This week, I’m featuring another international home screen. This one belongs to Bart Busschots of Ireland. Bart is a prolific podcaster contributing to the International Mac Podcast, the Mac Roundtable, and Allison Sheridan’s NosillaCast. Bart also blogs at BartB.ie. Bart was kind enough to share his home screen and a few of his thoughts.
The app I’ve come to rely on most heavily is ShopShop. It’s an app that does one thing but does it very well – it lets you create shopping lists. It remembers items you’ve bought before, so it rapidly auto-completes when you add things to your list, each item in your list can be checked off as you go around the shop – and you can have as many different lists as you want. I used to never end up buying the right things. I’d buy stuff I already had in the fridge, as well as coming home without loads of really important stuff. The reason this works so well for me is that I always have my iPhone with me, so as soon as I see we are out of something I instantly grab the phone and quickly and easily add it to the relevant list in ShopShop. Then, when I get to the shop, I just open up the app and grab everything I need and nothing more than I need. It’s not glamorous, it’s not cool, but it really helps me day in and day out!
What is your favorite app?
It’s so hard to pick a favorite! But, if you put a gun to my head and forced me to choose I think I’d pick StarMap. I just love star gazing, and it’s fantastic to have a full planetarium app in your pocket when you’re out under the stars. It really uses the multitouch interface well, and it has a night vision mode too!
Which app is your guilty pleasure?
As sad as it sounds – it’s Solitaire! If I’m ever in a queue anywhere I just whip out the iPhone and fire up solitaire. Same goes for plane or train journeys.
How many screens full of apps do you have?
I have 5 screens but they are not all completely full. If I were to fill every screen I’d say I have about 4 and a half screens full.
What is the app you are still missing?
What I’m missing isn’t so much an app but a crucial missing feature. I need a common space on the app where files and be stored and retrieved from any app. The Photos folder does that for photos and videos, but I need something like that for generic files.
How many times a day do you use your iPhone?
Too many to count. It’s the only phone I use, the only iPod I use, and I consider it as a portable computer with a lot of apps on it I use many times each day.
What is your favorite iPhone feature?
The interface wins hands-down. Directly manipulating thee things on the screen by touching the screen is just such a wonderfully natural way to interact with technology. The fact that when you flick things they have realistic momentum really adds to the feeling that the things on the screen are real, and you really are moving them around with your finger. This is what Apple have done so so right with this device, and what no one else seems to have done as well yet.
If you were Steve Jobs, what would you add to the iPhone?
Storage. It doesn’t have to be a traditional file system, but something. In fact, a database driven storage area could be a lot better. If the files had metadata to describe what they are, and apps were allowed to specify what they could and couldn’t do, then it would be easy to only ever present you with the files that are relevant to you in what ever app you are using. A word processor would only show text documents, an image editor images, a video editor videos etc.. General purpose apps like email could show all the files, as could Spotlight. We really do need to be able to store and access more stuff more easily on the iPhone.
Anything else you’d like to share?
The app store review process really worries me. I don’t have any confidence that Apple have my best interests at heart in how they vet apps. I don’t want Apple telling me what is and is not appropriate for me to do. I’m an adult, I don’t want to be mothered by Apple!
Trust Bart to have a flashlight app on his home screen, a true boy scout.
Have just purchased Starmap as I have been looking for such an app but could not decide which one. Who better to recommend one.
Thanks Bart and happy computing.