From Our Friends – Inspiration: Homescreen galleries across the AAS community!

| May 22, 2013 | 33 Replies

Home screen philosophy

Dear MNB Readers!

Our good friend, Steve Litchfield of AllAboutSymbian (AAS), has a great article that shows user submitted Symbian home screen setups!

From the article:

I asked a few days ago for screen grabs of your Symbian homescreens, so that we can all learn and take inspiration from the set-up efforts of the wider AAS community – and here I present the results, thanks to everyone for your submissions, from all across the world. And if I didn’t get round to including your homescreens, please don’t be offended – I had way more submissions than could be reasonably included here. Do note that this article is quite big, in terms of bytes, because of the number of screenshots – please be patient while it all loads in your web browser!

There’s a lot to a set of homescreens, of course, with my original questions being:

  • Do you max them out (six) or keep them simple (or even single)?
  • Do you go for garish or plain?
  • Mainly active content or mainly shortcuts?
  • Do you try for any artistic look?
  • What about wallpaper? Same for all homescreens, or geekily set to mimic panning? Or dramatically different for each, perhaps themed?
  • Any widgets that you use which aren’t well known and deserve wider dissemination?

Here then, for everyone’s interest, are some of your submissions, along with any comments by the originator and, in places, with my own thoughts…


I think Steve has a great article and a wonderful community over at AAS and the article provides a great insight at how other Symbian users around the world have their home screens set up, their philosophy and the various applications that they use. Who knows, you may just see something that catches your eye or find out about an application that you didn’t know about previously.

I didn’t get a chance to submit my home screens for inclusion in his article but the main pic of this article contains my home screens and a brief explanation behind their setup and wallpaper choices. What do you all think of my setup? It’s rather simple and basic compared to the fine examples over at AAS. Feel free to comment below with answers to Steve’s original questions or head over to AAS to join in on the discussion there.

As always, thank you for choosing MyNokiaBlog and have a great day!


Source: AllAboutSymbian




Category: Nokia

About the Author ()

Good day everyone! My name is Demitrius Harris and I am a fan of all things true. I currently hold a position in the IT Department at a college and I teach various classes when the opportunity presents itself. In the past, I was a Special Education Teacher and a Technology Education teacher at an elementary school and have held titles in the Financial industry. What does that mean for you, our dear readers? It means that I love to write and communicate as accurately as possible! It is my hope, that I will always be able to provide factual information concerning all things related to Nokia (even when the Nokia brand isn't printed) and anything else in the scope of technology that fits within the purpose of MyNokiaBlog. I humbly thank you all for reading my posts (and the MNB Team) that sometimes contain THOUSANDS of words. You all are the best and most respectful blog supporters in the world! Thank you for choosing! Sincerely, Demitrius Harris. Favorite phone of all time: Nokia N82 - Black
  • Peter L

    Huge gallery of examples about the flaws of any Widget-based home screen system. Inconsistent, messy and full of visual noise.

    • fnts101

      Huge gallery of examples about the Pros of any Widget-based home screen system.
      Consistent, ordered, and full of visual handy informations.

      • Banderpop

        Huge gallery of examples about the awesomeness of any Widget-based home screen system.
        Individual, flexible, and full of practicality.

    • dss

      The widget/icon based UX has its advantages.. it doesn’t work well for the masses, but if you put a bit of work in it, you can make your home screens tailored to your needs.

      • dss

        Or.. in fact it does work for the masses since android is dominating with that same Symbian philosophy.

    • Deaconclgi

      If a person wants what appears to be a messy homes creen to you, let them have that choice. If they want to have what appears to be an organized homes creen, let them have that choice.

      I find my iOS home screens messy because all of my applications are on the homes creen whether I want them to be or not. I don’t like grouping my apps into folders on the homescreen either. I also don’t like my icons covering certain parts of my pictures so I should be able to arrange my icons how I want to.

      I had to jailbreak my iPhone 4S and install some invisible icons just to be able to see my daughters faces in the background. A SHAME.

      With my Symbian and Android devices, I just arrange my icons however I want to and Symbian has a more flexible home screen grid than Android. On Android, you can’t place icons half-step or diagonal in a row like you can on Symbian.

      On WP, atleast I can move and resize my tiles to have my most common used applications at the top and my settings cog as the last tile in the bottom right.

      The user should have to option to totally clutter and de-clutter their home screen according to their needs. We all do it on our computers. I have seen desktops that make my head hurt from like 100 icons to some that only have the Recycle Bin.

      Choice, it is what drives us, defines us.

      • Puhelimellanikin

        With the iPhone you have all the choice you want. You just said it. It can be jailbreaked. That’s freedom.

        With Symbian I can’t jailbreak it to became stable and have lots of software. I don’t have all that freedom with Symbian.

        • milojko
          • Puhelimellanikin

            Good points, but hey, jailbreaking is freedom.

            It’s your choice if you want to make the iPhone to become more like Symbian or MeeGo. You can make that happen with jailbreaking it. But of course you should also understand that there are reasons for Apple not to ship ‘jailbreaked’ phones from the factory.

            If you jailbreak, you get the advantages but also some of the the flaws you previously saw with Symbian and MeeGo.

        • Heikki Niininen

          Gordon Ramsay, Uuno Turhapuro, Symbianitta, Puhelimellanikin… I assume that you are the same person changing your nick constantly…

          You can hack also Symbian phones and change all of the widgets, icons, fonts, themes, add mods, add software outside store… You can create widgets or skins for them or themes by yourself if you have a bit know-how.

          • Puhelimellanikin


            Please show me the jailbreak or any other method to make my 808 stable. Please, I really would love to have that feature I already have with my 4S.

            • Banderpop

              My iPad isn’t stable. Apps crash all the time, even the Apple built-in ones like email, and it’s not jailbroken at all 🙁

              To a much lesser extent my 808 has crashes to, but at least it’s obvious how to reset it.

              • Puhelimellanikin

                I’ve heard that happening with the 1st generation iPad’s with the latest system software. The later ones seem to be very stable. 808 however is not as old as the 1st iPad is.

                If your iPad is not 1st generation device, that kind of crashing is very strange.

                I’m also saying that the 1st generation iPad’s shouldn’t be crashing. Apple has failed on that one.

                It’s too bad that Steve Jobs is dead.

            • Heikki Niininen

              Hmm, I’m not sure what do you mean by stability. My 808 is actually very stable. It is not as stabile as iPhone but for me it is enough. Also I think that I have 808 without 3g hardwarebug. There are still some problems such as occasional restarting (perhaps 2-3 times per month) and stock browser’s slugginess on heavy sites due to the poor javascript engine.

              If you want to try modding yourself please go to, create an account and start looking for tutorials under the section “Symbian 3 mods releases”. There are not any mods for making 808 more stabile but there are plenty of other mods. Modding in Symbian is not that easy as in iPhone (I assume so) and requires usually flashing of the phone. But go ahead if you want.

              • Puhelimellanikin

                My 808 has been crashing even while taking pictures without a SIM card. I’m talked with few other people who have 808 and they have encountered similar problems. This is hardly a hardware issue.

                I would like to get a mod for making 808 as stable as iPhone, so I’m going to skip those other mods.

                I’m just wondering why people think it’s such a big issue to jailbreak iPhone when it’s really not that different from modding Symbian or MeeGo. Deaconclgi was complaining about the jailbreak while he ultimately was able to mod his iPhone just the way he liked to mod it. He got the work done, now what’s the real problem if he is an advanced user?

                Now why it’s relevant to talk about iPhone in a Nokia blog? Well, there are two main reasons for it. First at all, it was iPhone that started the revolution ending with demise of Symbian. Second, Nokia is currently trying to go iPhone way with WP. WP has lots of similarities with iPhone and if you understand the long term roadmap for iPhone, it’s considerably easier to understand the future of WP.

                • Heikki Niininen

                  It’s not a big deal to jailbreak iPhone (at least for me). And there is no reason to talk about iPhone. It was used as an example.

                  Btw why you still want to use 808? You don’t like Symbian, you find 808 too thick (especially the bulge), you have said in some other conversation here on MyNokiablog that you prefer the macroshooting in iPhone’s camera, you don’t like 808’s camera interface (the shuttertime control is missing), your phone is not stable… Obviously iPhone is the best option for you so throw your 808 away. Enjoy your life, don’t waste it with buggy 808.

                  • Puhelimellanikin

                    It’s a good idea to talk about devices and technologies affecting Nokia. In the past Nokia and Nokia fans overlooked almost anything else and announced that only Nokia knows how to make the best phones in the world. Even today some Nokia fans seem to think Nokia has or had certain unique features the other manufacturers didn’t have. Nokia has some of those but it wasn’t that rosy for Nokia.

                    I use 808 because it has some features iPhone 4S doesn’t have. I thought that was obvious. But, 808 is not definitely the best camera phone for everything. Some people really like to claim that but it’s simply not true.

                    You should learn that a tool doesn’t have to be perfect to be usable.

                    808 has some really good features but then again, lots of flaws. It could be improved with quality software, but unfortunately it seems that that’s not going to happen.

                    • Heikki Niininen

                      It is true that Nokia overlooked others in the past. But hey, I hope that it has changed now.

                      And no, there won’t be major releases for Symbian anymore. There could be if Nokia didn’t drop Symbian completely (so perhaps some of those problems you are encountering on your 808 could have been wiped out in the future if Nokia had followed the original roadmap).

                      Remember, EOS is coming…

                    • Puhelimellanikin

                      I really hope Nokia don’t overlook everyone else but it’s still a good idea to compare phones made by Nokia to phones made by other manufacturers.

                      I don’t believe Nokia could have fixed Symbian even if was working on it for the next 5 years. After all, Symbian was pretty unstable already in 2002 and they were never able to fix it.

                      Qt was not a tool for fixing that issue. So, what would have made it possible to make it stable?

                      What about EOS?

                    • Heikki Niininen

                      I really cannot say exact truth of the condition of Symbian because I am not a professional programmer but somehow the development did not go with fast pace. There was actually a major rewrite already before the horrible S60v5 and it was done by just two programmers (can’t remember the names now). I assume that something in the middle management slowed down the system and things went wrong, considering the UI- and UX-layers. Personally I would have liked Meego to overtake Symbian as the no. 1 platform inside Nokia but participation with Intel slowed down the process.

                      And of EOS. Everyone assumes that it will be announced this year and it will have similar camera than the one in 808. If you like Windowsphone you can trade your 808 for it when it is on the shelves.

                    • Puhelimellanikin

                      All that matters with Symbian is the fact that they had 10 years to make it stable and they failed on that. There is absolutely no reason to believe that they could have made it stable if it wasn’t discontinued in 2011.

                      Even if it was a management problem, so what? It’s easier to get great programmers than great managers. If Nokia was failing on management, there is no reason to believe they could have fixed that issue in the last few years. Elop was hired to fix things but really, fixing something like that can take half a decade and still fail miserably.

                      Nokia’s original roadmap had lots of promises but they Nokia was not so good in implementing those. It’s easy to make roadmaps but harder to follow them.

                      EOS is a rumoured product. Currently I have 808 and while it has lots of flaws, it has shipped and it’s not the usual Nokia promiseware.

                    • Heikki Niininen

                      The problem was indeed in the middle management. I remember an article in Helsingin Sanomat in which ex-employees told about the internal state of Nokia. Also the problems were partly due to penny-pinching the middle management practiced.

                      I cannot make comments of the development pace if the management was drastically reduced since it is not the current situation (Nokia is now following different roadmap, and hopefully the internal organization of Nokia is now fixed or at least better).

                      We can quite confidently say that EOS is coming because one employee from Nokia said that they can implement the system of 808 into WP. As I know that you like WP it should be delightful for you, yes or no…?

                    • Puhelimellanikin

                      Cutting the management doesn’t give Nokia qualified management. It’s easier to get great developers than create an organization working for a common goal. That’s why Nokia never really had a chance to fix Symbian and it was pretty much doomed to be unstable.

                      It may be that Nokia’s organization works better than it used to but we don’t have any proof that it works well. Luckily for us Nokia capitulated on the OS development.

                      I cannot really comment about changing 808 to EOS product because the later has not been released and I don’t know the price of EOS product or the future resale price of 808.

                      What comes to Deaconclgi’s comment about jailbreaking his iPhone, I really wonder why he is using iPhone in the first place if Nokia was making phones like N8 and 808. Or maybe a phone should be something more than just a camera.

                      Today it feels like MNB is more like My Camera Blog. But that’s fine. I have no problem with that. It’s just interesting to notice that for the last 5 years camera was almost everything Nokia got and the rest of the features they had were more or less irrelevant for the masses.

                    • Heikki Niininen

                      We cannot predict the future so I cannot say how Nokia’s management would be if there was a clever leader. And yes, of course cutting down the management is not the answer; there must be changes also.

                      I do not know if the internal organization is any better now but hopefully it is. At least devices can be outed quicker than before.

                      And the question of Deaconclgi’s iPhone usage has perhaps similar answer than what you had for the usage of 808: he simply find it better in some tasks.

                      You are right of the camera-centric approach MNB has had lately. One reason for such an approach may be that WP is smooth and stable enough so there is no need to really converse on it. And still there are plenty of articles considering also other things than camera.

                      What I have understood is people who have bought Lumia-devices have been extremely happy with them. Other issues than camera seems to be also OK now in Nokia’s portfolio.

                      You know, it is nice to discuss with you.

    • tom3256

      The example of brainwashed person by advertisement of Microsoft products 🙂

    • Just Visiting

      I totally agree with you, Peter L.

      When I used my N8, I had only 2 homescreens – one for the daily usage apps – i.e. email, calendar and one for entertainment – a few games, music player, camera; but absolutely NO widgets – just icons (4 icons at the top and 4 icons at the bottom); It’s just a cluttered mess with more icons and widgets.

  • dss

    Steve does a great job for the Symbian community.. very informative, objective, well written articles. A prime example of what a tech blog should be.

    He gets exactly what Symbian is.. and there are very few people out there that understand that as well as he does.

    Obviously, the site brings like minded people, and the conversation is always on the mature/balanced side.

    • Peter L

      I agree completely except for the last sentence. There are some militant Symbian fans that frequently comment there and when they get their steam on the conversation is nothing but mature or balanced.

      • dss

        Ya, every once in while you will get someone like that, but for the most part its a troll free zone.

    • Deaconclgi

      I agree!

    • Dragon’ Tear

      tell that to the ignorant masses

  • Mendax

    When I owned an N8, I actually stuck with 1-2 screens with just the basics (clock/calendar and notifications) and my most commonly used apps.

    I actually prefer the minimalistic layout with a dedicated homescreen for different types of processes (apps, notifications, multitasking), which is probably why I fell in love with the N9’s layout.

    While Symbian strongly resembles Android (or perhaps the other way around, as someone will be quick to point out), Harmattan seems to me a perfect blend of iOS and Android. I don’t love WP, but I think I’d prefer it to Symbian in some ways, except for the list of apps and lack of proper file management.

    I haven’t seen a proper demo, but it seems to me that the Jolla OS takes Swipe UI and adds more clutter and “visual noise” to it. Still, I look forward to trying it out myself.

    And again, to each his own!

  • Rapunxel

    Smh these windows dickriders trying to shit on Symbian again
    We once rule the smartphone world …. when is Windows Flop gonna rule the world ? … I’ll wait