The dog-days of summer are upon us and it's time for another installment of What's On My iOS Home Screens.
1. One Touch Reveal (Free - Universal) - One Touch Reveal is a blood glucose monitoring system that works in conjunction with the One Touch Vario Sync testing meter. Glucose results are synchronized from the Vario to the iOS App via Bluetooth. The application maintains log book, shows your average Glucose numbers over a 14 day period, and allows for simple reporting of the aforementioned metrics. The app also allows for the entry of medicine (various insulin types), carbs, and a way to manually enter a glucose test if using another type of meter. This app has been invaluable in assisting me with managing my Diabetes. I would highly suggest taking a look at the One Touch Vario and the Reveal app if you have an iOS device.
2. MagiCam ($0.99 - iPhone) What can I say? This app is truly magic. From the makers of the wildly popular iOS camera app Camera+, TapTapTap has yet another winner on their hands. MagiCam is a simple camera app that applies image correction on-the-fly to make your pictures look outstanding each and every time. There are a limited number of post-pic filters that can be applied if necessary. Overall, the quality of the pictures is usually outstanding. MagiCam integrates with the standard iOS camera roll which makes things so convenient in terms of keeping all your photos in one place. I have take some really nice shots with MagiCam and it has earned a place on my main home screen. For .99, you should definitely give it a shot (no pun intended).
1. Notes Plus ($3.99 - iPad) - A full-featured note taking app for the iPad. Support for the Adonit BT Touch/Script has been added only for the iPad 3 and later. The app offers a very clean UI and offers sync with Dropbox. Handwriting recognition is offered via an in-app purchase. Overall, Notes Plus has become my default handwriting note app on my iPad.
Winter is far from over, but there's been a couple of noticeable changes on my iOS iPhone and iPad home screens. Aside from my background color switch on the iPhone from red to blue and on the iPad from blue to red, there have been a couple of app changes.
I have long been a fan of the Tweetbot application, a full featured and powerful Twitter client for the iOS platform. The application has basically everything I want in a twitter application: push notifications, position and message read status sync, mute filters, and UI that just won't quit. Well, that last part is really what is bothering me. The iPhone version of Tweetbot was given an iOS 7 redesign during the latter half of 2013. It is truly a sweet looking application. Unfortunately, Tapbots have been really lagging in getting the iPad version of the app up to iOS 7 standards. Since I use Tweetbot on the iPhone, iPad, and the Mac, I prefer the experience to be top notch on each device. I can excuse an updated UI on the Mac since I spend very little time using Twitter on the desktop. However on the iPad, which I do use daily, the old style iOS 6 design of Tweetbot is wearing on me. It's annoying enough that I will cease to use it on the iPhone and iPad and will be replaced with IconFactory's Twitterrific 5.
Waiting for that Tweetbot elusive iPad update.......
Update: Twitterrific has stopped working over LTE for me and I am unable to send or receive tweets. The app works when on wifi. I will have to delete this app on the iPhone until the Iconfactory has a solution to get it working again. I have tried force quitting the app and deleting and re-installing it.
Update 2: Finally figured it out. The cellular data setting was turned off for Twitterrific which was causing the app to not retrieve or send data over my LTE connection. Once I flipped the switch to enable data, the app worked like a charm.
Tweetbot for iOS ( iPhone (L), iPad (R) )
The Winter season is practically upon us so to bring in the cold weather is another installment of What's On My iOS Home Screens. There have been some notable changes in home screen apps since my last posting back in the Fall.
The iPhone 5s and iOS 7 is in the house so here goes the latest installment of the apps I am using on my home screens. There have been quite a few changes since I was using iOS 6.
I haven't posted one of these types of articles in awhile so I thought I'd throw one up. There's been a couple of significant changes in some of the primary apps I am using on my main iPhone home screen:
Just figured I'd post an update considering there's been some movement of several home screen apps on both my iPhone and iPad since my last home screen post back in the beginning of the winter.
New iPhone home screen apps:
New iPad home screen apps:
Look closely. Yes, that is Apple's Podcast app on the home screens of both my iPhone and iPad. Apple recently updated their much aligned podcast app and this time around they corrected many of the bugs that made the app pretty much unusable. The iCloud sync has worked flawlessly, allowing a podcast subscription to be added, removed, or changed in terms of played status on device and having it synced over to another iDevice. While I am not a fan of much of the skeumorphic design choices (the tape player in the Now Playing Screen), I have been using this app for about a week and it is working well. I'll stick with it for now until the next major versions of Instacast or PocketCasts are released.
My go to weather app has become Check The Weather. See my review for more thoughts on this clean, fast, and accurate weather app.
The iPad has remained pretty much status quo with the same addtions as my iPhone. The other change I have made in the app dock is the addition of Google's Chome browser. The only reason I have this in the app bar is that the NY Daily News site doesn't seem to work very well with the lastest version of Safari on iOS. The main stories on the site seem to be fine, but when you click on a story, the site just displays a blank page. Initially I thought this might be a paywall-type issue (i.e. you would need a subscription to read stories), but it seems that Chrome is able to display the full story without issue.
Home screen organization for iOS users is one of those extremely personal things. Everyone has a scheme that best works for them in thier everyday use of the device. Some like to organize their screens in a logical order placing their most commonly used applications on a single home screen, some like to stage their home screens in order of importantace (i.e. apps used everyday, lesser used apps, and miscellanous junk), and some wont dare put a folder on thier main home screen for fear of runing the asthetic look or inconvienience of opening a folder to access an application.
Macgasm's Jon Mitchell put together a nice piece here about a logical approach to home screen organization. Mitchell contends that home screen organization boils down to the logical grouping of like-applications and minimizing to the least common denominator in terms of the number of apps used to get various tasks done. One of the most interesting parts of the article is the "heat map" used to identify logical groupings of applications. Heat maps are used in application and webpage design to determine where the human eye travels and where the focus of attention is when looking at a given screen, page, etc. The use of the heat map in Mitchell's article shows his logical grouping of social networking, photography based, and to a lesser extent, asthetic groupings.
For myself, my organization practices follow convential wisdom: keep what you use most on the first home screen, and for each subsequent page apps that are less used. I think the optimal number of pages anyone should have is 3. Any more than that, you are really spending too much time swiping or you just have too many apps. If you check out my screens below, you'll see my most used on a daily basis on the first page. I have folders for many of those apps which are just a logical grouping (Apple folder, Office/Productivity, News, Utilities), and the apps that I absolutely want one click access to. On Page 2, I have folders of apps that I use from time to time. Finally, page 3 contains mostly games and what I call the "App Graveyard". I call it that because there are some apps that I rarely ever use but may on the rare occasion be of some use. Also, I tend to keep apps that I have used in the past but do not want to delete them just to see what updates come from the developers in the future. For example, Calvetica is a great calendar app, however it is missing a few features that I would absolutely love to have (hint: Event Templates), and want to keep an eye on how the developer pushes that app forward. I also keep several twitter apps around waiting to see if they implement Tweet Marker or push notification support. I figure that the App Graveyard is on page 3 so it does no harm being there.
I carry the same organization methodology over to the iPad as well. Being a larger device, it helps that the home dock can support six icons (as opposed to 4 on the iphone), and that folders can have up to 20 apps (as opposed to the iPhone's 12).
Well, that's my thoughts on iOS screen organization. Pretty simple, if you ask me. I know some people that strive for that "clean look". Sometimes I really don't know what that means, but I do know it means different things to different people. I get a better understanding of that concept every time I look at my wife's iphone/ipad icon placement.
Comment and thoughts are welcome.
As an avid tech fan I look forward to sharing my tech experiences both personally and professionally with those that have similar interests and passion for technology.