Home Screens - Michael Lopp

I have this distinct memory of being in a dark place about two-thirds of the way through Mac at Work and discoverying this article by Michael Lopp (Twitter). Michael’s tips for finishing a book were critical and came at exactly the right time in my life. In addition to saving my bacon, Michael publishes Rands in Repose and has already authored two of his own books, Being Geek and Managing Humans. So Michael, what is on your home screen?

What are your most interesting home screen apps?

I’ve currently got the photography bug, so the most interesting apps to me are Instagram, Camera+, and TiltShiftGen. The combination of the three make me feel like I’m a photographer although I’m taking pictures with, ya’know, my phone.

If you asked me this question in another month, my answer would  be different.

What is your favorite app?

I’m late to the game on Camera+, but I’m loving it. It’s well thought out, it provides unexpected value, and it’s easy to use. Unfortunately, they fully missed the boat on social, so I’m constantly using Camera+ to post to Instagram since that is where my people are which seems like a massive missed opportunity. It’s douchey to say, but I’ll say it “Social matters more than you think”.

Which app is your guilty pleasure?

Guilty pleasure. I’m going to interpret that as “app that provides provides disproportionate vice-like pleasure”.¬† I’m going to go with Boxcar because I’ve set it up to provide me various ego-based alerts whether it’s retweets in Twitter, mails from important people, or other douchey “Hey, you’re important!” events that happen on the Internet.

My hope is the new notifications in iOS 5 provide me even further opportunities for ego surfing.

What is the app you are still missing?

I think iOS 5 notifications (and perhaps iMessage) will help, but there is a constant stream of interesting notifications and alerts that are happening on the Internet and keeping track of them is a nightmare for me. I don’t want to spend my time changing between different apps, I want to know what has changed.

How many times a day do you use your iPhone?

Whatever the maximum amount is.. I’m +1 on that.

What is your favorite feature of the iPhone?

Two features that are very related: the iPhone fits in my back pocket and conscientiously stays out of my way when I’m urgently trying to get something done.

If you were in charge at Apple, what would you add or change?

I’d develop the elixir that would allow Steve Jobs to live forever.

Anything else you’d like to share?

I took the picture of my iPhone the moment I received this request which I think makes it more authentic. Things you can learn about me from this:

  • It really bugs me that I’ve got one unheard voice mail, three app updates, and 47 unread mails.
  • Camera+ should be on the main screen, but I haven’t figured out what to nuke, yet. Either Mint or Simplenote.
  • The location of the apps on my screen is a a function of usage — outside corners = higher usage.
  • Good Messaging blows, but I use it for work.
  • My main screen is for the apps I use 95% of the time, the next screen is full of unreadable groups that I access via search.

Thanks Michael, for everything.