App Defaults 2023

Since I’ve not done a State of the iPhone since 2021, I thought I’d jump on the trend of doing a quick App Defaults post.

I’ve focussed on my iPhone usage, and I suspect none of the choices below will be particularly surprising. If you’re looking for new apps to try in the new year to shake things up for yourself, perhaps this post might give you some ideas.

I’ve added an additional category of my own at the end.

  • ๐Ÿ“ฎ Mail Server

    • Gmail
  • ๐Ÿ“จ Mail Client

    • Apple Mail. I don’t like it, but it’s about as bad as every other email client I’ve ever tried.
  • ๐Ÿ“ Notes

    • Tot. It’s a delightful app from iconfactory and it limits you to just 7 notes, which helps keep things simple and stops my notes bloating into knowledge management (more on that later)
  • โœ… To-Do

    • Things 3. To me it’s the gold standard in task management.
  • ๐Ÿ“ท iPhone Photo Shooting

    • The default camera app.
  • ๐ŸŸฆ Photos Management

  • ๐Ÿ“† Calendar

  • ๐Ÿ“… Calendar Backend

    • Google Calendar
  • ๐Ÿ“ Cloud File Storage

    • Mainly iCloud, but I also use Dropbox to share items with non-Apple devices and people who aren’t within the Apple ecosystem.
  • ๐Ÿ“– RSS

  • ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ Contacts Management

    • The default Contacts app.
  • ๐Ÿ”Ž Browserย ย 

    • Safari.
  • ๐Ÿ’ฌ Chat

    • iMessage with a sprinkling of WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger when absolutely required.
  • ๐Ÿ”– Bookmarks

    • No specific app, just an array of shortcuts to send links to various apps and buckets.
  • ๐Ÿ“‘ Read-it-Later

  • ๐Ÿ“œ Word Processing

  • ๐Ÿ›’ Shopping List

    • The built-in Reminders app. Since iOS 17 it’s able to sort groceries into sections automatically.
  • ๐Ÿ’ฐ Budgeting and finance

    • Just my bank’s iOS app.
  • ๐Ÿ“ฐ News

  • ๐ŸŽต Music

    • Spotify for streaming, but the built-in Music app for my own collection. I don’t really like either very much.
  • ๐ŸŽค Podcast

    • Until recently, Castro. But due to recent issues with that app I’ve now switched to Overcast.
  • ๐Ÿ” Password Management

  • ๐Ÿง  Knowledge Management

Bonus: Roast My Homescreen

I’m quite happy with my homescreen layout, which now has a day and evening variants (note that I’ve since substituted Castro for Overcast).

Day theme on the left, evening theme on the right

It’s not changed a lot since widgets were introduced, but it’s been tweaked quite a lot.