MacMost Now 348: Arranging iPhone Apps with iTunes

Learn how to use iTunes on your Mac to arrange your iPhone and iPod Touch apps. You can move them between screens and decide which ones sync. You can get Gold Strike at the App Store.

Video Transcript
Hi, this is Gary with MacMost Now. On today's episode, I'm going to tell you about my new iPhone game, and also I want to show you how you can arrange your iPhone apps using iTunes.
So, before I tell you how you can arrange your apps on your iPhone using iTunes on your Mac, I want to take a second to talk about my new iPhone game, Gold Strike. You see, in addition to doing MacMost, I'm also a game developer. I've been developing games since 1995. Many of my games can be found free on the web, and recently I've started working on some iPhone games as well. I've taken one of my most popular games, Gold Strike, and I've ported it over to the iPhone.
Gold Strike is a type of collapsing blocks game. In it, you play a miner digging for gold, and you've got to click on groups of blocks to eliminate them. It's been around since about 2003, and it's appeared not only on the web, but also as a downloadable game and as a cellphone game in the pre-iPhone era. This new version of the game is a deluxe version, which means it has all sorts of different game variations. Here's a link where you can go to to download the game. It's available in the iTunes App Store for a limited time only at 99 cents. I'd appreciate it if you'd check it out, and if you decide to buy it, please leave a review in the App Store.
Now, if you're like me, you have a ton of apps on your iPhone. That means you've got screen after screen of applications. It's sometimes hard to find the one you want very quickly. You want to arrange them kind of in an order where you will remember where each of the apps is. Now, doing this on the iPhone is possible. You can click on a single app, drag it to another screen. You've probably done this before. It's very frustrating if you have a lot of apps and want to rearrange them. A better way to do it is using iTunes 9, which has this great feature to allow you to rearrange the apps.
So when you're in iTunes 9, you go to the applications section after selecting your iPhone on the left. Here you see a list of all the applications that you own. The check-marked ones are the ones that are now synced with your iPhone. So you can actually own applications and they're just on your Mac, not on your iPhone. You can bring them back on your iPhone at a later time. You can sort them by various ways, and you can then look on the right to see all the different applications screens and how the apps are arranged. You can then rearrange them by just dragging them around, right there. And this rearrangement will take place next time that you sync. You can also drag them to a screen on the right to move the application to another screen.
There are a bunch of other cool things you can do. For instance, you can double click on an application on the left and it will take you to a screen and highlight the application so you can quickly find out where these things are. You can also click the x on the screen there to remove it from your iPhone but not from the applications list. It just affects the check marks here on the left.
You can also go ahead and search so you can get to an application if you've got a lot. Some people have hundreds of apps. You can quickly find the one that you're looking for. Then, click on it, and it will take you to it on the screen on the right. Another neat thing you can do is drag the applications that are listed on the bottom of your screen, so it's usually these four by default. But you can actually remove one, say remove the iPod right there, and move it into your regular applications area, and put something else there on the bottom to appear at all times.
Another thing that isn't obvious is that you can select multiple applications. So here I can select this group here and move them as a group. You can see how the icon changes to a stack there. And I can move it around on this screen, or move it to another screen.
Now, this is definitely the way you want to go if you have a bunch of apps and you want to arrange them specifically on your iPhone. It's much better than doing it on the phone. It is a little buggy, however. For instance, you can drag an application in just the right way to create an entire blank screen between two screens that are full of apps, and there's no way to basically move it all back. However, there's kind of an ultimate undo. If you click away from that screen and choose something else to do in iTunes, it will ask you if you want to save the changes. You can simply say no, go back to how your arrangement was before, and start again.
So I hope you found this useful. 'Til next time, this is Gary Rosenzweig with MacMost Now.

Comments: One Response to “MacMost Now 348: Arranging iPhone Apps with iTunes”

    Johan H. W. Basberg
    6/14/10 @ 10:08 am

    Well, I am sure you are aware of this, but as you didn’t mention it:

    You can drag entire screens around, so, if you get a screen with only a single icon in the middle of your screen stack – simply drag that screen below the bottom page; that way you only need to reposition a single icon.

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