It’s almost as it was a few months ago, but in between there were a lot of changes
It’s been a while, but here’s the latest home-screen.
Three months have passed since the last home-screen post, but at least there had been some changes. First of all, I’m using a different launcher. I used to use Action Launcher, but for some reason, it doesn’t seem to support all the app-shortcuts that are, at least in theory, available.
At first I was holding out, because my phone wasn’t on 7.1 at that time, but even after the update, not all shortcuts were showing. In theory this wouldn’t be much of an issue, but some of my most-used apps, Todoist for example, were missing them, which was enough reason for me to look elsewhere.
And elsewhere was with Nova Launcher right around the corner. It did require a bit more fiddling (but you know, that is probably the reason I’m doing that in the first place) but eventually I got a really nice setup, with a whole bunch of helpful shortcuts. For example all things here on the home-screen serves at least two or more things.
New year, new home-screen. Sort of.
My launcher of choice is still Action Launcher, which alongside many other new things, recently introduced Pixel style features: such as some visuals as well as QuickCuts. This together with the already available swipe shortcuts make it very powerful and fast to use for me.
As previously, Google app is opened via a swipe to the left and the Quickpage on the right with the Calendar-, Pocket Casts– and Google Play Music widget. Many of the icons open shortcuts. Allo and the phone app are in fact shutters, clicking opens the app and swiping a folder, containing shortcuts for calling/messaging contacts as well as related applications.
Despite all the kerfuffle about it, I’m still sticking with Evernote. I gave OneNote a decent try, actually went through hoops to figure out which would be the right app for me, but at the moment, Evernote still works better for me. I keep an eye on OneNote and other apps that might be able to replace Evernote, but so far there is nothing that does things the way I want to.
I have been switching wallpapers quite a bit, but at the moment I am sporting this one out of Backdrops.
My time back on iOS didn’t lasted very long. 106 days to be precise.
In the beginning of the year I switched to Android and was very happy and satisfied with the whole experience. I like Android as an OS, I like the integration with all the Google services, the awesomeness of Google Now and the fact that I can customize it to my liking. To make it work just right for me.
Then, after seven months, I was, for some artificial reason, in the belief that I really need to have access to a certain set of applications on the phone. Applications that were (still are and probably never will be) not available on Android. So I did, what I always do, jump ship and switched back to iOS.
Now, 3 months and 14 days later, I went back to an Android phone and I couldn’t be happier with my decision. It turned out, that my time back on iOS wasn’t as satisfying as I expected and the need for those apps not as important in grand scheme of things.
In the process I got me a new phone, a OnePlus 3, and it took me only little time to get all the apps on there that I need and until I had my Android Wear watch setup the way I wanted. Next step was installing Action Launcher to make a nice and highly functional home-screen in the style of the Pixel Launcher.
I’m still re-arranging the some of the apps and I will customize a bit more, but other than that the setup is similar to the one I had in the beginning of the year.
One of my main motivations to switch over to Android, was to be able to set up the device just the way I want to. The way it suits my needs and wishes the best. Which is good, simply because, and yes, you guessed right: I get to tinker again.
For a while now, I was using the Google Launcher, and was (and still am) very satisfied with it. I like to have Google Now right there on the left screen, so I wasn’t much motivated to switch to another launcher. Yet, and I wrote about this already in my last post, I was giving Action Launcher a try.
Action Launcher 3 has quite a few nice and compelling features, which enable a rather sophisticated setup while at the same time keeping the home screen nice and clean. The cover feature, which uses the first icon in a folder as a cover, and doubles as a shortcut to launch said app is such an example. Despite having found a very nice setup, I continued to switch back and fourth between it and the Google Launcher.
The other day, I had some new ideas to improve my home-screen and am sporting it ever since. On first sight it appears rather basic, but with this launcher, the more sophisticated things are under the hood.
Currently I use three screens: the main home-screen and two which sport my Todoist and Evernote widgets as large as possible. Then there is the drawer on which I have added some essential widgets and shortcuts as well as the calendar widget. The icons on the first screen are arranged in a way that I can navigate and get to my most important or commonly used tasks only with my thumb.
In this setup the icons the Feedly, Inbox, Messages and Phone icons double as an application shortcut as well as an folder cover. The Feedly folder for example contains all my reading apps such as: Nuzzel, Play Newstand, Pocket, Medium, Kindle, Google+ and so on. The Inbox folder contains all Google apps. The phone- and messages-folder contain shortcuts to my most used contacts and messaging apps. Both the Pocket Casts and Google Music icon reveal on swipe the apps widget. This comes in very handy if I want to quickly continue to listen what I have been listening earlier.
I like this setup and will continue using it for the time being. Choice is surely one of the benefits of using Android over iOS and finding a or the setup that works for me is one of those. If I ever will find a decent wallpaper though is a totally different story.
So, it’s been done: I switched to Android and am enjoying my new phone, OnePlus 2. I haven’t though done any major customizations to the home-screen yet. It’s rather close to the default setup. The only thing that I did, was installing the Google Now launcher. I like to have my Now-cards available with a simple swipe. I do myself though see me switching to Action Launcher soon, which supports this and quite a few more very nice features and naturally more control.
Also I have placed a calendar and the Todoist widget on the second and third screen, but that’s about it. The wallpaper is the default Marshmallow wallpaper, which comes with the Google Now launcher.
Obviously my most used apps are, as for quite some time already, Inbox, Todoist and of course Pocket Casts. The two remaining folders contain a collection of Google apps and the other one next frequently used applications. In this one are iA Writer, WordPress, Google Newsstand1, Feedly, Google+ and the native Twitter app.
Additionally I have added a few shortcuts for quick composing of emails, adding notes to Evernote and a shortcut to messages with my wife. It is a very effective setup, where everything just is where I want it to be.
I have not (yet) delved into excessive customizations and left the home-screen more or less in it’s default state. At the moment I am very happy with the setup as it is. Especially through the usage of the calendar and Todoist widget on page 2 and 3, and the always available Goolge Now cards on the left, using the phone, feels to me akin to using a Moleskine for example. The information that I am looking for is easily available through browsing. I like it that way.
- I had this running on iOS already. Turns that after a while of using, the highlights are rather accurately to my interest. ↩
New year, new month and a new homescreen. Admittedly there are not many changes but I eventually came over folder-aversion and put at least one folder on here. Major surprise.
I rely on so many Google services and apps that it made sense to have them in a specific folder on the homescreen to have them quickly available. Also it serves as a little preparation for things to come.
I guess this will be last iOS homescreen in quite some time. Maybe even the last at all. Who knows. With my Android phone around the corner, I am looking forward to do some nice customisations and set things up just the way I would like to. One can get really wild and turn the home-screen into a piece of art, but I am not sure yet whether or not to go down that road. But then again, who am I kidding here…
I guess that by February we will figure out.
It’s that time of the month. The lack of difference between the current the one from July does not convey the changes it has undergone during the last few months. While both seem rather Android-ish, in between I had a very different setup.
A lot of applications had been replaced only to be re-replaced, if there’s a such a thing, shortly thereafter . OmniFocus replaced Todoist for a while, Photos.app re-appeared and I started to use either Mail.app or Dispatch again. Eventually I went back to where I left off in July: with Todoist, Google Photos and Inbox. I’m not 100% convinced about the latter, but it makes sorting through my mail so much faster, that it makes sense to keep it around even though I am missing potential task-app integrations.
For a while I was using also Podcast.app again, but eventually went back to Pocket Casts. The obvious benefit of Podcasts.app is of course voice control, but I find the overall experience using Pocket Casts that much better. Organising and making ad-hoc playlists, or better the Up Next playlist, and not even talking about the much better functionality and design make it for me. I’m looking forward to the upcoming iOS update of the app.
I removed a few apps from the home-screen simply because I wasn’t using them that much to justify them for myself on the home-screen, but Day One made its way back to the home-screen. I have though the feeling this is more to due to good intentions than of actual use. I am experimenting with and like to get more out of Google Now, hence I have Google-App on the home-screen as well, but most of all I keep it there since I really like the icon.
Naturally iA Writer is in the dock, but that shouldn’t come as a surprise. Because where else should it be.
I have tried to use the CGB-Grey setup with only one screen, but somehow can’t convince myself of having folders, even if it’s only one, on the home-screen. I might give it a try for the next post.
I planned to publish this, or better, a post like this for a long time. My last home-screen-post is already a long time ago, and an update is more than overdue. As so often before, I had started to write the post, but since I never had been satisfied with the actual home-screen, hence also never finished the post either.
This, my current set-up had been in the works for quite some time but currently I enjoy it quite a bit. It could be subtitled: The Android Phone Setup, or best of both worlds.
I’m using this one now for a couple of weeks and so far it works fine for me.
Most of the apps are more or less self-explaining, Google Calendar and Inbox are though relatively new on my home-screen. I enjoy Inbox since it makes checking and dealing with my email a lot faster and easier. Also the previews for trips, receipts, photos and other things has proven it’s usefulness during the last few weeks. Also the auto-adding of appoinments from Gmail to my calendar is rather handy.
The WordPress.app made it’s return since I am in the process of, yet again, moving back to WordPress. Pinner I don’t use that much, but still it is useful every now and then.
I wish I would have stuck to my original idea and posted my home-screens more frequently, it would have been fun to have a look at my old ones now. But let’s see how this will look in a couple of weeks.