iPhone Home Screen Setup: Beginning from Scratch

Currently, my iPhone display is quite bare, and it’s not due to a syncing error with iTunes. I’m in the midst of determining which applications I genuinely need.

I’ve installed over 150 applications from the App Store, and about 100 of them are still present in iTunes. I’ve attempted to organize them on springboard pages, but it’s cumbersome as I seldom have 12 related apps. I am eagerly anticipating the introduction of Folders in iPhone OS 4.

My current setup is as follows:

Page 1 and 2: reserved for frequently used apps or those that show notifications I need to see.

Everything else: I access via the search function.

Interestingly, I’ve placed certain apps on the first or second page under the assumption that I’ll use them frequently.

For instance, the Phone app was recently moved from my Dock but remains on Page 1, even though I suspect I use it less often than others.

Continue reading for more insights…

Update: Thanks to Patrick Rhone’s MinimalMac, where a similar experiment appeared in January.

One application I frequently use is the camera, mainly to capture spontaneous moments involving my child. Technically, it doesn’t need to be on the main page since I’ve programmed the home button to launch the camera with a double press. However, this feature will be replaced by multitasking in iPhone OS 4.

After connecting my iPhone to my iMac, I used iTunes to create an empty first page, placing only the camera app on my Dock. However, after syncing, iTunes removed the empty page, pushing everything forward.

I then moved the camera app to be the sole application on the first page and synced again.

Now, all previously docked or first-page apps are on the second and third pages. Without using the search function, I’ll identify which apps I need most frequently and gradually fill the empty spots. I plan to eventually move some back to the Dock.

While I recall someone else in the iPhone community undertaking a similar experiment, I can’t pinpoint who it was at the moment, and my colleagues at TUAW can’t seem to remember either. If you recall, feel free to mention it in the comments.


Barbara is a dedicated writer for TUAW, bringing readers the latest insights and updates on all things Apple. With a keen eye for detail and a love for technology, Barbara covers everything from the newest iPhone releases to the latest macOS updates. Her articles are known for their clarity and depth, making complex topics accessible to all. When she’s not writing, Barbara enjoys exploring new features on her Apple Watch and testing out the latest iPad apps.