Home Screens – Jason Tate


This week’s home screen post features Jason Tate (website)(Twitter). In addition to running Chorus.fm, Jason also hosts the Encore podcast, about the music industry. Jason’s also an Apple geek. So Jason, show us your home screen.


What are some of your favorite apps?

The big three are Drafts, Launch Center Pro, and Omnifocus. Omnifocus helps me run my life, and it was thanks to your great video courses that I was able to tap into the power the app offers. Drafts has become almost indispensable for me when handling text on the iPhone. Whenever an idea hits me I instinctively open Drafts. I know that I can easily move the text to a better place (event, todo, note) after it’s written out. And lastly, there’s Launch Center Pro. Which is kind of a cheat, because I use it to tie-in with Workflow to perform a variety of different tasks and give me access to a bunch of things I want to get to quickly, but don’t use enough to keep on the home screen. (E.g. 3D Touch to bring up fast access to the phone, settings, and different logging workflows I use.)

And I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention Overcast and Tweetbot. They just feel like such staples in my life now that I don’t know what I’d do without either. One for listening to podcasts, learning, being entertained, and one as a machine to check in on whatever fresh horrors are going on in the world at any given moment. (Also memes and @Darth photoshops.) 

Which app is your guilty pleasure?

Probably the Music app. There’s still some things that bother me about how it’s designed, and I feel like I’m one of the weird ones that hasn’t had many issues with Apple Music, but I do really like the app and service. Having access to my collection of music, anywhere, is something I’ve dreamt about since I was a kid. Now that it’s here, I still sometimes can’t believe how great it is. 

Beyond that? It would be Letterboxd. It’s not on the home screen, but it’s such a great little app to log what movies I’ve seen and see what other people are watching and enjoying. 

What app makes you most productive? 

Omnifocus, and there’s not a particularly close second.

What app do you know you’re underutilizing?

Ulysses. I use it mostly as a way to access all of the text documents that are stored in the app or in Dropbox. It has a fantastic, and very fast, search. However, I know I’m just scratching the surface of what the app can do.

What is the app you are still missing?

It seems silly, but I just don’t think there’s a photo app that has been cracked yet in a way that works right for me. I’ve tried a variety of third party apps, and all the big ones from the regular players, and none of them seem to stick, or feel right, for handling, managing, and searching my photos. It’s like all of them are close, but missing just enough to make it really work.

What Today View widgets are you using and why?

From top to bottom: Dark Sky, to give a quick and easy look at what the current weather is and what’s coming up. I live in Portland, OR, so knowing at a glance if I need to grab a coat with a hood when walking out the door is essential. Fantastical, so that I can get an overview of what events are on my calendar for the day. Streaks, which I use for a few select “habits” I’d like to maintain and track. Launch Center, where I just have quick links to Settings, Bluetooth, creating a Draft, and getting directions to a location. Then I have an ESPN widget to track my favorite sportsball teams and scores, and the batteries widget is at the bottom.

What is your favorite feature of the iPhone/iPad?

At this point it’s the incredible app ecosystem that continues to produce great apps that I think are second to none. There’s a high bar for great software, and developers continue to impress me and release fantastic updates to apps that I don’t think I could live without.

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

I think I’d work on a more robust backup and photo solution. iCloud Backups feel like a half measure to me, it’s almost as good as I think everyone wants it to be. The goal would be: your phone could be thrown in a lake somewhere, and you could sign into a new one and all your stuff would be there without much work. You wouldn’t need to worry about managing your backup “cloud space” and deciding when or what you want to backup. I think that’s the direction they’re moving in, but it’s not in a place where I’d trust it completely. Especially with photos or other important documents.

What’s your wallpaper and why?

My current wallpaper is a simple graph paper design. For the home screen wallpaper, I like something simple and non-distracting. I shift between enjoying a primary color with a “blur” effect on it, and these subtle lines. I’ve never been one for the completely solid color background, I want a little movement or structure to it, and this has felt like a good compromise. The lock screen is where I change up the photo more often, usually to whatever is striking my fancy on a particular month. It’s currently Spider-Gwen.

Anything else you’d like to share?

Nope! Thanks so much for featuring my home screen and for the great podcast and blog. I’m on Twitter posting mostly about music @jason_tate, and doing the same over at chorus.fm.