How-to: Using Folders to Organize Your Android Home Screen Icons

One feature of iOS that I loved is the ability to combine apps into folders for easy app management. Android initially featured few home screens, which forced you to constantly troll through your app drawer looking for apps. Depressing. Folders emerged, giving Android users the ability to organize and group similar apps. Unfortunately, the early folder incarnations were something to be desired . . . or more like undesired. Instead of sleekly organized blobs highlighting and packaging apps, Android’s folders were desktop-esque in design, subtly cold.

Then, Google introduced Android 2.3 and above, and suddenly, folders became cool. With Android 4.0, folders evolved even further, morphing into their current design. Android 4.1 added some sleek design changes that revised the folder scheme.

Folders function to neatly organize an otherwise disorganized, app-filed set of home screens. I use several folders to group like apps. Here’s a look at my tablet home screen:

Screenshot_2013-01-14-21-53-26

And a shot of my phone:

Android App Folders

A nifty tweak is the ability to rename the folder to more accurately describe the set of apps.

To create a folder in Android 4.x, you simply drag one app onto another app. Drag four, five, six apps, and they’ll organize themselves into a tight little group.

It’s a little more difficult to organize apps in Android 2.x, but not impossible: long press on the home screen > select Add to home screen” > choose Folders New folder. A new folder will appear on the home screen called, “Folder.” Tap to open the folder, and rename it. From there you can drop in any applications you choose.

Folders cleanly organize your home screens and make apps more accessible. Here’s a list of folders you may consider creating:

  • Music or Media
  • Books and Magazines
  • Documents
  • Note taking
  • System Tools
  • Mapping or Navigation
  • Games

In my next post, I’ll discuss customizing your phone with themes.

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Jeff Taylor

I’m just an ordinary guy living an extraordinary life. I’m also an attorney and I blog about Android for lawyers. You can follow me on Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, or Google+.