iTunes 9 Guide: How to Edit iPhone App Screens

Amidst the buzz surrounding Norah Jones and the iTunes LP, my attention was captivated by the newly introduced iPhone app management interface in iTunes 9, which Brett discussed recently. This feature, found under the Applications tab for each iPhone and iPod touch, allows users to arrange their apps directly from their desktop, although the functionality is somewhat basic.

  • You can select or deselect apps for syncing.

  • Apps can be moved around on individual pages to change their order.

  • It’s possible to move apps across different screens.

  • You can rearrange the order of pages by dragging them around within the column.

However, the options are limited. There’s no feature to automatically sort apps alphabetically or by category, nor can you copy or share layouts across different devices.

Additionally, there’s no undo function to revert changes. Despite these limitations, there are several tips to enhance your app organization in iTunes 9:

Grouping apps with Command-Click. By command-clicking an app icon, you can add or remove it from a selected group, allowing you to move entire groups of apps between pages efficiently.

Making use of empty pages. Utilizing empty pages can aid in organizing apps by themes. For instance, you can position an empty page in the second slot and start populating it with games, which prompts another empty page to appear at the end if there’s space.

You can have up to 11 pages for your apps.

Optimizing the dock. The dock can house up to four of your most frequently used apps, visible on every page for quick access. Feel free to customize which apps reside in your dock to suit your usage patterns.

Home screen for priority apps. For apps that need to be readily accessible but aren’t in the dock, the home screen is always a single Home button press away. Placing your essential apps on this first page ensures they are always easily reachable.

While the new app management tool in iTunes 9 marks a significant improvement, it leaves room for further enhancements in future updates from Apple.


Joshua is a dedicated writer for TUAW, bringing readers the latest news and insights on all things Apple. With a keen eye for detail, Joshua covers everything from the newest iPhone releases to the latest updates in macOS. His articles are a go-to source for Apple enthusiasts who want to stay informed about their favorite products, including the iPad, Apple Watch, and MacBook. Joshua’s straightforward and engaging writing style makes complex tech topics easy to understand for everyone.