22 Feb 2012
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App of the Week: iOS app organiser

I’ve been writing an app of the week for a while now, and to be honest my home screen was starting to get a little full. Or, should I say, my five home screens. 

Attempting to bring some organisation to the chaos I discovered what most users have probably known for years but beginners like me may not know at all: first, that you can move apps around, and second, that if you drop one on top of another, iOS automatically creates a folder for them. 

Not only is the folder created automatically, it names itself automatically, in this case (quite appropriately), ‘Games’. Forget Harry Potter –  this is my kind of magic. 

I spent the next half an hour, dragging and dropping icons onto other icons and creating folders, and before I knew it, instead of five screens to scroll through, I had only one. One screen with all my apps on it. All neatly tidied away in folders with names like ‘Lifestyle’, ‘Productivity’, and ‘Utilities’.

Wait a minute. Utilities? Aren’t those the gas and water companies found on a Monopoly board? A quick Google search later and I was able to rename all the folders with names that made sense to me:  ‘Tools’, ‘Reading’, ‘Travel’, ‘Review Apps’ and the like.

There are some challenges; for example I was unable to add Newsstand to my ‘Reading’ folder, where it clearly belongs. Overall, though, it’s a really handy little tool.

So, for those of you who, like me, are tired of scrolling through several screens and want to organise your iPhone, here’s how:

Tap and hold one of the app icons until all of the icons on your screen begin to wiggle (I’m sorry there is no more technical word for it). Hold the app and drag it to where you want it to be, then let go. 

If you are grouping apps, drop the app on a similar app and the folder will be created. 

At the top of the folder you’ll see a text field with the folder’s name. Tap it to bring the onscreen keyboard up – delete the name you don’t want and replace it with your own label. 

Press the home button to lock the icons back in place. It’s that simple. 

I’m not sure if there's something similar for Android, but I'm guessing there is. If you know, feel free to post something in the comments – I need to go find an app that can organise the rest of my life so neatly.

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