iOS 101: Using Folders and Spotlight to Organize Your Home Screen

Folders seem to be the most underused part of iOS 4.2 (or earlier for the iPhone). I’m simply amazed whenever I see someone’s home screen littered with single icons. Here’s how to get started with folders, and some tips for how best to use them.

Organizing Apps in iOS 4

iOS 4 brings a new way to organize apps on the iPhone. Previously, the only organization available was to separate the apps on different pages and flick between them. After a few pages of apps, it became harder to find the one you were looking for.

iPhone OS 4.0: Mail, Folders & iBooks

iPhone fans around the world will rejoice with the improvements coming in Apple’s iPhone 4.0 OS this summer. Support for organizing applications within folders, an improved Mail app and the new iBooks app are among the most notable.

Browsys Brings the Folder Metaphor to Browsing

Many Windows and Mac users are intimately familiar with folders as an interface metaphor. AltSearchEngines has written an interesting post about Browsys, a search site that lets you organize your favorite web sites and online tools into folders and share them with others. While most of us use bookmarks and other standard ways to organize online content, Browsys is an easy way to group sites into categorized folders, where you have the option of sharing entire folders with other users by simply supplying them with a single URL.

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Worried by iPhone, Mobile Cos Turn To Synaptics

The LG Secret launched today with a touch screen powered by Synaptics touch capacitors, a technology whose star has risen in the consumer devices universe in the wake of the iPhone. The iPhone uses a grid layout of capacitive sensors to enable multi-finger gestures, something that wouldn’t be possible with resistive sensors. Sensing capacitors are one of the many ways electronics companies can create touch-sensitive controls, but they’re expensive and obviously require skin-to-device contact in order to work.

Prior generations of touch screens have used resistive sensors, which rather than relying on the human body to affect a charge to make them work, rely on pressure. One big drawback of such a system is poor screen clarity, but they can be used with a finger or a stylus and traditionally they were cheaper than other sensors. The price advantage of resistive sensors, however, is dwindling, and companies such as Synaptics and Cypress Semiconductor are now poised to grow along with the market for capacitive sensing technologies. According to Synaptics, which reported earnings last week, touch phones grew to comprise 10 percent of its $79 million in sales in its most recent quarter.

Other chip firms are taking note. In February, Atmel Corp. agreed to acquire Quantum Research Group, a developer of capacitive sensing intellectual property, for $88 million in cash and up to an additional $42 million if certain contingencies are met. Chip research firm iSuppli predicts that global shipment revenue for leading touch-screen technologies will increase to $4.4 billion by 2012, up from $2.4 billion in 2006, but that includes resistive infrared and other touch technologies as well.