On beyond app drawers: Here’s how you’d keep your homescreen organized

For the past week or so, app drawers have been written about in tech news and clogging up your Twitter feed. The latest rumour, is that they might not be on your next Android smartphone by default. iPhone users have been living without an app drawer this whole time. You could do it too if you had to, or if your next launcher didn’t include it.

Here are some ways you could stave off madness, if this happened.

Your first solution should be obvious, the folder. I prefer to group apps by type, I am by no means going to run Folders on Android arranged by type of apparound my apartment with a label maker, but I do believe news apps should sit with news apps and bubble games with bubble games etc.

On its surface, the folder solution does not seem very different from an app drawer solution, except for that key factor. You choose which apps go into a folder and what that folder is called. Your app drawer slings apps into the drawer, one after the other as you download them, which can hardly be called organization.

So strap on your spring cleaning apron and don’t be afraid to throw apps into folders and shuffle them around until you have your homescreen layout just right. Why not implement a folder for most used apps? Or one for work-related apps?

Now let’s talk about homescreen pages. You have folders now, but you shouldn’t let your homescreen pages spiral out of control either. Swiping six pages in to find what you’re looking for is also slowing you down. Make sure what you need first, is on your first homescreen page. You can take it a step further, by using that first homescreen page for important widgets as well. Delete homescreen pages your not using, by pressing and holding the screen, then flinging them up to remove them.Android homescreen page settings

Okay so you’ve come this far. With your apps in folders, even labelled and grouped by type, you may lose track of where you’ve left them. This is where searching your phone comes in, use it as you would File Explorer in Windows, when you’ve forgotten where you saved a draft. By default, the Google search built into your Android can search your phone specifically. So find that Google search bar (the one with the tiny microphone) and type in an app name and it should come up.

If you accidentally turned off this setting, open up your Google app (no, not Chrome, your app called Google) and select Settings in the side menu. Then make sure Apps are checked in the category labeled Phone Search.

Next, the apps you don’t want, but are pre-installed on your phone anyway. Sometimes these apps are already in a folder, like the folder for Google apps for instance. Sometimes the pre-installed apps are just sitting there, out in the open, taking up precious screen space.

Before we get into the nitty-gritty of hiding or disabling these apps, you should know that often apps that are part of your system settings that have unfamiliar names and app icons are very necessary for your phone to function and you should not disable them. For instance, ANT Radio Service, do not disable that app it helps you take calls. Also if your carrier has an app with their name on it, do not disable it, they might require it, hide it in a folder instead. So prior, to disabling a bunch of apps, have the names of those apps in mind like Galaxy Apps or Hangouts.

Okay now that you have those specific apps in mind, open up your Settings and then head to Applications. When you find the name of an app that you know is unnecessarily taking up space, tap it and press Disable, if you can’t press Uninstall. You’ll see a pop-up saying that disabling a crucial app can negatively affect your phone, but you knew that already, so press okay. If you somehow made a mistake, you can re-enable it or re-download it. After you’ve disabled an app it will no longer show up as an icon in your launcher.

Finally, if you are lucky, your Android’s launcher will allow you to change the grid limit on your homescreen pages. If you have this option, you’ll be able to fit more icons on a single page, you lucky so-and-so. Grids are denoted in your homescreen settings as two numbers separated by an X; one for the horizontal and one for the vertical. So if you see an option for 5×5 instead of 4×5 take it.

And if you hate life without an app drawer, just switch launchers. Return to your Android’s default launcher or try one of the ones that offers a fresh new take on app organization like Action Launcher, which offers a Quickdrawer that slides out from the left of your screen.

Sources: Android Central

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