Tag: home screen

Why iOS 13 Made the iPad Home Screen Fun Again

The newly announced iPadOS is Apple making the iPad operating system different to that of the iPhone. Now, gone are the days of mobile browsing on an iPad, and gone are the days where changes for iPhone are less-then-optimized for the iPad1. One of the things iPadOS offers in iOS 13 is the Today View widgets being pinned to the home screen of the iPad.

Apple iPadOS Today View 060319

Now, if you so choose, you can slide the widgets over from the left onto the home screen and always have them on the home screen of your iPad. This bodes well for anyone who wants to utilize the widget screen more, as well as those who want more whimsy on their iPad; because who doesn’t want a little variety on their home screen?

For me, I think this is going to make apps with crappy widgets, or no widgets at all, push to make them more usable and feature rich. I haven’t been one to use widgets because it’s always been an “out of sight out of mind” thing for me. Now that it’s on the home screen I think that this is going to make me rethink my entire iPad workflow. Apps like Timery, Eventail, and Shortcuts offer great widgets that I can tap to run actions or use to check on something without the need of opening an entire app. For example I can run a saved timer in Timery from the home screen instead of having to open the app and tap on it or running a specified shortcut. It all lives in the widget now and makes for things to be much more fluid and smooth.

I think that the home screen for the iPad just got a whole lot more useful as well, because when the addition of the Dock on the iPad I rarely kept apps on the home screen. The Dock added a lot of utility to the iPad but with that came the question of whether to keep everything on you iPad in a folder or two within the Dock or still use the home screen even though it isn’t as optimized for multitasking as the Dock was.

As of right now I am no on the beta but I plan to as soon as there is a build that is reliable. Once that happens, I think my new setup will be to have more things on the home screen because I will be going to it more and more thanks to this new addition.

I’m looking forward to seeing what both developers and other users make of this once iOS 13 becomes available as a public beta, but until then I will be keeping an eye out for any apps that make significant improvements to their widgets and share them here on Rocket Panda.


  1. I’m looking at you Shake-to-Undo 

My iPad Pro Home Screen

Since I got a new 2018 12.9″ iPad Pro I thought now would be a good time to share my home screen for the iPad. Without burying the lede here is my home screen.

For those wondering, I made the home screen image myself using Pixelmator.

As you can see there is nothing on the home screen itself, everything lives in the Dock. My reasoning for this is that because the iPad is something that I fluidly move in between apps I rarely actually move to the home screen. There are a handful of apps on the Dock and everything that isn’t readily accessible goes into a folder that I have organized where each page of the folder goes from most important apps to least important apps. So for my first page I have things like Google Sheets and Google Docs where a lot of the things I do for both my personal life and podcasts live. I also have apps like 1Password, Tweetbot, WordPress, and Ferrite which are apps I regularly use but aren’t something I need immediately accessible.

The apps that did make it on my Dock are ones that I use every day and oftentimes within Split View. I have them in order of left to right from most used to least used. The reasoning for this is that because of the fluidity of the Recent Apps section of the Dock if I were to have the apps I use most frequently in the middle of the dock it can shift several icons left or right from when I last used it. Which is problematic for when I have a blog post idea or a task I need to throw in Drafts 5 before I forget it.

Here’s a quick synopsis of each of those apps.

Drafts

Drafts has quickly become my main text editor for pretty much everything in my life. From tasks, lists, blog post ideas, full fledged posts I am working on, and even just something I need to keepsake for a few minutes before I can toss it in the trash. Drafts has always had the tag line of “where text starts” and that is what Drafts has become for me.

Fiery Feeds

This has been my RSS reader of choice for some time now and continues to be the app I use most when reading stuff. With FeedWrangler as my RSS service of choice I look at the dozens of blogs, sites, news organizations new items all in one place. the sharing features it offers also satisfies my needs with Instapaper integration as well as Pinboard.

GoodTask

I have been battling finding a task manager that checks every box I want. So instead I decided to pick something that I haven’t given a fair shake, which is GoodTask. I will probably be talking a lot more about this later, but for now it is getting the job done. It is also very Shortcuts friendly and has some decent Drafts 5 support thanks to Reminders being the foundation of this app.

Instapaper

I have been using Instapaper for a while now and it continues to be my favorite read-later service. It has great keyboard shortcuts and allows for folders to organize the various kinds of things I save to read later. Also, the Share Sheet is a treat to use anywhere I want to save an article or even just a link to the article.

Fantastical

Hands down the best calendar app for iOS, and arguable macOS. The natural language support makes adding tasks and reminders a breeze. I also have always been a fan of its look.

AirMail

This is the most recent addition to my Dock, thanks to its sharing actions I can send my actionable emails to Reminders which syncs with GoodTask for future me to deal with.

Messages

This is simply the way I communicate with nearly everyone in my life. There is a reason Messages is the most use app in iOS globally.

Safari

Safari is the browser I use 90% of the time. The other 10% is for iCab Mobile, which allows me to download files, view websites in desktops mode, and do things that Safari for iOS limits me on. For me iCab is a safety net for web browsing while Safari is my go-to app for anything involving a hyperlink.

Shortcuts

I almost left this one in the folder, but I have been making more and more Shortcuts lately and having it available in the Dock makes things a lot smoother for when I have an idea for something I need to automate.

Files

Simply put, I need access to my files and I don’t want to spend time looking for the Files app in a folder or bringing it up in Spotlight every time I need it. It isn’t perfect but it works for me when I need to save something or grab an item in my Dropbox and/or iCloud Drive.

Final Thoughts

My home screen may not be anything to write home about, but it is something that sets precedent of what is important for me when I am using the iPad. Hopefully my home screen inspires you to think about how you organize your apps and make any changes you deem necessary to make you happier.

If you want to share your home screen with me feel free to email me or send me a photo of your home screen on Twitter.

Shortcut Your Life: Part 1. Do you know where you are? — AngryBunnyMan

From AngryBunnyMan:

I don’t want to bury the lead so understand that this whole post is all about outsourcing my self-control. it is the next logical step in my evolution towards easy productivity, one influenced by my desire to remove as many decisions from my life as possible.

This method of self-management started many years ago when I decided I choosing clothes to wear every day was more taxing than I really wanted to deal with. And Steve Jobs entere(img)d my life with his sartorial minimalism and the the iPhone in 2007, both of which were revelatory for me.

Fewer decisions means more willpower available at any given time. More willpower means more focus. More focus means more useful work.

This post I found on reddit really solidified my feelings on making my phone less distracting. I’m also a fan of the style this person uses.

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