Betaworks, the company of companies that includes such notables as Digg, Instapaper, and Dots, has launched a new app called #Homescreen. The app works simply enough: #Homescreen grabs a screenshot of your home screen, uploads it to a public URL, and gives you the opportunity to share it on Twitter. That's it.
Show me yours and I'll show you mine
Or more accurately that's it for the app, because the actual fun is happening back at the #Homescreen website, where recent #Homescreen shares are collected for the site's landing page, and a "view top apps" link reveals an automatically generated home screen of the most popular apps. Cleverly, app-recognition is built into #Homescreen, so that hovering over (or tapping on iOS) a given app reveals the app's description and the chance to purchase (or get) it from the App Store. The results, especially the "top apps", are fascinating and unsurprisingly biased towards the nerdcore. As of this writing, Marco Arment's Overcast is on there, three separate email apps (#Homescreen filters out Apple's native apps for "top apps") including Gmail, Mailbox, and Inbox, Pocket is there, so is Tweetbot, and Reeder, Fantastical, and 1Password are too.
Not much to do around here
As mildly amusing as the #Homescreen website is for about 5 minutes, and given that the app is in some degree just a data collection gateway for betaworks to better understand our app usage, it's disappointing that the website, and especially the app, are so light on data. Why limit yourself to just "top apps", what about "top apps - by category", or "trending apps", or social tie-ins like most favorited, etc. And why on earth not plug this information right into the app? I don't know about you but my home screen doesn't change on a daily basis, so there's literally no reason for me to revisit the app tomorrow. Or the next day. Or the...well you get the idea.
As unsticky and limited as the app is, I'd still recommend giving it a try. The app is free and works just fine, and if anything, maybe it makes you clear out some inboxes, to do lists, and missed calls to get rid of all your unsightly red badges of shame. #Homescreen the app and corresponding website aren't nearly as clever or useful as they could be, but for app explorers and home screen aficionados they're good enough to scratch the itch.
#Homescreen by Betaworks Studio requires iOS 7.1 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.