My friend Mike asked me to blog about my new iPad setup after I showed a few pictures to him so here we are. I think he requested this article mainly to show how crazy a person I am when it comes to these kind of things. Ok, let’s get started from what my iPad looks like now. Here’s a picture of my current homescreen:
I can safely say I achieved my goal of having a minimal iPad. How did I end up with an iPad like this? Glad you asked.
I used to have a “normal” iPad. This is an Air 2 WiFi + Cellular and with time has become essentially my book collection.
Almost all my books are stored in my iBooks library and I read almost exclusively on my iPad. Why? Because I hate objects and I don’t want to waste paper. The problem with this setup is that the iPad also does a lot of other things and more often than not I was finding myself browsing the internet rather than reading my book. So I decided to go down the minimalist path and strip my iPad from everything that wasn’t absolutely essential.
I deleted all the apps and I end up with an iPad with just a few of the default Apple apps. Those apps were Messages, Settings, Find iPhone (on an iPad...) Clock, Photos, Safari, App Store and iBooks. The iBooks app is the only thing I care about so I wasn’t going to delete that. In order to remove the rest I had to be creative. First step was to lock Safari and the app Store and that can be done easily using the restrictions setting. I asked my brother to set up a password this way I can’t go and unlock it and by doing that we’re now left with just 5 icons on my home screen.
I could stop there but this is where my minimalist OCD kicked in. I didn’t like the new doc on iOS 11. It’s ugly, has big rounded corners and has an awful gray background. Plus, Apple is clever and the color of the background is determined by the color of the wallpaper underneath. But this is only true if you have transparencies turned on and transparencies can be turned off using the options found under accessibility. Now the dock is a plain gray and, more importantly, it’s always the same gray, R212, G212 and B212.
So I made a background with the same color and there you have it, that ugly dock is now gone. We still had the 5 useless icons left though and this is where the madness really began. See, right now, in the top left corner, there’s actually a folder. Has no name and no icon which is why you didn’t see it.
With transparencies turned off, the folder icon also has a solid gray background which is slightly different from the doc one. It’s R205, G205 and B205. So I made a new background which is no longer a solid gray but it’s a gradient instead. Slightly darker on top, to match the folder background color. Now we only need to find a way to hide the tiny tiny icons inside the folder preview. In order to achieve that, I coded a website with no content in it, an empty title and a gray favicon, same gray as the folder background. I visited the site, saved the link on my homepage and there you have it, now I have a stealth icon I can use to create a first blank page inside my folder.
This way the folder preview looks completely empty and all the remaining icons are hidden in the second page of the folder.
And there you have it, my iPad is now uber minimal and I'm a happy person. If you wanna go down the minimalist iPad route and need help give me a shout on Twitter or send me an email. I'll be happy to help you.