Troy Patterson
About Me
Tue 7 May 2019
1:07 PM

Minimizing Your iPhone Constructively

So many times you see articles today about minimizing your phone and downsizing your apps. By the time they’re done you essentially have a dumb phone, but it doesn’t always have to be that way. I’m going to lay out the apps I think you can eliminate and use in other ways and apps that incorporate multiple apps into one.

First up is get rid of anything that is single usage and can be easily done on safari or chrome. I’m talking about Goodreads, banking, maybe some social like reddit and anything that is nothing but a web wrapper made into an app. Is having your bank app convenient? Maybe, but there is no reason you can’t have safari hold a bookmark and click that link to go to your bank. Same for content tracking websites like goodreads and the like. The app does not do any function except make an easier link to their site.

Get rid of any app that does not require your phone to function when doing this. Things like home control apps like Hue and the like are good examples. These might be necessary to control the lights, vacuum or front door to your home. Keep these for sure.

The other way to downsize your phone content is to consolidate apps. For the last 10 years we’ve seen apps get more and more specialized. An app that just removes you from newsletters, an app just for a certain weather report or whatever you want you can find an app that just does that.

That’s no way to use a phone having multiple apps just for things like the weather or email. I’ve done this by thinking about each function and how to better consolidate. So far I’ve done the following.

  1. Outlook- This one is easy as my work already uses it so I include my iCloud and gmail in the app as well, but Outlook includes a calendar as well that functions very well for me and includes easily all my work and personal calendars. The app also gives easy access to most cloud storage for attaching files to an email.
  2. Spotify or Google Play Music - This is one I spent a long time avoiding. I love Overcast as an app, but I pay for Spotify family and it has access to all my podcasts. I wish it displayed them a bit better or even included a podcast tab on the bottom on iOS, but combining my music and podcasts is an easy choice. Google also does this in Play Music, but can’t comment on layout or usage.
  3. Google app - Why would I have the google app when I already have safari on my phone? The Google app giving access to the Google now cards is a huge one for me. The google app is rarely a web browser for me and more often a News, Sports scores, weather and google content. I have replaced so many apps using this app and thinking of any more it could also replace even now. The only wish I could have is an RSS or similar system in it would be nice.
  4. Drafts - I know I’ve mentioned this app before, but this thing can do anything. It’s where I’m writing this and it’s where I start all my writing. E-mail, text, journal, notes, weekly planner, tasks or anything else you can think of. You can tag items, save, archive or trash them. It can handle being a note system or just where you write your notes. It works in markdown which is an amazing system for writing and being a keyboard only user.

These are just the start of consolidating my apps as I think about how to work with what makes my life easiest. I’ve had to allow Google more access to my web history to make the Now cards more valuable, but it’s a trade I’ve found myself willing to make now.