More than Placement, Matts Home Screen

We all have our favourite applications; apps we just couldn’t live a day without using. Here are my favourites, the select few that have made it to my home screen.


There is a lot more to my home screen then just the apps, let start with the background. For me it has to be something clean, nothing too busy. I’m a real minimalist, I get lost when there are too many colours. So I kept it nice and simple with this retro apple logo which can be downloaded here.

When it comes to placement, I’m very particular about where the apps sit. If it’s an app I use daily or find very helpful, it will sit on the sides or the end columns, if it’s a slightly less popular app or something I use maybe two, three times a week it sits on the inside columns.IMG_3034 2_iphone6_spacegrey_portrait

So let’s jump in to my home screen. To start with there are a handful of the apple original apps; Photos, Phone, Camera, Notes and Maps. There isn’t going to be a lot I can say about these apps except I have kept them because of the level of integration, for example, Apples own Camera app works a lot faster then say ‘Camera +’.

The first non Apple app on my home screen is Fantastical. Not only does it make adding appointments into the calendar a lot easier then Apples own Calendar app, but it has a widget that will give you a full calendar view. It’s a must have for all productivity geeks.

Next up we have Southern,which is the app for my local train network. There’s not a lot I can say about Southern other then it makes planning rail journeys easy and works on all of the different rail networks in the U.K.

Calcbot is my Apple calculator replacement. The user interface is clean and quick with each calculation leaving an audit trail so sums can be partially deleted without deleting the entire sum. A small in-app purchase makes Calcbot so much more powerful by unlocking a convertor, making this simple app a must have.

Dark Sky is up next. We are currently riding out a heatwave here in the UK, experiencing some of the hottest weather since records began. Dark Sky’s new update allows you to set notifications and summaries depending on the weather for that day. For example you can say if the UV index is above 10, notify me.

1Password: It’s difficult to say something about 1Password that hasn’t already been said. It’s the single most important app I own. Having all of my passwords in one place is great, as well as being able to utilise Apples Safari extensions which is incredible. Being able to open a web page, press the 1Password extension and pop, all your details are logged in! This is one of the greatest time savers on my iPhone.

Alien Blue/Reddit: I’m a Reddit fan and I spend a lot of my time on R/apphookup looking for free apps as well as R/workflow, looking for ways to make the most of the workflow app. Alien Blue offers a nice clean look in to Reddit, that is simple and easy to use.

I will bundle the Huffington Post and BBC News together. The BBC offers a very mainstream view on the news no matter how grizzly and bad it seems and its usually unbiased. The Huffington Post however is almost satirical of the news, adding a little bit of humour to news stories. A great example of this are these two stories: 1) Huffington Post 2) BBC News

Feedly is my RSS client. I tend to jump back and forth between Feedly and Flipboard. Fliboard is so fast and smooth to use but doesn’t give you a “read” status. Feedly is little older but deletes read articles from your queue which is great when your’e fighting the stream of RSS articles. I’m using Feedly at the moment because I also found a Feedly Mac app. So no matter which device I’m on I can get to my RSS feeds.

FitStar is my fitness app of choice, since using it I have lost a little under 2stone. I can’t recommend it enough, check out my full review here.

Casts: I have used a lot of podcast apps, but Casts is by far the best out there. Casts is nice to use, a lot of the more complicated actions have been stripped away and instead you have a simple 5 button menu. Adding podcasts are done with a simple subscribe tick, creating playlists and listen next queues which are so simple.

Agree with my apps? Have something better to recommend? Let me know in the comments below.

About Author

Matt Anderson

Hey, I'm Matt and I'm from a sleepy Town in the UK. When I'm not here I'm working as an IT Project Manager for a Telecoms Company, Building and enhancing applications and systems. I have a passion for making hard things easy and automating everything else. I'm a huge fan of Apple Products, I bought my first Macbook 5 years ago and never looked back. I'm a massive fitness fan, using the fitness apps on my iPhone is my guilty pleasure.

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