I recently joined Fiona and Beth at an app swap Breakfast planning meeting, and at one point we discussed the “Homescreens” idea that David Sparks runs as a regular feature on his blog MacSparky.
He talks to folk about what’s on their iPhone home screen, and asks the same few questions each time:
WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR FAVORITE APPS?
WHICH APP IS YOUR GUILTY PLEASURE?
HOW MANY TIMES A DAY DO YOU USE YOUR IPHONE?
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE FEATURE OF THE IPHONE?
IF YOU WERE IN CHARGE AT APPLE, WHAT WOULD YOU ADD OR CHANGE?
These questions turn up some fascinating apps, tips and points of view, like the recent entry by the teacher Robert McGinley Myers where I first heard about the Command-C app which allows copy and paste sharing across devices. It seemed likely that UoB folk might be interested in what’s on the home screens of colleagues, so I changed the questions slightly to reflect a learning technology slant and to encompass iPads and android devices, and wrote a list of folk to question.
To test this out, I thought I’d best subject myself to the questions first:
Who are you, and what do you do?
I’m Rob, and I’m a Learning Technology Advisor/Developer at the University of Brighton Falmer Campus. I’m new here and have mainly been working on the migration of StudentCentral.
What’s on your homescreen:
Turns out not very much of interest. This is a new iPad, and I haven’t downloaded all my apps, but rather am gradually addding things when I need them, this has resulted in a pretty sparse collection. Everything I frequently use is on the homescreen, and everything else is in folders on the second screen, but I actually use the finder to launch apps… except when I can’t remember what they’re called.
Which three apps couldn’t you live without?
Probably 1Password, which syncs up all my passwords across all my devices, so I can have good strong unique passwords for all the sites that need them… Just looked and that’s 318 passwords!
If you’ve ever tried typing complex strong passwords using the iPhone keyboard this will be a revelation, use ONE strong password to access the app, and then use the built in browser to automatically populate the username and password fields.
Evernote allows me to capture stuff quickly, sync it across all my devices and has a good search function. I use it to take notes in meetings (really useful share function) snap snots of presentations, record audio clips and add them to the note, and even set alerts to email notes on certain times and dates.
The downside of the free app is that it doesn’t allow access to your notes when not connected (wifi) which was a bit of a shock the first time I used it.
Evernote links well with services like IFTTT, which means you can use it do cool things like archive hastagged tweets. Evernote is gradually adding functionality, and their acquisition of Skitch makes it really simple to take a photo, or screenshot, annotate and add to a notebook.
- Twitter gives me instant access to collaeagues across the globe. The basic twitter app does a fair job as a reader, no fancy scheduling, or columns, just a timeline with previews of the images.
What app are you still searching for?
A version of iPlayer Radio that goes straight to 6music…
What’s your top tip?
Aside from using the search bar to find and launch apps (drag down anywhere on the screen and type your search) … I’d suggest using the “add to reading list” feature in Safari, which syncs with Safari on my mac and phone (Sync seems to be my essential feature)
So that’s my homescreen.
If you have any comments, suggestions, or fancy sharing your home screen with the Uni, and the world drop me a line.