As addictive as it is to keep downloading new apps for your iPhone, sooner or later you’ll probably need to come up with a way of organising them. Your Home Screen only has space for 15 different apps and research conducted in 2009 indicated that the average number of apps per iPhone user stood at 65. With over 250,000 apps to download in the iTunes store, it’s likely that this number has increased significantly since then, so what’s the best way to organise them?
Apple has now introduced ‘Folders’, a reasonably self-explanatory way of storing and accessing all the apps on your new iPhone 4. As we’ve come to expect from Apple, it’s a fiendishly simple feature to use and builds something new into the simple principle of drag and drop.
To create a folder, all your have to do is:
Touch and hold an app that you want to store with another app until it ‘wiggles’. Drag the app onto the next app that you want to store in the same folder. For example, if you want to create a folder of all your games, you would wiggle and drag the first game onto the second one. As soon as you do this, the iPhone will automatically assign a name to the folder based on the category of the apps that you have stored inside it. You can subsequently change this name as you wish. Each of your folders is shown on your Home Screen with tiny pictures of each of the apps inside the folder.
There are, of course, limits to what you can currently achieve, which, over time, might inconvenience hardened iPhone users. You can have up to 180 folders on your iPhone, but each can only hold 12 apps. That means, for example, that if you have more than 12 games, you’ll need to have at least 2 folders for games. The mathematicians amongst you will also quickly calculate that 180 folders of 12 apps means that you can only organise up to 2160 apps in this way. That’s probably more than enough for the average iPhone user, but app addicts might eventually run out of space.
Before you get started, it’s a good idea to spend some time deciding how best to organise your apps and it’s best to do this via iTunes. Have a look at your apps in the apps panel of your iTunes library to establish how many different folders you think you will need and how you might organise them. It’s a good opportunity to delete unwanted apps before you synchronise to your iPhone too. In the sync tab, you can sort your apps by date downloaded and you might decide that you want to either delete some of the older ones or just retain them in your iTunes library by de-selecting them from your sync menu. You can even organise the apps into folders via the iTunes library, in exactly the same way as you would on the iPhone.
This is a great tip for experienced and new users alike. Indeed, the latter will find this a particularly useful way to get started, as once you have already downloaded hundreds of apps, it can be a slightly time-consuming process to re-organise them all.