How do you use your BlackBerry 10 homescreen?

By Adam Zeis on 12 Mar 2014 02:24 pm EDT

One of the topics that came up on our last podcast was around icons, folders and homescreen placement. Kevin is firm that we should be able to bottom align icons within folders — and it totally makes sense — but for some, they may like things the way they are. I'll admit that I never thought of having them bottom-aligned until he brought it up, and it's never really bothered me too much.

I do typically tend to stick with the same "format" for my homescreen across all my devices. I suppose that makes it easier for me since no matter what device I'm on, I always know what should be where. 

My standard layout looks something like this:

I reserve the top row and bottom rows for my most used apps — in this case the browser, contacts, calendar and Facebook up top, with Twitter, Instagram, Nexia (my home automation) and Our Groceries across the bottom. Through the middle I have my other top apps, the more frequent ones on the outside left & right and the others mixed in the middle. I try to pack all of the apps I use on a daily (or near daily) basis onto the first page of my homescreen. I try to stay away from folders for the most part, aside from packing in games in this case.

On my second screen I have the rest of my apps, organized somewhat so I know where they are without too much clutter. This is the stuff I use that I want on my device, but don't necessarily need to get at each day.

For another example, check out Kevin's homescreen. He lays it out in a similar fashion but with the most used apps at the bottom within thumb's reach. Easy access there, plus lots of folders for staying organized. All about speed and efficiency to get things done.


Here's out some others on the CrackBerry team do their thing:













So now that you've see ours —​ we want to see yours. Hit up the forums thread below and post a shot of your homescreen telling us why you do what you do.

Discuss more in the CrackBerry forums

Adam Zeis Adam Zeis "Mobile Nations Content Strategist" 3740 (articles) 2892 (forum posts)

Reader comments

How do you use your BlackBerry 10 homescreen?


Presume you wanted to say: How it's possible we still don't have weather widget possibility on the home screen. I'm in love with BB10 but hate it because of such iOS-like limits. Am I right? :)

[...] first ever London smartphone story powered by Z10:

On my Q10 homescreens are irrelevant, I just flick up and start typing whatever app I want to open. Done.

Posted via CB10

Don't use it. I stick the weather active frame and keep it there.
The the active frames screen is my go to.

Press and hold the volume keys together until it say screenshot saved. You'll find the screenshot in the Camera folder of the device

Posted via CB10

- delirium of Z users! Q's rocks with search and command directly on keypad.

Posted via CB10

It really does not matter where your most used apps are. Just press search and it shows them.

Visit my channel @ C0029395D

Although the Search feature is quite useful, I put all my apps on the 2nd page in folders and categorize them like they do in BlackBerry world. Easiest way for me to keep track. All my primary ones (the ones I use daily) on the 1st page and limit them to 8 apps.

Posted via CB10

Lol, at one point I had 11 pages of app. I put them all in folders, except the ones I use most frequently, and got down to 2 pages. Either way is a bit cumbersome in the sense it can be difficult to remember which folder or page I put the app on.

-Posted from CB10 via Z10-

I don't actually consider this to be the home screen, I consider the active frames page the home screen. Ignoring that though, I have mine aligned for one handed use, most used is in the bottom right corner and least at the upper left.

I'm more like Kevin, most frequent apps are in the lowest row for easiest access like news/sports apps, Feedly etc, apps I'd go to as I wake; top row I use for apps/grps of apps I use regularly but not necessarily religiously like games, social: BBM, Whatsapp, FB (all mostly used frm the hub), media; my left/right most column is flanked with the go-to apps like the browser, CB10, file manager, dictionary, apps I call on a lot. Filler apps I use daily to a lesser extent fill the middle, BB World, browser, notes app etc. I try to organize the panes so I knw exactly where to access what quickly and grp apps to minimize clutter; I rarely go to the last pane, things that are there are what I'd like to remove but can't like 'search' and 'phone'! Those r planted at the base of each pane, I don't need those icons!

Hibby_CB10; Z10STL100-3/


Contacts and calendar least used (top left)
WhatsApp second most used (bottom right)

So there are two possible conclusions:
You are disorganized and anti-social with a slight masochistic tendency to self mutilate yourself (WhatsApp)

....or we're looking at the wrong picture.

I vote masochist, it's way cooler.

I'm Zeeing a bright future for Blackberry

I use it to show unread email, upcoming diary appointments, weather, linkedin updates. Oh wrong OS sorry.

Posted via CB10

I think most of us use the Hub for that. Except weather. Where I am, the weather doesn't change nearly fast enough to warrant the need to have the app running constantly.

Posted via CB10

The most important apps I use constantly I have on the home screen....all other apps I have in separate folders like games in 1.... account n banking apps in apps in another.... so on.....

Posted via CB10

I would like the option to have a "home screen" free of icons. This would be more so I could enjoy my background image, not a productivity enhancement.

I suppose this could be done by dragging all icons (except) maybe one from the first screen, but that would be time consuming.

Posted via CB10

"I suppose this could be done by dragging all icons (except) maybe one from the first screen" - I did that for a long while. I enjoy my multiple wallpapers too.

I agree, the wallpaper is pretty much useless with a bunch of icons that usually clash. I wish BlackBerry 10 would allow the lock screen to be displayed for as long as you wish. I always find it's the nicest view on the BlackBerry 10 but sadly it fades away quickly.

Posted via CB10

This may be accomplished by having the Active Frames as a blank panel when no active frames are there as currently it is removed without any active frames. But I think it would need to be an option and not standard, as I would guess many people wouldn't want to leave the Hub and return to a blank active screen with just their background and would prefer to jump right into their App panels.

Another option would be to have a setting in the Hub management to choose if the first App panel would show blank or have the Apps displayed when returning from the Hub. If blank we would swipe right-to-left to show apps, same as moving from one panel to the next.

Thk you, thght I was the only one who'd like to enjoy my background wallpaper.. clearly...for example, analogously, I don't keep anything on my desktop cuz I want to fully immerse in my ever-changing's a pleasant 'relic' not carried from BBOS :(

Hibby_CB10; Z10STL100-3/

Is that the homescreen or app grid. I call the homescreen the one I get to when I swipe up, which is often the one showing running apps.

The app grid becomes the home screen without running apps...BB10 powers up to the app grid right?

Hibby_CB10; Z10STL100-3/

Blaize, you're not really using your bb10, do you?

story Maker?
Text messages & Hub icons?

all those icons on your 1st screen? come on :))) eheh

I have my most used individual apps on the home screen. 2nd screen is all organized into folders in alphabetical order.

Posted via CB10

who the hell cares what your home screen looks like? Everybody is different and will set up the screen the way they like it. Would you want to know what I have for breakfast each day to? Silliness.

Kinda true. LOL.
The 16 most used apps should be on the first page. There should be an option to set top to bottom (or bottom to top) and left to right (or right to left) favor.

 CB10 

Very cool wallpaper Alicia.
DJ - I am with you. A few pertinent icons on multiple screens. (I also use folders).
I like the least amount of clutter.

It would be cool if BB allowed you to have your on boot up screen. Imagine the Tardis flying through space-time while your BB loaded! I'd restart everyday! :-D

I don't use at all folders, I am using in the active frames the apps I use the most.

Sent from my Z 30

It would be nice if there was a landscape view for the home screen and also when connected to the monitor

Also they should give one the ability to lock your screen in landscape view

Posted via CB10

My home screen is the running apps screen (swipe up). I wish it could hold more tiles but it's understandable on the square Q screen. However, on Z30 it should hold 6 per screen.

This + the HUB is why BB10 is the top productivity horse.

//Some forum moderators at some forums are like communist

Mine looks a lot like Richard's, also have a Q10. First row for me is though:
Weather, browser, calendar, BB World.
Second row are folders for:
Travel and GPS, Office and Work, Media, Social and clouds.
Third row:
News and Readers (folder), Socks, InstaVenue, 360 Panorama.

I keep the 360 Panorama app close to the camera app, so that I can choose which one I want to use in basically no time.

Nobody cares, maybe you guys should make a article about Q10 double typing instead of useless articles that nobody gives two farts about.

Nobody cares? Yet you're here in the middle of a ton of comments about the very topic that doesn't interest you? If you can find a fan site that only produces topics you like, let us know, it would be a first of its kind .

Posted via CB10

I think a much better idea than bottom justification would be to set it up similar to desktop icons on Windows. Snap the ICON to the location you want and let it stay there. Allow the user to place the icons where they want with no requirement that the all be in a row. Then I could strategically place them around my home screen wallpaper so I could actually see my wallpaper photo. For example on the Z10 just allow for the 4x4 grid and let me put my icons on the grid wherever I wish. Top row, bottom row, middle row, every other blank, all on one side....whatever it is I desire. My .02 for whatever its worth

I did write in the off topic and rehab forum asking how people organised their icons and some like to put their in folders etc. I have to say I like to see the wallpaper on the home screen with minimal apps and folder up some of the other apps together.

Posted via CB10

I not into too much swiping. I keep 4 pages max, and use folders to organize by category. I actually like my most used icons at the top, I have big hands though.

SQN100-2 /

Ist screen is for most used apps
2nd screen is for lesser used app and so on.
Games and utility type apps go in folders.

Utility type apps to me are Batter Guru BVE Ghost Commander DocuShortCut AutoScanner.

Posted via CB10

This is pretty much exactly how mine is set up. My 4 most-used apps on the first page, 8 second-most-used apps on the second page (plus 4 games that wouldn't fit in my Games folder, lol) and the rest, including 6 folders, on the 3rd page. Well-organized AND I get to enjoy my wallpaper.

What's with the hub and text messages icons on so many home screens?? I'm disappointed.

Only 4 rows for me on my Z10: I have Browser, Calendar, Maps, Remember, Speed Tester, and BBM apps and folders labeled Travel, App Worlds, News, Social, Media, Games, Music, Weather, Sports, and Going Out.

I more like DJ, I want simplicity and also be able to enjoy my wallpaper as much as possible.

Keep The Faith  BlackBerry Q10 

Bla1ze has pretty much the same layout as me... minus the hub and story maker icons and add settings plus 1 folder for the rest of my utilities

Weather / calc / bbm / docs to go / BlackBerry world / browser / music / pics etc Things I use most.

Page 2 all social media. Twit/fb/insta/snap/cb10 /chive etc

 BlackBerry Q10 

Adam: Love the background! Can you provide a link or put it in the CB wallpaper store?


Posted via CB10

First screen: most used. Second screen: used, but not as much. Third screen: don't really need to see it.

I have 9 folders and 7 app icons on my home screen. If I could get more than 16 apps in each folder I wouldn't need to use 4 screens to spread out the rest of the apps that don't fit in the 9 folders on my home page.

I have the apps in my folders arranged so that the folder icon clearly identifies what type of apps are in the folders.

I would rather have 2 screens of folders than the 4 I currently have.

BlackBerry Hub is brilliant at eliminating the need for all my IM app icons to litter my home page.

Posted via CB10

Was wondering if I was alone in my frustration over limits to the number of icons in a folder. If you try, you can almost convince yourself that it'll scroll up/down and left/right to show more.

Posted via CB10

Imo, shuffling thru pages of icons is inefficient regardless of how the icons are organized. I rarely use any of my homepages/icons to launch an app. I use a Q10; if I want to open the browser, i type in 'br' and click on the browser icon that the phones search function finds for me... And since the Q10's screen is so tiny (not a good thing, except maybe in this situation) that top row icon is always within reach of my thumb, for one handed action.

The one app that doesnt work on, for me, is uTorrent, as the 'u' isnt actually a 'u'... the search cant find it :/

Contacts, Calendar, Pictures, Browser, BBM, Evernote and the the rest is Speed Dial quick buttons for top clients.

I don't use icons a lot, it's easier to type app name on Q10. It's actually the same way how I use my KDE Plasma desktop - just type and run! ;-)

Posted via CB10

I actually reserve the BOTTOM rows for my most frequently accessed apps so I don't need 2 hands to access themselves!

Posted via CB10

Like some users have said, I consider the active frames as my home screen. What I would like though is that the most recent app appear at the bottom close to my thumb since it is more likely for me to act on a recent app.

Posted via CB10 on my Z10

Mine are like Kevin
1st page: top used Apps and folders and I name them "Social", "Games", "Stream Music" or "Messages".

2nd page: 2nd tier of most used Apps or folders.

3rd: Is a mix of everything of less use.

Productivity and efficiency is #1on my list

#BB10Believe #BlackBerryNation #BB10Army #BB10Freak #KeepMoving #TeamBlackberry #BBMCrossPlatform #BBM4All #IChooseBlackBerry10

I'm MongezaurioBerry

Does Alicia actually use her BlackBerry? BlackBerry Hub icon, Phone icon, Settings icon, Setup icon... all the "beginner" icons are still on her home screen. ;-)

I am right handed so what I do is put my most frequently used apps as close as the bottom right as possible for easy reach. Top left apps are my least frequently used and I don't reach there often.

Basically anything on the Left or top of my screen are my least frequently used and on the right side and bottom are my most frequent.

4 folders on every page. 4 pages. Wanna see my wallpapers;)

Wenn du mir sagst, was dort draußen richtig ist, werde ich nicht mehr versuchen dich zu küssen... (Sayumi Whisp)

I like to categorize and I like to be able to see my wallpaper, so I utilize folders. One folder of my most used apps on the homescreen, then the second screen has the rest of the folders (media, video, music, documents, social, pictures, etc)

Posted via CB10

Frequency of use auto align based on user preference - either top or bottom.

Single handed use suggest bottom align, two handed top...

All in due time as OS stabilizes and features enrich.

I like to keep my hone screen as close to clutter-free as possible. I would like to have a blank home screen like OS7 allowed but...oh well.
I keep the calendar (because the date display doesn't change when placed inside of a folder) and bbm on the home screen for easy access along with Favorites and Media folders full of stuff. #neatandtidy

Posted via CB10

I think the home screen images shown is a good reminder that we all think differently and there is therefore no best solution. The engineering type organizes in folders, the creative less structured etc.

Personally I do everything I can to keep the page count down. Even CB is in a folder, but they have cleverly added a star to their icon which also appears on the folder icon.

Posted via CB10

I hate the LARGE icons on the Q10, so I put all my apps in folders on ONE screen. I really would like to have an option for more rows and columns with smaller icons. This is my main email and "phone" phone, so not playing many games or video on it.

On my z10 which is my "facebook" phone, I have a layout where my most used icons are on the right most column - just a convention I started and it is consistent because I have 9 screens of icons and makes it easy to notice them as I flick through screens.

Posted via CB10

I tend to hold my z10 with my left hand, and use my left thumb for most things, so my most used are along the left side. I keep a "Media" folder, a "Games" folder, and a "Misc." folder where I put all the preloaded icons I don't use but can't delete.

Also Simon's screen is absolutely horrid.

Sad to see that many of these phones arn't "daily used". Seriously, how "the blackberry #1 fan" can still have sms icon? And how these "crazy physical keyboard fan" don't use what they fought for for several years?
I think your iPhone or Android home screen are better organised...

Posted via Q10 on CB10

I would have posted a screen shot but I'm unable to from cb10 app and from browser. Oh well!

The first screen of icons has only one in the upper left. I like to showcase my wallpaper.

Me too. Only the clock app on page one. 3 rows on the second page, all other apps neatly in folders.

I keep my first page almost clean with only Bridge and a folder of file management apps. The wallpaper looks nice for professional presentations. The second page is my most used. My thumb is grateful to Kevin for the most-used-at-the-bottom idea! I have 5 total pages of mostly folders. If I use something at ton it sits beside the folder it would belong in.

True confession: I always slap a Zagg on everything the second I get it. Toasted my Z10 and got a replacement a couple of weeks ago. Love the naked screen so much I haven't gotten around to doing what I know I should .... it is like silk!

I like seeing my wallpaper, so I put my most used icons in a folder in the upper left hand corner. The rest are relegated to the second page.

Posted via CB10

I would like the ability to slide all of the apps out if view except for the bottom row so I can enjoy my wallpaper....

Posted via CB10

I have my Z30 setup so that I only have one home screen. To do this, I utilized mostly organized folders. I find most of my time using the search key to access my most common apps, and/or active frames.
I don't want widgets like android to ever be adapted to blackberry 10. This OS is great for how simple and efficient it is already. Why add more which may end up draining battery or other system resources?

Keep The Faith  BlackBerry Z30 

If you want to post your screenshot click on the "Discuss more in the CrackBerry forums" link at the end of the document. Right after Adam says to hit up the forums to post your screenshot :)

I was surprised by the Text Message and BlackBerry Hub Icons. I can kind of understand Text Messages if you are getting a ton of emails in the hub. Same reason I keep the BBM icon. Easier to get to current conversations instead of hitting compose or scrolling through the Hub. But the Hub Icon?? that's the first thing to go when a new OS gets installed. Why are you keeping that on your screen?

Home screen - Calendar only - only because main screen does not provide the date...
2nd screen - 6 folders holding all apps
Lean and clean until I can sort at the bottom of the screen for easy access on my Q10

I like to customize the location of my apps. Don't like the homescreen the way it is. No sense in having a wall paper if you can't see it

Posted via CB10

I agree with what someone else said about being able to place icons where ever you wish, to be able to enjoy your wallpaper. And as for wallpaper, it would be so damn cool to be able to have animated wallpaper options. Now that would be killer! Along with icon placement.

Posted via CB10

I need my folders to keep my home screen organised. The ability to have folders in folders would be even better.

Posted via CB10

The apps I use the most are on my first page, then it gets pretty random! What would i really like for my z10 homescreen? Landscape mode!

Posted via CB10

I prioritize icons from bottom right to top left fanning out and in, high use to less use. Kevin is right, it's all about thumb proximity.

If they had the wherewithal to put the browser bar on the bottom you'd think icon placement would be congruent to that ideology.

Posted via CB10

Adam, you described exactly how I order my icons. I couldn't believe it, really, exact same methodology!

Powered by BB

Mine is like kevin's... keep frequently used apps at the bottom and at the top then folders in the middle.....but I always use the search tab to look for my apps....faster dat way than guessing where I put them

Posted via CB10

I've tried a number of grocery apps & wanted to try yours but can't find it. Is it a port?

Posted via CB10

Alicia and Bla1ze disappointed me now... they seriously have a BlackBerry Hub shortcut on their homescreen... * shaking heads... :-D

Ferrari ZetaDieci

Love the Doctor Who walls!!!!!
"Aint no party like a Time Lord party because a Time Lord party is not bound by normal temporal parameters and thus don't stop!"

I have a Q10... My homescreen consist of mostly folders setup in rows...In the top row. My first folder is called "Native" It consist of things like bbhub, contacts, phone, setting, search, most of the apps that came with the blackberry that deals wit its native functions. Then my browser icon is #2 then another set of folders I created Applications and Applications 2. Those are mostly folders my tools folders although there are some production apps in them. Like Remember, Calendar,calculator, SNAP, sayit, safedrive and more. My next row consist of #1 Media (Music, pictures, youtube, soundhound, more) #2 Social (Twitter, FB, FourSquare, BBM, Igrann, more...) #3 Everyday Living (Weather, Maps, BB Travel, ticketmaster, ebay, mostly if I'm looking to go somewhere or buy something from my mobile. I will go here) #4 Office (My cloud spaces and things like Adobe reader & Docs 2 Go are here). My last row consists of #1 News (Crackberry, BB Community, RSS Feeds) #2 Games (Speaks for itself) #3 My Mobile Life (Mobile Banking, Mobile Bill Paying, my life in a app if I can find it) and #4 My AT&T (All those at&t apps I don't use that I should have deleted that I just put in a folder and forgot about them til now.

I guess i am a bit elaborate. The 1st screen is what I call the command centre i.e. the phone calls, text messages etc. . 2nd screen is the media Hub (you tube, story maker, camera etc)., 3rd screen is what I called the library (bible, Crackberry, books, maps etc). 4th & 5th screen the Games room and finally the 6th screen is the communication centre which contains the likes over of BBM, Facebook etc., that's how I use mine....:D!

Posted via CB10

I keep all my games, apps etc in separate folders and all my most used apps on their own, all in one home screen

Posted via CB10

I keep everything in folders except for main messaging apps (BBM, text, WhatsApp), BlackBerry World, Calendar, Clock, and Browser. Folders include Games, Social, Banking, and Sports, Navigation, Help, and Productivity. This keeps all my apps accessible on one home screen page.

Flicked via CB10 on my amazing Z10

My Q10 has a social folder on page 1, a media folder on page 2 then the rest are filled with apps. It's organized for the smaller screen size.

Posted via CB10

I put the most used apps where reachable with 1 hand and I use most of the time thumb. Using Q10SQN100-5/ I like how quick I can do things with my BlackBerry that email. Bbm, keyboard shortcuts is reason I'm still using a BlackBerry