Tog: How to improve iPhone’s Springboard for power users

“The killer app for the iPhone/iPod touch is the App Store. 85,000+ apps have been written and, via the App Store, 2 billion copies of those apps have been downloaded. Apple gets 30% of the revenue; the developers, 70%. Everyone has been making a lot of money,” Bruce Tognazzini writes for AskTog.

“That gold rush is about to be over,” Tog writes.

“Apple, by all appearance, designs its hardware and software for a single user—Steve Jobs. This is, in many ways, an excellent idea. Steve has always been and continues to be fanatical about design, usability, and salability. It was a successful formula for the creation of the Mac, and it continues to be a successful formula,” Tog writes.

“The only problem is, there are other people in the world who are not like Steve. For example, there are people that not only examine a product from every possible angle, but actually use it. A lot. Some of us have thousands of songs. Some of us have tens of thousands of photographs. Some of us have hundreds of apps,” Tog writes.

“We are drowning,” Tog writes.

Tog writes, “In this article, I want to present a simple solution to Springboard’s [the formal name of the iPhone/iPod touch home screen] current limitations, limitations that are about to plateau app sales, costing both Apple and its developers billions of dollars.”

In his full article Tog covers:
• What’s wrong with today’s Springboard 1.0?
• A New Springboard 2.0 Design
• Springboard Improvements:
   – Page Labels
   – Vertical Scroll
   – User-Controlled Icon Positioning
   – Containers
   – Aliases/Shortcuts

Tog writes, “All of these changes work within the current Springboard metaphor and should not present any insurmountable programming challenges. Certainly vertical scroll is most critical and should be implemented within the next couple of months if sales are not to be further limited. The rest can follow.”

Full article here.


  1. I use catagories which is available in cydia to organize my hundreds of apps. Apple should make something like this where people can then organize all their apps and make sense of what they have purchased over the months of using their device.

  2. What is he trying to accomplish with vertical scrolling? I can think of a few things that might be an option, but what exactly is he wanting to happen here?

  3. “There are lots more apps I would like to buy … no longer even consider them because there’s nowhere to put them …”


    I only place 12 apps per screen. I like to keep the bottom row open on every screen as it looks less distracting and is much easier to move apps from one screen to the other.

    When I see a new app that I like, I have to ask myself which app I am going to delete to make room for the new one.

  4. I wish you could password protect one chosen screen with your banking, passwords, shopping, or anything you want to keep even more private than a per app password.

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