the best way to quickly grab links to applications that I can share here on Initial Charge or on Twitter.
My strategy for watch faces has changed since Josh was born. I use my Watch more as a status and information screen instead of using it to actually perform actions — like marking items off my to do list, logging my weight, or starting meditations. Josh has a tendency to play with the Watch’s screen while I hold him and this altered complication setup mitigates his ability to perform actions that I’d prefer he didn’t.