Home Screens - Don McAllister


Don McAllister (Twitter) from Screencasts Online is the Henry Ford of screencasting and a wonderful friend. One of the highlights of going to Macworld every year is getting to spend time with Don. Don shared his home screen a long time ago but I wanted to see his iPad. Don obliged. So Don, show us your home screen.


As you can see from my Home Screen, I've gone to some lengths to organise my favourite and most used Apps into functional folders. The two apps I use the most are on the Dock with a separate folder of "GoTo" Apps - Apps I want to access without trying to remember where they are.

The folders are sorted alphabetically by function. So if I want to write something, I'll open up the writing folder and pick the best app for my needs (unless it's just a quick draft when I open the "Goto" folder and select drafts). Now that iOS Notes and OSX notes are synchronised via iCloud, perhaps I should drag the Notes App into my "Goto" apps folder!

As you can imagine, my Home Screen is in a constant state of flux, but these groupings seem to offer me some stability.

I also tend to use the search function a lot for Apps I don't use that often!

What are some of favorite apps?

TweetBot - I'm a Twitter junkie! Mr Reader - A great RSS reader with integration with Google Reader Spotify - The latest update to the app has converted me to a huge Spotify fan. Evernote - Such a boon to have all my "stuff" with me wherever I go GoodReader - The swiss army knife of file transfers onto the iPad

Which app is your guilty pleasure?

I'm not a big gamer, but have been known to chill out to Tiny Wings. The new HD version for the iPad is great. So simple, yet so effective. What is the app you are still missing?

I still think file transfer between the Mac and iPad is still too difficult, even with iCloud and GoodReader. I'd love to see AirDrop made available for the iPad and iPhone.

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

Many times!

Even though I've got lots of Macs and gorgeous big displays, Breakfast is made more enjoyable by catching up on Twitter and my RSS feeds on my iPad. I may triage my email although I tend to leave some email for processing on the Mac.

When I'm not working at my desk, the iPad becomes my mobile computer and is a permanent addition on the arm of the sofa. In fact, I rarely watch TV these days, most evenings are in front of the TV, but I'm using my iPad.

What is your favorite feature of the iPhone/iPad?

Probably the instant-on feature. Combined with the incredible battery life, the fact that you can just pick it up and within seconds be online is just incredible.

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

They've made a great start with iCloud and Mountain Lion does give us more iCloud features, but I think they've gone a little too far in the sandboxing and segmentation of the iCloud filesystem. Although it may be logical to separate the different file types into discrete silos of storage, in real life, you need a bit more flexibility. They need to rethink parts of the iCloud strategy and make it more flexible for those that need it.

Anything else you'd like to share?

Newsstand is rapidly becoming one of my favourite applications now that I have the ScreenCastsOnline Monthly magazine published in there!