Homescreen 2023

I always find it fascinating how others set up their iPhones. Do they use widgets? Are they minimalist, or do they just have a springboard of icons in no discernable pattern? Do they use wallpaper from Apple or one of their pictures? Do they use a third-party app to change icons?

Doing a simple Google search and you can find thousands of ideas. A lot of them use third-party applications to make specialized edits. For a time, I changed my icons using a Shortcuts instance and tried to make the most aesthetically pleasing screen. It didn’t last because I simply got bored with the icons and the hassle of going through the process of changing them.

For the most part of 2022 and into 2023, I have decided to stick with the original app icons and make stronger use of widgets and, specifically, a single large widget stack to quickly roll through information. Additionally, I increased my use of the left-side pane for a stack of widgets at the ready. My home screen widget stack has Weather, Calendar, Inoreader, Google News, Spark, Overcast, Audible, Notes (Family Food Orders), Reminders (This Week), and Photowidget. The left side is where I have Google Search and Apple Fitness, but also specialized square widgets for my Reminders List for Shopping and Inbox for quick access. I also have squares for my work Notion page and Day One, which I restarted my use of in 2023.

When I upgraded to the new iOS 14, I was afforded the lock screen widgets. This is a pretty cool idea, even though all I’m really using it for is Calendar and Weather. I love having these on the lock screen, but they aren’t dealbreakers or anything.

At the bottom, I have Phone, Messages, Sleep Cycle, and Life360. I use Sleep Cycle every night to track my sleeping and Life360 to be able to track the people in my household.

Overall, this works for me. Inoreader is my RSS reader of choice, and I’m thinking I might upgrade to the paid tier. Overcast remains the single best podcast app. I’ve grown really accustomed to using Spark for email, but I could drop back into Mail.

While I’ve tried other third-party apps, I inevitably find myself going back to Weather, Calendar, Notes, and Reminders. The native apps work for me, and they are getting better with each iteration.

As for background images, I used a photo of my wife and me for my lock screen1I added the image later, obviously and a photo I took last September for the main screen.

It will be interesting to see how my iPhone looks at the end of the year. I don’t anticipate big changes, but who knows?


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