• Sydney Salomao

My iPhone and its screens (2018)

Text written first in Portuguese on Medium in 2018.

I really enjoy testing apps, realizing their functionality and how they can affect the lives of their users in a specific way. Knowing what's new in each category throughout the App Store has become almost a hobby and can take up some time - and storage space - in my routine.

I started to explore (more and more) the vast world of apps when I lived for a period in the United States I used to make the most of the American App Store and could see the big difference between the native/most popular apps here in Brazil and the American ones. No doubt there are more beautiful, fluid and better developed apps - obviously I'm not talking about the "global" apps like Facebook, Google, Pinterest, Instagram, blah-blah-blah. Probably because of the great support that developers receive from investors and the local culture itself. But this article is not about that.

I recently read some articles where the authors wrote accounts about their homepage and their apps on their respective iPhones over the years. I found it interesting to replicate the idea, since I constantly find a new app that will help me (or not) in an aspect proposed by it. The idea is simply to have a record of how I use my smartphone (I have owned an iPhone 6 for some time, by the way) over the years. For example, it would be interesting to be able to have screenshots of my smartphone in 2013 or 2014 and know how I used it. Exaggerations aside, it's almost a social study of where our lives have leaned and how we've evolved. Let's go:

Home Screen

My iPhone 6's Home Screen in 2018

As you can see, I always try to make the most of Apple's native apps, since I have a Macbook so I can take advantage of the ecosystem - and it is extremely useful with some apps, by the way.

My dock contains the most used apps, or nearly so. I say this because of the Phone app, which is actually there just to be there and to give an original iPhone "look". The most used apps on the home screen are where my right thumb can reach: the 3x3 square on the bottom right, excluding the dock. For those who didn't visualize: from Facebook to the right, from Facebook down. That imaginary square there.

That said, we're back to the actual Home. I'm not a big fan of folders with apps but some groups of apps leave me no choice. About them: The apps that are relatively useless or that I won't open for a long time for myself are allocated in the Extras folder. In the same row, on the right side, I have the folder Nachschlagewerke where I keep my dictionaries: LEO (German), Google Translate (general) and the Urban Dictionary (for slang and expressions in English). As you may have seen, my phone is in German because I like to put everything I can in the language I am studying and when I put the apps together in a folder, iPhone suggested the name "References" which is probably where these apps are organized in the App Store.

Right below, we have three simple folders: Finance, Kino and Watch. The first one contains all my banking apps, etc. By the way, I don't know why it is not in German either. The second one is a folder about movies (das kino in German), but does not contain any apps. A good tip for the anxious with little available memory: always think if there is really a need to have an app that tells you the schedule of your favorite movie theater, for example. How about simply making a shortcut to the page in your browser? This is exactly what I have in this folder: 5 shortcuts to the websites of some movie theaters I like. Smooth. In the second folder are the Apple Watch apps (Watch and Activities).

In general, I leave the home for more important and constantly used apps although I am not very strict about it, and I try to keep Apple's native look with its original icons. Spotify, Instagram, Goodreads and Activities (Watch) are the most used of the Home after the dock apps. Ah, Facebook is not an app either, but an appattachment just like the "apps" in the movie theater. Facebook is quite heavy and since I am not a fan of video - and Facebook currently is basically that - and I don't use it much, I leave the shortcut to Facebook in Safari on the iPhone (browser that works very well in connection with the Macbook) and to my surprise, the Safari feed becomes text/news and the videos are few. It fit like a glove.

Second Screen

My iPhone 6's Second Screen in 2018

There is an attempt - perhaps a bit frustrated - to organize by color and make a page more fluid and easy to remember.

On this page I gather eventually used applications such as: Flipboard, Quora and a folder containing all the newspapers (with the possibility to reproduce that tip of the site shortcuts); Shazam and Dateien (Apple's app released on the latest iOS where I can access the Macbook's apps in the blink of an eye), Wikipedia (unnecessary, but I simply find it interesting and I can save some articles) and Couple (for important dates with my girlfriend).

Kindle is the boss of the 3rd row and needs no comment, followed by an interesting chess app (one of the few gaming apps I keep on my iPhone). Tinycards on the side to help with German vocabulary and next to it an "appatalho" for the university website.

Headspace is the king of the 4th row. A well done app for meditation, perhaps the best. It is among other interesting apps: Untappd, to discover and rate the world's beers (those badges are the new black), Memorado to try to follow with an app to improve some mental skills - it is about to be deleted: its UX/UI is not good at all - and Clue, which is an app I keep paired with my girlfriend's app.

In the 5th row Duolingo commands. An impeccable app (take a look at the latest web-only tool they released) and quite useful for vocabulary building, next to Memrise, which is visually confusing but serves to give some support for other languages. Next to them, just a few interesting apps that are worth a little space: SkyView (still free. But who knows one day?) for observing planets and constellations and Enlight for photo editing.

In the 6th and last row we have the Zeitungen folder with 7 newspaper/news apps; Brewtime to help/timing some methods to make a good coffee; Followers to get some data about my company accounts on Instagram and Authy for finance.

Third (and last) Screen

My iPhone 6's Third Screen in 2018

The attempt to organize by colors still remains, only more unfortunate.

I have in the first row Wix, where I get information and keep in touch in real time with clients of one of my sites; 25 Minuten to use the Pomodoro method; Blackboard for communication with the university and teachers and another little game of airplane Little Alchemy.

In the second row there is Medium, which those who read here already know what it is; Mini Metro, another airplane game that has a very good proposal allied with a beautiful design; a flag quiz that I like to pass the time and PicPay for payments (after posting here I realized it was not in the Finance folder).

In the last one, are the apps under review: Primer (from Google) for some marketing tips; Nike Training, which is a free app that "tastes" to use: beautiful, fluid and efficient. Tower, a new more elaborate game that I downloaded because of the design that will probably be deleted with a few days. The last one is Appito: app to organize the "babas" (peladas, in other states) that I found quite interesting how it works and I will give it a try.



This is my iPhone currently. It will be interesting to check it out at the end of the year or early next year. One thing is for sure: new apps will appear, others will disappear and I will for sure change my background image. I always welcome suggestions for applications. If you have any, just leave a comment or send me a message. See you then!