Home Screens - Fletcher Penney

I’ve always admired Fletcher Penney and the work he did developing MultiMarkdown. Recently, I convinced Fletcher to join us on the Mac Power Users Markdown/MultiMarkdown episode and was delighted to find what a nice person Fletcher is. Anyway, Fletcher loves his iPad and agreed to share his home screen.

What are your most interesting home screen apps?

I tend to reserve my home screen on the iPhone or iPad for those apps I like to find in a hurry. Then there are a couple of apps that get left on there out of sheer laziness when a new install puts them on the home screen. I guess the most “interesting” app is probably Flipboard —- the only app that actually got me to pay attention to Facebook for a couple of weeks. It somehow turned a ridiculous stream of mostly irrelevant information into something that seemed worth a few minutes to flip through. The interface really takes advantage of the touch screen, and it much more visually appealing than the Facebook web site.

What is your favorite app?

Not sure how to choose a single favorite. I guess if I were to choose based on time that I use it, then I would have to choose the Kindle app. I received a Kindle last year for Christmas, and was a bit uncertain how it was going to affect my reading habits. Being able to read at night before going to bed, and then picking up the same “book” on my iPhone, right where I left off, the next day while waiting at the dentist’s office was pretty incredible. When I got the iPad, I actually found myself reading on the iPad instead of the Kindle device. The main advantage the Kindle device has now is in sunlight. Otherwise, the iPad has become my reading medium of choice.

Which app is your guilty pleasure?

Strategery. Aside from the name (who couldn’t love an app whose name describes the game, and manages to make fun at the same time), it’s a visually appealing game that is easy to pick up and put down. I’m a big fan of games that are very “episodic” in nature; I don’t tend to play games that take hours and hours to work through.

What is the app you are still missing?

A MultiMarkdown app?  :)

I think I’m getting to where I have most of the apps I need, or can at least accomplish what I need with a couple of apps.

I guess I do find myself daydreaming about a git-compatible app that would allow for some software development and version control. Or OmniOutliner for iPad —- I’ve been waiting for that one since day one, as I think it could be quite useful for longer document creation if I can figure out a way to export to MultiMarkdown like you can with the desktop app.

I also think there is still room for some high quality, intellectually stimulating games. There are a few games for the iPad that are well done, but it seems that most of them are just video games. There hasn’t been as much ground-breaking development in this area as I thought there would be.

How many times a day do you use your iPhone/iPad?

Too many.

What is your favorite feature of the iPhone/iPad?

I like that it doesn’t seem as intrusive as firing up a laptop.

If you were Steve Jobs, what would you add or change?

I was disappointed that the iPhone 4 technical specs were so much better than the iPad. Within a month or two of buying the iPad, I was ready for an upgrade since the iPhone 4 started to spoil me.

Anything else you’d like to share?

I tried the iPad on day 1 and left the store wondering why I would need one. It seemed like a big iPhone. After thinking about it a bit, and trying some of the apps that actually mattered to me, I realized that it wasn’t just a bigger iPhone, but that it was actually a completely different device. Those extra pixels and inches actually make a magical difference in how you are able to use it. It’s not quite at the point where I can give up a “real” Macintosh, but I haven’t traveled with a laptop since I got the iPad. I can easily go a week away from home and accomplish everything I need to on the iPad.

Thanks Fletcher!