Home Screens: Marcelo Somers

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I first met Marcelo Somers (Website) (Twitter) several years ago when he organized the Syndicate ad network. These days Marcelo spends his time as a user experience consultant and writing at Behind Companies. So Marcelo, show us your home screen.

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Until recently, I was a devout Safari user. It wasn’t until I forced myself to try out Chrome that I understood it. Google is absolutely killing it with their apps on iOS. The physics of how you interact with tabs and the single omnibox is brilliantly done. When I’m back in Safari, I find myself craving the horizontal swipe to go between tabs, or how easy it is to open in a new tab behind the existing one.

It’s a little bit of a nuisance that links open in Safari by default, but I use Jon Abrams’ bookmarklet to send a page from Safari to Chrome. What’s interesting is that my bookmarks menu in Safari has really become like a second share sheet. The simple bookmarks interface is the one feature I still like better in Safari.


I’m an OmniFocus user for my day to day task management, but for basic lists like Groceries, Listary gives me a clean simple interface that’s exactly what I need. The Simplenote sync lets me share lists easily with my wife, and do bulk entry on my Mac. I have two wishes for the app: Dropbox sync and URL Schemes. The developer has shared that Dropbox sync would prevent list sharing, so I can understand that, and URL Schemes are supposedly coming in a future update.


I won’t beat the 1Password horse here, except to share one pro tip that hasn’t seemed to make the rounds yet. 1Password 4’s big update added the url scheme to open pages in the app. I wanted an easier way to do it, and Federico Viticci of Macstories obliged with this bookmarklet to send pages from Safari to 1Password. It’s 3 steps easier than manually adding ‘op’ to the beginning of a URL, and I use it constantly.


I’ve bounced back and forth quite a bit. I gave Google Maps serious consideration after it came out, and like Chrome they are doing an amazing job on iOS. However, I find myself coming back to the beautiful maps from Apple. The turn by turn interface is much more realistic with perspective. I do keep Google around though for the occasional time that mapping data isn’t correct. Waze is my 3rd wheel that I’ll use to check what is going on with traffic if I’m stuck in my commute and Maps and Google don’t help.


I hate email, but I’m a devout Mail user. I’ve tried Mailbox and all the other alternatives, but I keep coming back to the simplicity of Apple’s client. I have a simple approach to email: things in my Inbox need to be dealt with, once they’re dealt with they get archvied. No complicated folder structure or filing system, and I still haven’t found a better app for it on iOS.

I’m of the opinion that if you are constantly on the hunt for an app to fix your email problems, your approach to email is really what needs fixing. An app isn’t going to do it for you.


Much like Mail, I still haven’t found a better iOS calendar app than Apple’s own. With the iPhone 5 and the additional appointments visible in Month view, it got even better.

With that being said, Fantastical is incredible for creating appointments. I use it much more devoutly on the Mac. I love the interface, but the iOS version just isn’t quite a fit for me for general calendaring. I like the Daily/Monthly view in Apple’s app.


I was thrilled when the Dark Sky team released Forecast. It’s a web app, but it’s perfect. It gives me just the data I want with data visualizations that make sense.


I’ve just started down the path of all the amazing URL Scheme actions that Drafts can do, but I love the idea of quickly opening the app to jot something down.

Launch Center Pro

Like Drafts, I’m still exploring the world of URL Schemes with Launch Center Pro. I’ve found a few key uses for the app. My biggest is keeping groups of contacts I reguarly message together (my parents, my in-laws, etc.). LCP makes it super easy to message them together without taking the time to select multiple contacts. My wife and I are expecting our first baby this summer, and I’ve even created a very large group to easily message updates when the time comes.

I also keep commands to Text my Last Photo, Place my last photo on the clipboard, send my wife a canned message that I’m on my way home, and some reguarly used app actions like taking a photo of a business receipt with QuickShot (via Shawn Blanc).


I keep this on here as my “guilty pleasure”. I was a huge Gowalla user back in the day but never fell in love with Foursquare after the Gowalla team went to Facbeook. Instagram took that spot for me, and it all clicked when Josh Williams (Gowalla’s Former CEO) described the “M. Night Shyamalan moment”:

They made their own rules. They called it Instagram.

That whole see the world through the eyes of their friends thing? Turns out Instagram did a pretty good job of this.

While we were busy playing tug-of-war over check-ins, someone else found a path to the goal with less friction.

Other Apps I love:

OmniFocus (MailDrop) – I love the voice capture coupled with Daniel Jalkut’s Reminders Plumbing. However these days I find myself using MailDrop far more often on iOS.

Gmail – I keep Gmail around for searching my archive. Once again, they’re killing it.

Dropbox – I moved to David’s own Paperless system last Christmas when I got a Doxie. Dropbox lets me access all my records on the go, and I love it. It’s also saved me many times when I needed to share a work file on the go without a laptop.

Amazon – What a simple, but delightful shopping experience. I love using the app’s UPC scanner to compare prices when I’m out shopping, and they make it far too easy to one click purchase something I think I need. A large percentages of my shopping on Amazon is now done through mobile.

Dark Sky – It’s not used often living in Texas, but it’s so damn magical to get a push notification that it’s about to rain. It’s also saved me several times when I was going to forget an umbrella.

What am I missing?

There aren’t really any apps I desire, but what I want to see in iOS 7 is better inter-app sharing of content. URL Schemes are great, but they have their limits, and it’d be great to have it be more accessible. I also want better photo/video backup. I’m currently using Dropbox (which requires manual opening of the app). With my first child on the way, this becomes even more crucial. Also, more free space on iCloud for device backups. It gets tough to fit it all with a 16gb iPhone and iPad.

Thanks Marcelo.

If you’ve got an interesting story and home screen, let me know.