8 tips to organize your iPhone / iPad apps and folders

How many apps you have downloaded to your iOS devices ? And is it easy to find them from within the devices – then run your favorite game or utility apps, move them or delete them ? Yes I know many of you have your favorite apps in the home screen and you can organize the apps into folders as well … but more questions pop up – how to name the folders ? How to arrange the folders ? And is it easy to find the folders you created last week or month in your iPhone / iPad ?

iPhone and iPad are smart devices but you need to be very smart as well one way or the other, to make that device works for you. Other than downloading good apps, I firmly believe you also need a smart(er) way to organize your apps and folders – and in turn, better user experience.

And here are 8 tips and tricks on that:

  1. First, only download the apps your need. A simple but important trick, for example, if you don’t play games at all then why download the Angry Birds ?
  2. Second, organize all standard Apple apps (Clock, Calendar, Contact, Map etc.) in the home screen of the device. With this approach, when you know you need to run those standard Apple apps, just go to the home screen to find it. Free up your mind, you don’t need to memorize where are those apps – like, where is the Map apps ? However, if there are really some Apple standard apps you don’t need in the home screen – save those into a separate folder, say “Apple apps”.
  3. Always leave a row in the home screen for your apps and folders though, in other words, only keep at most 12 standard Apple apps in the home screen (in the case of iPhone). That will leave you 4 “slots” to place your own apps or folders. For iPad, keep 15 standard Apple apps in the home screen and leave 5 “slots” for the apps folders.
  4. In the case of iPad, you can also move one of your favorite apps to the apps docking bar in the bottom of the screen. In my case, I added Zite to it.
  5. In the home screen, keep the most used apps on the left most column (if you are a right-handed person), or the right most column. That will help you to access your favorite apps with only one hand and your thumb.
  6. Probably the most important tips – sort your folders position by their names. For example, place the folder sequence like “Finance”, then “Games”, then “Health” etc. That will help you easy to find one folder just by a glance to the screen. In other words, if you want to find the folder “Health”, the first glance of the screen you found “Finance” and you will certainly know the “Health” folder is somewhere on the right or below the folder “Finance”. No more folder hunting.
  7. Keep the folders names the same between iPhone and iPad. So you can easily find the same apps in the same folder.
  8. Lastly, review the apps and folders once every few months – remove the apps that no longer needed; rename the folders or create new ones if new needs arose; reorganize the folder position again.

I hope all these tips and tricks make sense to you, following you can find few screen shots of my iPhone and iPad set up.

Life in the fast lane

Once in a while I have nothing to blog.

No more Kindle posts, no more photographs or camera gears, no more gadgets and of course, no more cloud computing stuff (guys and gals, we are tired of keep talking about cloud computing, by someone who have not implemented any cloud computing platform before).

I suppose I can also write something about SoMoLo (or SoLoMo … whatever you like it) apps, something about Liquid Newsroom Project, something about the latest Open Mobile Summit in San Francisco, or even why my iPhone 4 battery runs out faster with iOS 5.0.1; still, my mind is blank.

Then I finally find out the reason this morning … if something is really important to blog, I will tweet it, Facebook it, Google+ it … but if something is not that really important to blog, I will just leave it aside – till one day, I forget all about it.

Technology and mobility do not make us more productive, it just make our life run faster – without any goal.

“Life in the fast lane, surely make you lose your mind.” – Eagles

That’s what matters to me …

No, Apple II was not my first personal computer, it was the Commodore 64.

No, iPod was not my first portable music player, it was a Aiwa portable tape player.

No, Macbook Pro was not my first laptop computer, it was a Toshiba Portégé.

No, iPhone was not my first smartphone, it was Dopod C730.

No, iPad was not my first tablet, it was Amazon Kindle.

And no, Steve Jobs was not my first idol, my dad is.

But just imagine the modern days without Jobs, Apple II, iPod, MacBook, iPhone and iPad. And imagine the days without mouse, GUI, touch screen gesture …

Remembering the man who behind all these, and who made “IT” stands for “Innovation, Transformation”.

“Being the richest man in the cemetery doesn’t matter to me … Going to bed at night saying we’ve done something wonderful… that’s what matters to me.” – Steve Jobs

The Daily Rabbit

Happy Chinese New Year of Rabbit !!

Not sure you know the history of the Chinese Zodiac but it is said that many many years ago, “Jade Emperor” invited all of the animals in the world to join him for the New Year celebrations, but only 12 animals bothered to turn up. As a great reward, Jade Emperor named a year after each one of them and they actually run in the order that the animals arrived to celebrate, starting with the rat and ending with the last guest, the pig. And for this year, it’s the year of Rabbit.

Also, each Chinese year is influenced by whatever animal it falls in. Most Rabbit years are quiet, positive and inspiring and 2011 looks to be heading in this direction. So, what’s the refreshing change to an iPad user ? It’s probably the new new iPad application – The Daily. Launched yesterday, the Daily is built from scratch for the iPad by some of the best in the business to bring you a package that’s smart, attractive, and entertaining. (A straight copy from their press release site)

So you want to take a look of the application before you actually download / subscribe it ? Check out the video below:

10 steps to migrate your iPhone 3G / 3GS to iPhone 4

So you have decided to go for the iPhone 4 after all the reviews of exciting features (if you are an Apple fanboy) and news / blogs about the antennagate (and you really don’t care). Here are the steps you need to do to migrate your trusty iPhone 3G / 3GS to the iPhone 4.

  1. Make sure your old iPhone has performed a complete backup via the iTunes
  2. If you’re using Kindle for iPhone, deregister the device (from within the application).
  3. Make sure you have Internet connection, such that iTunes can access iTunes store. Connect your new iPhone 4 to your PC running iTunes and register your new iPhone 4, with your Apple ID.
  4. Since your iPhone 4 come with iOS 4.0 only, download and install the iOS 4.0.1, thru the iTunes (so pretty much automatically)
  5. Restore the content / applications / setting from the iTunes backup image to your new phone
  6. Check all the settings to see things are in good order. Check all the email accounts / applications, by running each of the applications once and enter application-dependent password again (if neccessary).
  7. If your old phone has upgraded to iOS 4.x and you have created folders. Bad news, you have to organize the folders and applications in your new iPhone again. Somehow the restoration will migrate the folders but not moving the applications to the right folder as set up in your old phone.
  8. Install the iPhone case program (program ended) application to your iPhone. Run the application with appropriate Apple ID password, and pick the case you like. For review and photos of the cases, here is a good resource.
  9. Erase the iPhone 3G content via Settings / General / Reset / “Erase all content and settings”, confirm two times and it’s done (it will take long time to finish the erase, however). Now you can pass the phone to your friends or family members.
  10. Very last step, install some good looking wallpapers like I did in the new iPhone 4:

iPad vs. iPhone + Kindle

I use iPhone and Kindle 2 heavily and I also have iPod, MacBook etc. Even though I am not really a super fanboy of Apple … still, I thought a tablet from Apple is something I was waiting for, until I see the iPad today.

It’s thin, it’s beeeeautiful, and the user interface is certainly sleeeek. But wait, where are the new new things ? In fact,

  • There is no phone – sure, I can make VOIP phone call … but why ?
  • No camera – so no snapshots, no video phone conference / calls, no augmented reality applications,
  • No multitasking – I cannot download videos while I am doing something else,
  • No HDMI output – I cannot use it as the Youtube video station for my TV,
  • No Flash support – I guess I have to wait for HTML 5 websites … but again, why ?

You know, I thought Apple would announce a super new way to browse magazines and newspaper with iPad that can save the publishing industry, but no, again probably need to wait for some super-duper iPad application to do that. So is the iBooks really better than Kindle for iPhone ? Who knows …

And seriously, how can you hold this device for hours to read a book (my Kindle 2 can easily do that, and the battery can last for two weeks) ? And how can you take this from your home to your office, or your frequent coffee shop without adding a cover / bag ?

So far, really, I can think of only one big big reason to get one … that is if I want to share my photos with my friends and family, on the road.

Video from Engadget.com.


Kindle for iPhone International version and how WhisperSync works

Amazon released the Kindle for iPhone application now to more than 60 countries. In other words, you can now download it to your iPhone even though you don’t have an iTunes US account. In addition, you can now synchronize your reading between the Kindle 2 International and your iPhone (with Kindle for iPhone International application installed). If your country is not covered in that list of 60, you still can install the Kindle for iPhone US version by a proven method.

How WhisperSync works

First of all, we need to understand how all these devices are linked together – in fact, they are not linked directly, but via Amazon:

Kindle 2 <— X —>   Amazon <— Y —>   iPhone

If you’re in US, the connection “X” is the Whispernet via Sprint network; and the connection “Y” is the 3G phone network. And since Sprint network is not available outside US, that’s why the sychronization with your Kindle 2 US version will not work outside US.

However, in the case of Kindle 2 International, the connection “X” is just ordinary 3G / GPRS network. Therefore, the synchronization works … with a twist. That is, how you “trigger” the synchronization.

Two scenarios here, the first one is how to synchronize your furthest reading page to Amazon. To save battery and data transfer, the Kindle (and the Kindle iPhone application) will not send the page information to Amazon, whenever you flip to next page. Instead, it will do it only when you “close the book”. In other words, in Kindle iPhone application’s case, closing the application will not send the information back to Amazon.

  • For Kindle, when it goes to sleep mode or you close the book (i.e. go to Home page by pressing Home button), the latest information will be synchronized to Amazon. Of course, you need to turn on your wireless first.
  • In Kindle for Iphone, you need to press the “Home” button on the top left to “close the book”, then the furthest read page information will be sent back to Amazon…

The second scenario is how your other device pick up the furthest read page from the original device.

  • In Kindle 2, press Menu, select “Sync to Furthest Page Read”, Kindle will connect to Amazon.com and then ask you whether you want to synchronize the page. Press Yes and you’re done. Again, make sure the wireless option has been turned on.
  • In Kindle for iPhone, it is easier, as every time you start up the application, it will connect to Amazon via the phone network to synchronize and you will also be prompted to ask you whether you want to synchronize the page. Press Yes and that is it.

Enjoy !!

Kindle photo

Update 1: Somehow my Kindle 2 always connect to WhisperNet via GPRS, not 3G network in HK.  A great tips from reader John and also Mobileread.com, you can actually select the network you want !! Check out this post.