Homescreen: July 2014

I’ve really enjoyed reading enjoy reading the regular homescreen posts from Joshua Ginter and David Sparks. Beyond a simple enjoyment of good writing and cool apps, I think it’s a really interesting way to look at how the way you work changes over time. Rather than reviewing them in isolation, I’ve always found app reviews, in particular, to be more interesting in the context of the other tools around them. With that in mind, I have decided to give it a go myself.

These are the apps currently taking up space on my iPhone homescreen:


The three rows are roughly organized into three categories. The top row holds the apps I use to consume information or media.

  • Unread is my favorite RSS reader. It’s gorgeous and the gestures are simply phenomenal. Jared Sinclair’s post on the philosophy of Unread had a huge impact on what I choose to subscribe to, and how I read writing for the web.
  • Castro is my Podcast Client. It may lack features from other clients, but it’s super fast and a consistent joy to use.
  • Tweetbot is my Twitter Client. This one’s in a class of its own. Subtle animations and fantastic gestures provide great feedback, and make navigation a breeze.
  • Beats is my favorite music streaming service. I’m still in my first month of my subscription, but it was pretty clear early on that the beats experience fit me better than the competition in just about every way.

The middle row is made up of apps I use for creation or curation.

  • Day One is a Journal, but I also use it for notes and just about everything that doesn’t fit anywhere else.
  • Ember is where I keep my design inspirations, my screenshots, and most recently, my photography. With the most recent update, Ember has basically become my self hosted Evernote replacement.
  • Safari is such a great mobile web browser, I haven’t found a reason to use a third part replacement.
  • Flickr has been my motivation to get back out and start taking photos again. It’s always been a great site, but it really stepped up its game in the past year or two. Such a beautiful app.

The bottom row holds the apps I use for scheduling and organization.

  • Fantastical is my Calendar. It's such an elegant piece of software, one whose design is just as an important feature as its bar-setting language parsing and flexible integration with a staggering amount of apps. I always enjoy using it.
  • Weather Line is a gorgeous weather app. Weather apps all do essentially the same thing, but I found that out of all of them, Weather Line presents the forecast in the most readable, and visually impressive way.
  • Dispatch has recently become my mail app of choice. Every action in Dispatch can take can be customized and extended, it’s crazy powerful. For example, tapping a link pops up a share sheet with options ranging from read-later services, Omnifocus, browsers (including 1password), you name it. With less than a month with the app so far, it’s already become a permanent fixture on my homescreen, and I’ve got no plans to change that.
  • Omnifocus is my task manager, list organizer, and general stress reliever. I love this app. Once I “got” how I was supposed to use it, and started emptying my head of everything that was taking up brain space, I quickly felt lighter and more capable of actually getting to all the small things that need to be done throughout the day.

I keep the messages and phone app in my dock for quick communication and to make sure I can always see if I’ve missed a call or a text. Launch Center Pro contains a lot of little automations and easy access to One Password and other utilities (I know, I’m grossly underusing it’s potential), and Drafts is my quick note taking/text triage for thoughts and ideas throughout the day.

Walter Somerville