A Guide to Organizing Your Android Home Screen

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Android permits you to add plenty of issues to your private home screens—widgets, shortcuts, folders, apps—a lot that organizing all of it can get overwhelming. Here are some ideas for optimizing your Android’s dwelling display for max productiveness.

Everyone’s telephone is completely different. You could have a Motorola Droid with only a three-home-screen vanilla model of Android, or you could have an HTC telephone with seven screens, a ton of additional widgets and different UI enhancements. Regardless of your state of affairs, although, there are a variety of issues you are able to do to maintain your private home display organized, so you may spend much less time flipping via them and extra time utilizing your telephone.

Try a New Home Screen Launcher

One of the primary and finest issues you are able to do is get a distinct dwelling display launcher. The default is okay, however there are just a few choices on the market that present a ton of helpful choices that may allow you to customise your display based mostly in your workflow.

My private favourite is LauncherProfessional, out there at no cost available in the market (although there’s a $2.99 model that comes with some handsome widgets) and set it as your default launcher by checking the “use default for this motion” while you first hit your private home button. It’s clean-looking, remarkably quick, and comes with a pleasant scrollable dock on the backside the place you may put your actually generally used apps. I additionally discover this handy for “toggle” switches, like toggling Google Voice on and off, or visiting previously mentioned Smartbar’s Quick Settings window (extra on that later).

After putting in LauncherProfessional, you may entry quite a lot of new, dwelling screen-related settings by going to the house display, hitting the menu button in your telephone, and tapping Preferences. You’ll have to simply poke round; a lot of them are efficiency and appearance-based, giving the dock new seems to be or icons, however there’s one specifically that everybody ought to check out.

The second choice down is Homescreen Settings, the place you may select the variety of screens you may have. You can select a quantity from one to seven, and likewise choose which a type of is your default display (you may need it to be the one within the center, most likely—i.e., when you have seven screens, you may need the default to be display quantity 4).

How Many Home Screens Should I Have?

It looks as if there are two basic philosophies on organizing one’s dwelling display: some individuals wish to have as many screens as potential, with a ton of apps, shortcuts, and widgets filling them up. Others wish to have only a few screens with an important apps simply accessible, and the others shut by in folders or different app launchers. Here are some methods you need to use for every technique, beginning with these of you who like plenty of screens.

Using a Lot of Home Screens

Find your overview shortcuts: Using plenty of dwelling screens offers you all types of choices for organizing issues, however it could additionally end in plenty of swiping. Luckily you need not consistently swipe via all of them simply to get to an app or a shortcut. If you’re utilizing LauncherProfessional, you may discover that tapping the house button as soon as whereas already on a house display will provide you with an outline of all of your screens. You can then faucet on one among them to go straight there. This makes having seven screens much less of a time-wasting burden. Note that different launchers could have this potential, too, although generally they’re positioned elsewhere—typically long-pressing the app drawer icon or urgent the dots subsequent to it that correspond to your private home screens will get you an identical overview.

Categorize by display: Now, this will likely appear apparent to some, however the most effective ideas I can provide you for utilizing all these screens is to arrange them by class. I, as an illustration, have my default display which has a few of my extra used apps like Gmail, Google Talk and Facebook, however my others are both organized by music, productiveness, video games, social networking, and many others. For instance, my music web page has a big Music widget for altering tracks, in addition to shortcuts to the Last.fm, Pandora, and apps. It makes it simpler to know the place you need to go to entry a given app.

Don’t underestimate the facility of widgets: If your telephone can deal with the slight efficiency hit they generally incur (I’ve discovered that LauncherProfessional remains to be blazingly quick on my Motorola Droid with seven dwelling screens and plenty of massive widgets), they’re actually handy. You can view plenty of info from a given app with out even opening it up. For instance, to see my to-do record, I can simply swipe one display to the left; I do not even have to open my to-do app. Similarly, I can learn Facebook and Twitter with out ready for the apps to load simply by scrolling via the widgets. It’s a pleasant time saver while you simply need to take a fast peek and need not do any critical work with the app in query.

To add a widget, simply lengthy press on any empty area on your private home display and choose “Widget” from the menu. You’ll get an inventory of all of the widgets out there to you and you’ll choose one to place it on the house display. You may drag them the place you want simply by lengthy urgent on the widget, similar to you’d an app shortcut.

Using Fewer Home Screens

If you favor only a few dwelling screens, you clearly need your most necessary and most used apps on the prepared, so put these on the house display at the start. If you may have any leftover room, you may both throw a widget or two on the display, or you may add folders, which prevent the difficulty of scrolling via your app drawer while you want a barely much less widespread app. Organize these folders similar to you’d dwelling screens by class: throw your music apps in a single folder, productiveness apps in one other, and so forth.

To add a folder, simply lengthy press an empty area on the house display and select “Folders” from the menu. You have just a few presets to select from, however for those who simply need a customized folder with just a few shortcuts in it, choose the highest choice. Then simply drag your apps on high of the folder’s icon, simply as you’d on a pc. To rename the folder, open it up and lengthy press on its title bar.

For fast entry to different apps, there’s a handy function in Android the place for those who lengthy press the Home button in your telephone, it will provide you with an inventory of not too long ago used apps. This could be fairly helpful for quick app switching, particularly if you do not have plenty of shortcuts proper on your private home display. You may arrange your apps utilizing labels as an alternative of folders (sound acquainted, Gmail customers?) utilizing an app known as Apps Organizer, out there within the Market.

Shortcuts, Shortcuts, Shortcuts

App shortcuts are at all times helpful, however the neat factor about Android is that there are a ton of different kinds of shortcuts you may add to a house display. You can add a shortcut to one among your browser’s bookmarks (so you may have fast entry to, say, Google Reader, or your favourite know-how weblog), shortcuts for navigating to a selected tackle (so you may at all times get again dwelling with the contact of a button), or particular contacts (so you may name sure buddies with two faucets as an alternative of scrolling via your contact record each time). These are large time savers, and after including them to your private home display you may surprise the way you ever lived with out them.

To add a shortcut, simply lengthy press on an empty dwelling display area and select “Shortcuts” from the menu. Depending on the apps put in in your telephone, you may have quite a lot of selections, so look via the record and see which of them would profit you and your workflow essentially the most.

Apps That Make Life Easier

There are plenty of different apps on the market that may improve this expertise, however there are just a few which have made my life notably simple. One is previously mentioned Power Strip, which supplies you entry to widgets, apps, and different shortcuts with out you even having to depart the display you are on. It’s fairly helpful for toggling on sure capabilities, or altering your music observe with out leaving your working software.

The different is previously mentioned SmartBar. This app has a ton of options (for those who love activity killers, this app will make your life so much simpler), however my private favourite is the Quick Settings function that’s, primarily, a extra superior model of the Power Control widget. You can toggle on and off issues like Wi-Fi, GPS, dwelling display rotation, and even your unlock sample. It’s fairly helpful to have round, and would not take up any area on your private home display if you don’t need it to (not like different apps, you may put it in your menu bar for those who choose—I prefer it in LauncherProfessional’s dock).

Obviously, these aren’t the entire ideas and apps on the market that make utilizing your telephone simpler, nevertheless it’s a fairly good begin, and there must be one thing right here for everybody. Of course, not the entire ideas above will essentially apply to you—be happy to attempt them out, after which combine and match based mostly in your workflow and the way you utilize your telephone. And, after all, be happy to share your individual ideas with us and your fellow readers within the feedback.

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