In the past, I've finished the year with a look at my iPhone and the apps that have proven they have staying power. This year, I decided to look at what pieces of software have made their way to my homescreen. These apps earn their chunk of beachfront property because they are for the most part the most useful and frequently used apps on my iPhone. It was an interesting experiment that proved a number of different points.  

1) I'm not a very good housekeeper. A lot of the apps on my homescreen could have been moved into folders and pushed to later screens to make room for apps that I used more often. I haven't done that, and I made a point of not modifying my homescreen for this piece. So please excuse the mess.  

2) I seldom use Apple's apps, preinstalled or otherwise. I realized that in most cases, I've chosen third-party apps over many of Apple's native offerings. I won't use Apple Maps for all its problems. Aha Radio is better than Apple's podcast app. I've chose AccuWeather over Apple's weather app. iCloud is good for a few things but Dropbox is heads above in terms of a full-service cloud storage service. 

3) All of these shortcomings in Apple's walled garden, as well as the many advancements in Android devices, have me wondering how long I can stay faithful to Cupertino. 

4) The apps I use most are practical and most of them serve a single purpose. 

5) Most of the apps on my homescreen are free apps, or at least have both a free ad-supported version in addition to a paid option. 

Again, this is just a look at those apps that I find most useful in the day to day grind. This is an entirely subjective exercise, and I'd love to hear from readers about your favorite apps (any platform) and what's at the tip of your thumb when you turn on your device. Check out the PDF (Homescreen2013.pdf) of my annotated homescreen for more detailed comment on my favorite apps in 2012. 

So who occupies the back 40 on my iPhone 5? Here's a sample from second screen to the last, with some ommissions for brevity: 

Second Screen: 


ESPN ScoreCenter 

Nike+ Running





TuneIn Radio



Speed Test

My AT&T 


Third Screen: