★ First and 20

I’m obssesed with people’s computer set ups, what gear they use and how they use it all to get things done. As an extension to this, I’m also fascinated by what apps people have on the home screen of their iPhones. Luckily someone else has put together a nice website showing the iPhone home screens of “some of the best and brightest developers, designers and tech writers.” I obviously don’t fall into either of those descriptions so I decided to share with everyone my iPhone home screen on this site.

Starting off with the “Dock”, the only change I made was to place the Messages app into the dock. I text WAY more than surfing the web so that was a no brainer. A nice small side effect is that Safari is now in the upper left of the home screen, which if there were a Fitts’ Law for iPhones, makes it easy to get to since it’s at one of the four corners. The first two rows are made up of apps the iPhone comes with. I use Calendar to keep track of work appointments and stuff I have to be at during the weekends. I keep Photos next to the Camera app because it only makes sense. With the 3GS, I find myself taking even more photos and videos during my everday routine. I keep Clock on the front page because I use it a lot, not just for waking up in the morning, but for setting up timers for random things, naps and it also makes a good hard boiled egg timer. Settings because I’m constantly tinkering with the settings on my phone.

The next two rows are mostly apps I’ve installed from the App Store. Beejive is probably the paid app the I use the most and easily the best purchase I’ve made on the App Store. It’s the best IM app available for the iPhone (whatever happened to Meebo?) and once push notifications were enabled in 3.0, it’s an almost perfect app. I used NetNewsWire for my RSS reads but it seems that developement has stagnated so now I’ve switched to using the mobile version of Google’s Reader. Flickr for uploading pictures and videos I’ve taken while out and about. The new native app is a little slow, but is gorgeous. Facebook because, I’m not going to lie, I’m addicted to it. I’m always interested in what my friends are doing. Contacts is there because I couldn’t think of another app to stick there. Tweetie is hands down the best Twitter client available on the iPhone. Does everything I need and nothing else. Latitude now takes the place previously occupied by Loopt. Loopt pretty much died and while Latitude isn’t poised to take over, it’s always fun to know where your friends are. And finally Things. This app is the newest addition to the home screen because I was intrigued with what everyone is saying about it on the Interwebs. I’ve decided to try to integrate the app and its desktop version into my daily workflow.

The other pages of my phone are somewhat organized into a media apps page, a news/information apps page and a games page. Some notable apps on the other pages that I use are Ego, foursquare, Remote, and since football season is here, CBS Football. Ego and/or foursquare is getting enough use that it may crack into the home page sometime soon.

★ iPhone 3GS

Over the weekend, my original iPhone decided to jump out of my pocket head first into the concrete. While there were no obvious signs of damage at the time, the next morning I noticed a crack had formed and the entire screen was unresponsive to my finger inputs. This was a truly sad day because not only did my original iPhone have to be retired, it meant I had to purchase a new one. And with that, I was going to have to leave T-Mobile and sign a 2 year contract with AT&T.Almost 2 years ago, I purchased an original iPhone and decided to unlock it to avoid cancellation fees and stay with T-mobile. I didn’t realize it at the time but using an iPhone with T-Mobile, in my opinion, is a much better experience than using it with AT&T. For one, the phone and data plans were cheaper than with AT&T. T-Mobile’s data plan starts at $20/month whereas AT&T’s was $30/month. And on top of that, you can use T-Mobile’s myFave plans. Text messaging plans were also cheaper on T-Mobile as well. Finally, T-Mobile consistently ranks highly in customer service (this is something I can personally attest to). Needless to say, I wasn’t looking forward to switching.

The one thing I was looking forward to was getting a new iPhone 3GS. You can read about all the features but I’m going to write down my own observations coming from an original iPhone to an iPhone 3GS.

The first thing I noticed was how snappy it felt. They really mean it when the “S” in 3GS stands for speed. Opening apps or switching from app to app happens instantaneously. I would always get impatient whenever my original phone would “think” before it decided to open up an application. This is also my first experience with a 3G phone and compared to Edge, there’s no contest. There were times I felt like I was on a WiFi network. I also love the GPS and built in compass. Just having the compass orient to your current heading in the Maps app makes finding your away around a million times easier. And as much as I hate to admit it, AT&T’s has coverage in areas where T-Mobile doesn’t. I’ve heard stories where AT&T has horrible coverage and network service but in the short time I’ve had my 3GS, I haven’t had any calls drop and I now have reception in places where T-Mobile would drop out.

Overall I’m very pleased with the new hardware, somewhat cautious with the network and data performance, and totally bummed on the cost of their data plans.