If people judge others based upon what kind of car they drive, what type of clothes they wear, why not judge them based upon what mobile apps they use?
The way they organize their folders, how many apps they have, whether there’s any kind of methodology to their home screen or if they still have all the default Apple apps cluttering up the first page.
When iPhones were limited to 4 rows of apps, screen real estate was at a premium. Minimalists slaved over reducing what apps they used into as few as possible outlets for their productivity, their entertainment, and their utility. Now that we have moved into an era where 6 rows of apps is the new standard, there is more room for self-expression in the form of app organization on the homescreen. Android has long held free reign over having open screen space and maximized customizability, at the cost of other valuable resources, such as battery life and active memory space.
For many people, if not most, organizing the home screen is vital to their ability to access their most used applications and tools right away. Some have written about organizing the home screen according to ability to reach with the thumb – strategizing that your most used apps should be closest to your thumb for instant clickability. Following this logic, your most used apps should be on the bottom dock of your screen, and the ranking of usage of apps should follow from there. All the most used apps on the first screen, and then on the second page nothing used more than anything on the first page, and so forth.
In any case, the mobile apps that they use is the main criteria. Friends are always the most judgmental source – “Oh, you don’t use Instagram as your main camera? Get with the program! How else am I supposed to see everything you take pictures of – on Facebook? You’re living in the Stone Age!” It can be as innocuous as which email client they use, or if they have a dating app given highest priority in the center of their home screen. What if you met someone you wanted to go on a date with and when they handed you their phone to enter your number, and you noticed that they had the maximum number of home screens, filled with time-sink games, on their iPhone? (It’s 15, in case you were wondering.) It’s hard to imagine not being taken aback.
At the very least, the way you organize your phone’s home screen and your apps says something about the way that you function mentally. Your mind wants certain apps to be within closer physical reach, and prefers particular apps to others for trivial reasons such as a more pleasing background color or a cleaner typeface.
Here’s a tip: if other people are going to see your iPhone home screen, its likely a good strategy to plan for the lowest common denominator and make sure it looks clean and attractive, with all the embarrassing apps hidden away in folders. Happy organizing!