I’ve been using an iPhone since the 3GS was released. At the beginning of 2018, with 3 years on my existing iPhone, I experimented with an Android phone. This turned out to be a little difficult for daily use, mainly in synchronization, because I use Mac computers. Mixing the two platform eco systems is possible, but it’s not exactly easy. I also had constant issues with car connectivity that I won’t go into here. For me, it didn’t always “just work”, unlike my iOS experiences. It is entirely possible some or all of the issues were caused by the low end Android hardware I used during the experiment.
Fast foward a bit. One thing I have always not liked about iOS is having to swipe across multiple pages to find the app I want to launch. Over the years I tried all kinds of organization techniques, including folders, with nothing really being ideal for me. With Android you can completely replace the app launcher, and just about any other core component for that matter. When I was experimenting with Android I ran across a launcher called Smart Launcher (https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=ginlemon.flowerfree&ref=producthunt).
I really like how Smart Launcher works. It takes all your apps and categorizes them for you (which you can fine tune), and places a shortcut bar (or dock) on the side of the screen. From that, you tap a category, then you tap the app you want to open. Simple two tap access to everything, and no swiping! Sample screen shot of Smart Launcher on Android (with Utilities category opened):
After completing my experiment, I set about making my iOS experience similar. I initially moved all app other than the core phone/communication apps from the primary home screen. Then I created folders for different categories of apps, like Utilities, Web, Games, etc. Then I moved these folders to the left side of the screen, and organized the core phone/communication apps on the left side. For this to work effectively you need enough core apps on the screen to push at least one icon into the bottom row, otherwise one or more of the icons will in the left most column. And you need to limit the folder contents to 9 apps, or you’ll have to swipe left/right inside folders. Screen shot:
From this newly organized screen I can now tap any of the core phone/communication apps for instant one tap access, or tap a folder and then tap the item inside for simple two tap access. Open folders appear like this:
I did end up with some overflow onto a second screen. These are apps that I rarely if ever use such as Compass, AirPort Utility, Files, Find iPhone, and Find Friends. So I typically will never need to swipe over to that screen.
I’ve been using this setup for a couple of months now, and will likely never go back to any previous method. It works well.