The Gift of Simplicity
My wife Rita just wants stuff to work. She doesn’t appreciate having to use a zillion different remotes when she wants to turn the TV on, lower the volume, or change the channel. In that spirit, I gave Rita an iPod touch for her birthday, primarily so she could listen to educational audio lessons. I began by creating an iTunes playlist with the audio files she wanted. She requested that I write out instructions. Simple enough, right? Not so fast.
Since Rita just wanted to listen to her playlist, I tried to simplify things for her. A quick search revealed an inexpensive solution— aHomeIcon ($ 0.99). The app lets you create custom icons that act as shortcuts to launch particular functions within an app, such as accessing a playlist, displaying a contact, viewing a photo, controlling screen brightness, or recording audio. It’s even possible to set up icons to access certain functions in third-party apps such as Evernote, 1Password, and WhatsApp. The aHomeIcon app includes a rich icon editor that lets you access your Camera Roll, rotate graphics, enlarge pictures, add colors and shapes, and create special effects.
Your Home Screen, Reimagined
Rita’s Home screen includes an icon in the upper left corner to launch aHomeIcon, which I used to create the other icons, including ones for the playlists. I used the app editor to create the “Audio Mys...” icon as well, beginning with a screenshot from the audio presenter’s website. I also created icons decorated with individual family photos that Rita could use to initiate emails or look up important contact info.