An Interesting Idea: Matching Up Your iPad and iPhone Home Screens

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iPad and iPhone Home Screens

Here’s an interesting idea from a friend of mine and former writing colleague, Thomas Wong. Thomas has recently started his own site, called His Dork Materials. He posted an interesting piece yesterday titled IOS Across Two Devices – in which he describes his new approach to getting the most of each of his iDevices, as well as his MacBook Pro.

Here’s a little introduction to what he’s doing:

One mental trick I’ve come up with has been to blur the lines between my iPhone and iPad by arranging both sets of home screens the same way. This means the same folders, same apps, and same layouts. Basically, I’m trying to reduce the friction of switching between iOS devices by making them look a little more similar. Not all the apps are the same, mind you, but I’ve spent a few weeks experimenting with this new home screen layout, and I quite like it. I’ve chosen services and apps that sync nicely across the cloud …

I think this approach may make a lot of sense for anyone who is a power user of both an iPhone and an iPad. It’s not an idea that works well for me – but that’s only because my usage pattern is so heavily stacked in favor of the iPad. My iPhone is used almost exclusively as just a phone and camera these days – nearly everything else I do with a mobile device is done on my iPad.

I also differ from Thomas in that I no longer use a laptop. I used MacBook Pros for many years, but over the last few years my MBP very rarely left my home office. It was a desktop computer in everything but name – and the iPad was my portable computer. At the beginning of this year I bought a new iMac, confirming my iPad’s role as my mobile computer.

What do you all think of Thomas’ idea of arranging his iPad and iPhone screens the same way? Have you ever tried anything similar?

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Patrick Jordan

Founder and Editor in Chief of iPad Insight. Husband, father to a lovely daughter, Commander of the Armies of the North, dog lover (especially Labs), Austinite, former Londoner, IT consultant, huge sports nut, iPad and mobile tech blogger, mobile apps junkie.

4 thoughts on “An Interesting Idea: Matching Up Your iPad and iPhone Home Screens

  1. I have using the exact same configurations on my iPad and my iPhone, at the folder level … Especially the first 2 screens, where in the first screen I have my most used apps (2 rows only), second screen having most used categories (4 rows of folders), 3rd screen is where iPhone specific or iPad specfic apps come in… This saves a lot of time searching for apps (the ones that I dont use often, like currency converter)

  2. I’ve been doing this since Windows 95, customizing even Windows 7 to look and feel like the USER INTERFACE of Win 95/Win XP. My iPod Touch is mimicking my iPad for easy integration. That’s just me. Now I want Apple TV to get iMessage so I can chat via my screen while watching a video without interruption. Sliding up and down as on the iPad.

    I look forward synchronization across the platforms.

  3. I have two iPads (1 & 2) and an iPhone 5. I try and set them up as identically as possible. I like being able to switch devices, depending on the task, and find the same apps in the same location. The iPad 2 is work-provided, so it is slightly different but the iPhone and iPad 1 are very close mirrors of each other. A few exceptions include a number of photo apps on the iPhone that I don’t have on my iPad 1.

  4. I own an iPad and an iPhone, and I actually use them for vastly different things. My iPhone is used as a phone (*GASP!*), an iPod, texting, and quick internet browsing while waiting for someone. My iPad is for when I’m doing deep research on The Internet, eReader, gaming machine, and iWork. Since I use them in vastly different ways, the home screens are very much different.