Default Apps, Revisited.

Earlier this year, I wrote about the default apps I was using, and I followed that post with a detailed explanation of those choices. Since those posts, I have changed things quite significantly, not only in terms of how my iPhone's home screen is set up but also in terms of the default apps and services that I use.

While my iPhone's home screen was already pretty minimal, I decided that it could be a bit more minimal. I placed all my most used apps in a folder in the dock, leaving only Chrome, Messages and Phone immediately visible. Because one can search by simply swiping down on the home screen and because the App Drawer is right there by swiping left on the home screen, any other app on my phone can be easily accessed. Last, I decided to remove the widgets from my home screen. While the Weather widget was useful, I decided that it would be just as easy to click on the widget that is on my lock screen to open the weather app. I found that I actually did not use the calendar widget that much, since I have notifications enabled for tasks/reminders and calendar events. My wallpaper is from the first generation iPad.

Because the only Apple device that I am currently using is my iPhone (my iMac runs Linux), and because Apples's apps such as Notes and Reminders, while really good, do not offer full feature parity in the browser, I have replaced a number of default Apple apps with their Google counterparts. Google's stuff just works for me. While I don't fully trust every Google service to be around indefinitely, I do trust Google to keep my data secure, and I like the fact that no matter what device I'm on, I can use all the features their apps and services offer. As such, I am now using the Gmail app for iOS for my Gmail account. I find that this app just works better with Google's native features and has more feature parity with Gmail in the browser. Since my wife began color coding events on our shared calendar so that we can easily see who in our family is doing what, I'm also now using Google Calendar instead of Apple Calendar, since Apple Calendar does not support this color coding.

I have replaced Apple Reminders with Google Tasks, and I have also mostly replaced Apple Notes with Google Keep. There are a few reasons for this. Both in the Gmail app for iOS and Gmail in the browser, it is very easy to add an email to Google Tasks. Because I have a number of Nest/Google speakers in the house, it is also trivial to add reminders to Google Tasks (and notes to Keep) using the Google Assistant, especially because I do not carry my phone around with me all the time when I am at home.

Last but not least, I made a few additions to the list, such as the apps I use for coding, reading, and gaming.

My Updated Defaults

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