Mehul Kar

January 01, 2017

2017: Home Screen

product

2017 home screen

I posted my 2016 home screen last year and I wanted to take a snapshot again.

It doesn’t look like too much has changed, actually. The Home row is almost exactly the same. Maybe I’m over Silicon Valley apps, or maybe my life hasn’t changed significantly in the last year.

Goodbyes

  • Saavn, Gaana, and Spotify are all gone as I invest more deeply in Apple Music as I predicted. All of their subscriptions are gone as well and I’m paying a flat $9.99. It does a good job of keeping my music in sync across my iPhone and MacBook Pro (which are the only two devices I really have).

  • Soundhound is gone. Taking out my phone, waiting for an app to load and then to listen was either not fast enough or interrupted actually enjoying the music. When I want to bookmark a song now, I just mentally bookmark it or write down some of the lyrics in the Notes app to Google later. Occasionally, I’ll ask Siri to listen, but apart from being hands-free, Siri is usually too slow. It also doesn’t store history of listens, so that defeats the point.

  • Audible is gone. Listening to audio books is pretty painful on a 10 minute commute. I’ve opted to spend the first 30 mins of my day at work to read a physical book. And I have enough audio content (in the form of podcasts) to last a long time.

  • GroupMe is gone and is replaced by WhatsApp. As someone with family and friends in India, it turns out there really is no way to avoid WhatsApp. Everyone uses it and it’s the most reliable way to get a hold of someone (compared to all the other messaging apps).

  • Health apps are now grouped together. I use Strava the most (track 365 miles this year on it!). I was using Strong and the Workout app to track workouts at the gym, but then I stopped going to the Gym.

Additions

  • I’ve re-added communication apps to the home page. Gmail (personal), Mail.app (work), Messenger and WhatsApp are all in the mix. I suppose these will flow on and off the home screen as I fluctuate between needing human connection and vice versa.

  • Gyroscope. I’m paying for the Pro version and enjoy it. I don’t think I use it that much, to be honest. The Health and Activity apps from Apple are similar enough that I don’t get too much out of it, but I like the concept and they’re iterating fast. I like the weekly and monthly reports and don’t mind paying a few bucks to keep seeing them.

  • Reminders.app has been replaced by TickTick. I really liked Reminders.app, but the more I used it, the harder it became to use. The organization tools seemed like an after-thought. TickTick on the other hand has organization tools, but is also very simple to use for the base use case. The only thing that I have to be careful of is putting work tasks on there, since everything about my job needs to stay off third party servers.

  • Pocket. The only thing I don’t like about Pocket is that it makes it easy to share excerpts to my Pocket feed, which I don’t care about, but not as easily to Twitter or Facebook. In fact, I can’t actually share directly to Twitter or Facebook, I have to “recommend” to Pocket, and then share that recommendation anywhere else. This seems unnecessary. There also isn’t a screenshot/highlight/annotate feature like Instapaper, which would make it much easier to share. Other than that, I like Pocket much more than Instapaper and intend to continue using it. As of today, I have 204 items in my archive.