Roast My Home Screen

Roast My Home Screen
Photo by Mohammadreza alidoost / Unsplash

Inspired by two episodes of Connected (Roast My iPhone Home Screen and Roast My iPad Home Screen), I thought it would be nice to share my current iPhone and iPad setups, and why I have them the way I do.

First off, my iPhone. I definitely don't make amazing use of home screen widgets, but I've really enjoyed playing with the lock screen widgets of iOS 16. I can't wait for the final release so I can see what app developers have come up with.

My two lock screens are pretty simplistic. The first one is my default lock screen which shows what time my alarm is set for the next morning, what's left in my reminders for the day, and then my phone and watch battery level. The second is my "work" lock screen which shows me the chance of rain, the current temperature, and my activity rings. I've found I can close my activity rings most days with just general work habits, so it's nice to keep an eye on them throughout the day.

These are the only two lock screens I use regularly. My work screen is linked to a work focus mode (as you can see at the bottom) which also blocks a lot of notifications.  In fact, there are only five people allowed through (my kids x 2, their mums x 2, and the office). Everything else goes silently to Notification Centre and stays there until I explicitly check it at the end of the day.

Now for the actual home screens. I don't have a lot of apps on there because I am an unashamed App Library user.

So... screen 1 is my default. It's omnipresent regardless of focus mode. It has quick access to Music and Overcast. I use these all the damn time, whether I'm driving or at home. I also have quick access to my children via the contacts widget. These are nice because they will also display missed calls/messages, something that can be easily missed in the new notification view of iOS16.

Tweetbot, Monzo, Balance and Apple Maps all have a permanent place because I always use them, same for the dock apps. That 3rd dock app is Marvis Pro by the way. It's a very customizable music app that interfaces with Apple Music to become anything you want to be. I've been trying it for a few months and finally getting to grips with it; its complexity is the biggest downfall but its ridiculously powerful.

Before you ask: no, the phone app doesn't make an appearance. Any dialing is done either through widgets or via Siri.

The second screen is my "Work" screen and contains a note that I use throughout the day. It's part scratchpad for any ad-hoc collections I need to make, part database for access codes to gates that regular customers entrust to me. Then there is another contact widget for work. Two maps widgets: one Google, one Apple. Google is used 80% of the time (because offline maps save so. much. data) but Apple is better for finding new build properties (we deliver a lot to them) and named residential houses. I've also found it is more timely for showing traffic delays and road closures (and reopening) than Google, which when you're trying to get through rush hour traffic back to work can make all the difference between having your feet up at home or being sat on the motorway and not moving!

Screen 3 is a bit of a WIP and is linked to a focus mode called "Evening" and it will eventually give me both an overview of how the day has been (things like seeing activity levels) but also a view of what the future holds (reminders, calendar) as well as things to do now through a siri suggestions widget. When activated in the evening it's pretty good at showing the apps I will often use; TikTok, 9Gag, YouTube, and  Facebook Messenger.

My iPad serves two basic roles right now that I think are perfectly encapsulated in just two screenshots.

Screen one (and it's primary role) is consumption. Music, podcasts, news and reddit (via Apollo). Apple TV+ is hidden in a stack there too.

Screen two is seeing what life holds and connecting to people. It's actually something of a well-being screen. I find it easier to deal with and action things if they're listed in reminders, and easier to budget and pay bills if they're in calendars (though the calendar widget doesn't show that because they're all done for the month), but it also gives me a view ahead for the week.

Apps in the dock are

  • Messages
  • Safari
  • Marvis pro
  • iPod shortcut
  • Apollo
  • Overcast
  • Passwords shortcut that opens iCloud keychain (I'm transitioning away from 1Password but I like their icon).

So there we have it. Two really simple setups work really well for me. I have found that whilst I spend a lot of time on my devices, I don't DO a lot on my devices, and so it allows me to eliminate so much complexity that so many people have.