Categories App Helps Organize iPhone Apps on your iPhone’s Home Screen

Categories iPhone app

Though I had published an easier method to rearrange the iPhone Apps across multiple screens, 5 or more screens of iPhone apps is still quite unmanageable.

That's where Categories iPhone app developed by Big Boss for the jailbroken iPhone comes in very handy.

As the name suggests it allows you to create categories in the form of folders so that you can move the iPhone apps into them to reduce the number of home screens.

It also helps in organizing your iPhone apps so that they are more easily accessible.

iPhone users use various methods to organize their growing list of iPhone apps on their home screen, one of them is to arrange iPhone apps that fall under the same category on the same home screen page.

The Categories App simplifies the organization of iPhone apps on the home screen using folders. I have been able to reduce the home screens from 5 to only 2 using the Categories App.

Here is a walk-through on how to use the Categories iPhone app to organize your iPhone apps on the home screen.

You can install Categories app via Cydia on your jailbroken iPhone. Once installed, launch it from your iPhone's home screen.

When you launch the App, you will be prompted with a blank screen where you can create folders for each of the categories you want to organize the iPhone apps.

Tapping on "Add" on the top right corner will pop-up the screen where you can enter the Category Title (avoid using the name of any of the apps as the category title as the iPhone app will not show up for selection). It will then prompt you to assign an icon to the category. You can select an icon from a wide variety of icon collection as seen below.

Categories iPhone app - Screen Shot 2

You can see the categories that have been created along with their icons in the screen shot below:

Categories iPhone app - Screen Shot 1

To assign a Category to iPhone apps, just tap the Category Name, you will see an empty screen with an Add button on the top right corner. Tap the Add button, it will display the list of iPhone apps installed on your iPhone as seen below:

Categories iPhone app - Screen Shot 3

Now tapping on the iPhone app will assign the iPhone app to the respective Category.

You can follow the above steps to organize all the iPhone apps (other than your most frequently used apps) on your iPhone's home screen.

You can also have an iPhone app in multiple categories. If you want to move an iPhone app icon from one of the Categories back to the home screen, simply delete it from the respective Categories folders using Categories app User Interface.

Categories iPhone app - Screen Shot 5

To delete a category, just tap "Edit" and then select the category to delete. However, categories must be empty in order to be deleted. Therefore, you must first delete the apps out of the category before you can delete the category.

As you can see the user interface is quite simple and you should be able to reduce the number of home screen pages in a matter of minutes with the Categories app.

Categories iPhone app - Screen Shot 4

The Categories app seems to have been around for quite a while so it will great if you can share your feedback on this application if you have used it before in the comments below for the benefit of fellow readers.

Update 1:

The Categories app's disclaimer states to "be very careful", and to "remove all apps from folders and uninstall before updating" to the latest firmware update.

iPhone users who have not done this are facing issues as the apps that were moved to the folders are no longer visible after the update.

Update 2:

New Version of Categories App Gets Revamped GUI And New Features

[Source & Images via TopiPhoneResource.info]

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  • Dereck

    This app looks very god, one question: What happens when you update the app inside the category? For example, if I put a game inside a category, when a update for that game is available, do I just update, or I have to move it outside the category? Thanks

  • Brian

    Just update the app. I've been using it since it was released for 2.x and I know from testing it that you can update the apps while they're in the folders. (Both appstore apps and Cydia apps.)

  • Ahsan

    A very great application, Simple and organizes much of the home screens. Makes iPhone simple to use.

    iPhone has lot of capabilities, thats why i love jailbreak

  • honza

    well, great app even it caused my ip to stuck in boot screen. It seems to me, that this app has some problems to add more than 12 apps in one category. I had Games category with 12 or so apps and tried to add another 5. Than my ip froze during respring, and after reset it stuck in boot logo screen. I had to use DFU and iTunes to get my ip working again.

  • Blaine

    I've had similar problems when using categories. Every time I had to reboot my phone, it would hang on the boot screen for 15-20 mins, or until I would force the phone into DFU in iTunes. A great app but I have since uninstalled it and probably wont be using it until there is an update fixing this problem.

  • Nukie

    I've been using this app since it first came out. It's quite incredible and I have not experienced any of the above problems mentioned. I have 77 games in my Games folder and it works just fine. If you are having trouble, it's possible you are having a conflict with another application. It does update apps while they are folders just fine. It's also nice for getting default Apple apps off your spring board that you never ever use.

  • Flame Red

    I have been using this app for a while now and it is indeed great.

    I have noticed recently that some of the ICONS for Cydia apps are empty after an update to an app. Tried deleting it and readding it to the the category and still is blank. The name does show.

  • erik

    Great little thing. But on creating the "news" folder i could not find the icons for a number of apps – all web apps, including CNN and BBC. Hence I had to delete the folder "news". I discovered that not all apps appear on the screen for selection to folder. Anybody knows how to fix this?

  • JimmyOneSmith

    I can't tell, but i think this app creates a lag with my phone. Everything seems to respond slower since i installed the app.

    Anyone else notice that?

  • dynomity

    I have two apps called PhotoFrame which I downloaded from the App Store. I have one inside a Categories folder.

    The second one is not visible by Categories and therefore can't be moved from the springboard screen to a Categories folder.

    I suspect it's because they have the same name.

    Anyone encounter this and is there a fix?

  • Jesh

    @JimmyOneSmith

    I know exactly what you mean, I have the same problem with a number of apps I use. I have about 200 apps installed and 4 of them are not seen by Categories, so they remain in my Springboard.

    On one app I had the full version and the lite version of the same app. I deleted the lite one and that fixed the problem. The full version was then visible in Categories.

    I have the free "Talking French" and "Talking Spanish" apps but only one of them can be visible to Categories at a time. These two have different application names, so I don't know why we can't get around this.

    Any tips would be appreciated.

  • Manny Mendoza

    I updated to 2.2 and had Cydia in a Categories folder… Not Categories AND the folder are not showing. No way to re-download it or use any jailbroken apps. Any help would be appreciated.

    -
    Manny

  • SunnyD

    I had categories running on iphone 3g firmware 2.1 with multiple folders and apps within them. Since updating to 2.2, quickpwn'ing and reinstalling categories, the apps and their folders are no longer visible. I have quickgold installed, however, and i can search for all the missing apps and can run the categories setup, but can't see any apps under categories control! Any ideas how to get my apps back?

  • Aragorn121

    @SunnyD: Try installing Poof or SB Settings from Cydia and using them to unhide your apps and folders.

  • http://macretro.ricklindeman.nl rick Lindeman

    add sunny, install bosspress, go to hide icons, and there you can find them again..

  • CanuckMark

    Thanks Aragorn121,

    I had the same issue as SunnyD and your solution worked.

  • Glenn

    i had categories on iphone 3g v2.1. after updating to the latest version of categories, all the apps in my folders were frozen and everytime i clicked on an app, it would redirect me back to the springboard. Restoring my phone on itunes didnt work and all the apps that were previously in the folder are still missing including original apple apps like my weather,stocks,clock etc. Cydia was also in my folder and now after re- jailbreaking, it is also missing!! help!!

  • NK

    I also upgraded to firmware 2.2 without taking the apps out of the folder. In order to get the icons back to your springboard simply install Poof and unhide the apps.

  • Maurice

    But… I also moved the install icon into a folder called "INSTALLERS". So the Cydia and Installer are hidden. So I cannot install Poof. Any other ideas?

  • Maurice
  • http://www.kalfaoglu.com turgut

    With a 2.2 phone this application frequently HANGS when editing the categories requiring a reset of the machine.

    After my last reset, all my hidden apps APPEARED again. I checked and they are still in categories, but also on the desktop – I have 7 pages of apps all of a sudden :(

  • j

    same things just happened to me. all apps back and folders and keeps locking up when editing categories

  • http://web.orbitel.bg/naki Naki

    Several issues:
    1) Problems with apps with same names. Have about 12 TicTacToe apps. Could not remove two of them, could not add them to category. Same for one Clock app (have lots of Clocks) – could not add to category, stays on main screen. Same for a Converter app (have 4).

    2) Problem with Russian/Spanish/etc languages. App names always show in English instead of the chosen language. QuickGold deals with this properly, Categories should too.

    3) Needs alphabetic sort option per category.

    4) Neeeds option to show icons left to right instead of top to bottom.

    That's my issues. Yes it does restart fully the device sometimes, but it doesn't happen often. And, it doesn't lose any settings anyway.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/iphonehacks iPhoneHacks

    Thanks Naki for posting the issues, hopefully they get addressed soon.

  • What3v3r

    This is a good application only because of its idea. Other than that, it's totally rubbish! It hangs up every so often. Doesn't recognise all apps and so on and so forth.

    I'll give my experience and possible solution as I have been dealing with this piece of garbage since 2.0.

    First of all, for some frigging reason, you have about 3 minutes to put all your apps in one folder. So for example, if you're putting in your applications in categories but all at once, make sure you wrap up in under 3 minutes, then get out and use 'restart SB', then go back in and add some more for the next 3 minutes. The advertisement that the programmer has put in doesn't help the buggy little bugger at all!

    Secondly, you need to make sure that the name of the folder you choose isn't already the name or short form of the application. Say for example, if you name a folder as 'translators' and google's translator is called 'translator' for short, that won't show up, forget about the 's' in the end, I think if the first 6 characters are the same it won't show up.

    Thirdly, if it freezes on you that's because you spent more than 3 minutes on the categories application without restarting SB. Then just wait until the phone gives up (about a minute) and restarts. Now there are two scenarios:
    a. It recovers in safe mode –>just restart iPhone again and that should be it.
    b. It recovers where you left it off without one last change that you made before the freeze –> still lucky, just go in and be careful not to spend more than 3 minute (tip: look at the time on top of the phone before you open this McShitty of an application).
    c. It completely crashes on you and all of your icons are now duplicated. They're inside folders and on SB–> Just go into categories (aka McShitter) and delete all icons from each folder (still make a note of the 3 minutes deadline) and restart SB–> You'll see all folders are now empty and there are only icons on the SB (in other words, no duplicates). Just start arranging them again because you have plenty of time going through these hoops and the McShitter who wrote this application doesn't have time to fix its bugs!

    I wish there was somebody else who could implement the same idea in a bug-free application or Apple needs to come up with something like this on their own!

    Hope this helps!

    Cheerios!

    PS: Yes, all of the above has happened to me innumerable times!

  • Bob

    Don't use it! I've had noting but problems. I hate it! 12 times in 35 days has this program caused my iPhone to crash! I'm sick and tired of restoring it. My advise don't use categories unless you want to spend your time restoring your phone then using it.

  • Ingo Orland

    I have the same problem as Maurice.
    I tried to use the free win app iPhoneBrowser to edit the files (e.g. "com.apple.springboard.plist") as described in the article "http://www.iphonealley.com/tips-and-tricks/instantly-hide-unhide-iphone-applications", but I could not find the file.
    I have iPhone v2.2.1 installed. Is this because of the version or because of the browser I use.
    Can anybody advise?
    Any help is very much welcome.

    Thanks,
    Ingo

  • Lorraine

    for some reason when i update an app it creates a duplicate on my springboard as well…never had this problem before till i upgraded to the latest version :S

  • Mark Hiles

    Where can I get Categories? Also, the cydia website I went to seems to be a site that suggests other sites. Please advise as I have a lot more apps than the iPod Touch has room for and it would be nice to organize them. Please advise…

  • Speedy317

    Hi folks, I am kind of new at blogging but here it goes…

    I personally think CATEGORIES is a great app, it never gave me any of above mentioned problems but then again, I only installed it after I updated and haven't updated the framware since.

    Here is where I messed up though and kind of hoping for some help on this from all of you experts out there -

    Once I installed this application "Categories" into my iPhone I added it in a folder called "Apps" along with all the other applications including Installer, Cydia, and AppStore and then added the "Apps" folder in another folder called "Misc" along with all 3 other folders: 1."Games", 2."Media", and 3."Phone" and accidentally hid "Misc" folder and restarted the Springboard.

    So having said that, now I have all my games in "Games" folder, all my pictures and videos are in "Media" folder, and likwise all my phone related applications are in "Phone" folder (except the dialer), and all these 3 folders are under "Misc" folder which is hidden. :| Now obviously, since "Misc" folder is hidden I can't access anything that's in it, which is basically all the fun stuff.

    So, here are my questions:

    1. Is there a reverse or undo on this, can it be fixed?
    2. Ever since this incident occured I have not backed up my phone in iTunes yet, now if I click on Restore from my last backup in iTunes (which I have never done in the past) will it take my phone into the last backed up state while still keeping it unlocked or will it lock it once I click Restore in iTunes?

    Thanks in advance.

  • http://serial-box.net dan

    anyone know how to completely remove this app? i installed it via cydia.. and i uninstalled it from cydia. problem is it left one empty folder on my springboard, with no apps in it.

    strange part is, even though the app has been removed, if i click on the leftover category icon for "games" it loads categories. so this means that despite removing it through cydia, it left bits and pieces on my iphone

  • http://eta.malfiossa.com Eta

    :( I did a mess. I used categories on my iphone but forgot to empty all the folders before restoring my iphone. Now when I sync my iphone with itunes not all my apps are synchronized.
    Any idea on how I can completely restore my iphone?
    Is there a "turbo" format functionality?
    Thanks to all for any help you can give!

  • GoogleMyName

    You're not alone my friend, I totally forgot to do that too once I updated to 3.0 this afternoon, Now none of my apps that were in Category folders are showing up, And since there's no 3.0 Jailbreak yet, I'm stuck without access to anything on my phone.
    If you find a solution let me know, I'm looking myself.

  • GoogleMyName

    Wow Found the easiest Fix to bring back all of your apps.

    Settings> General> Restrictions and enable this. This will unhide all your apps. You can then go back and turn restrictions off. After you turn it back off, all of your hidden apps that were in categories will be back on your spring board.

  • Kevin

    You are the Man!!! Thanks so much. I thought I was in for a long night of messing with iTunes. I had categories and updated to 3.0 and lost all my apps that were in a category folder. This worked great. Thanks so much!!!

  • S

    omg that worked! thank you thank you thank you!!!! But some apps were still in the folder. had to run categories and dump all the rest out onto springboard

  • SEF

    Are you still able to receive updates to Apps that are in Categories folders?

  • Gurkha

    Don't know what you did or who you know, but that worked perfectly. Thanks, I was in a position to lose roughly 50+ apps waiting for 3.0 jailbreak.

    Awesome, thanks again.

  • Sallie

    So what do I do if Settings was in a folder, and therefore not showing up now?

  • f0nziePT

    amazing… congrats for the simple resolution

  • anton

    Thank you so much googlemyname!!!!!!

  • GoogleMyName

    Welcome to everyone.

    And uhh, If you're settings were in a folder, my only thought on a solution is you're stuck waiting until they Jailbreak 3.0 and you just do that to download Categories, and bring Settings Back out to the springboard.

  • Steve

    Hi,
    How can I change the background in particular categories? I have already tried by overwriting the background.png file with a wallpaper of my choice through openssh but it doesn't make any difference. It is still black. I have also toggled the switch to use background.png

  • Jamie

    SOLUTION TO LOST APPS/FOLDERS WHEN UPGRADING!!!

    hey guys i just found a easy solution to this prob!

    I also just upgraded to firmware 3.0 without taking the apps out of my folders!
    I even put the Catagorys app in a folder.

    So to launch Catagorys, i installed: AppFlow

    (AppFlow lets you see all your apps and launch them)

    i was finaly in the Catagorys app! so i made a NEW folder called 'temp' and put all the missing apps in there! (old folders are still hiden)

    very easy fix :)

  • Steven

    I have noticed a slight problem, not sure if it's just with the 3GS, but when I put the mail icon into a category or even hide it with poof the settings for it also hide in the iPhone's settings

  • http://profile.typepad.com/6p0115715ee58c970c skipster

    Two questions…can you sort the apps within the folders? Why can't any apps other than "favorites" reside on the first springboard page?

  • bob

    This app works fine for me so far, But I do have a strange happening. Categories see's the following on my springboard that does not show up otherwise: DemoApp, Feildtest, Web, WebSheet. they all show up with an icon that has a question mark in it. Anyone know what this is?

  • Manny

    Hello I was wondering if I can leave all the apps in folders and sync them to itunes or do I have to first empty them before syncing? I'm not restoring or upgrading, just want to do a simple sync.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/iphonehacks iPhoneHacks

    You can sync without any problem, you don't need to empty them before syncing. However, you need to remember to remove them from the folders before you upgrade to new iPhone firmware.

  • Manny

    Ok thanks! I will try this next time I sync.

  • apichatn@gmail.com

    Great tip, thanks. Such a simple solution. Category must have function call to Poof and all that was needed was to toggle that.

    What amazes me is that how the category "apps hide" can survive the FW upgrade after DFU?!. I mean what was accidentally left in category folder before the upgrade still hide the apps after FW upgrade and apps reinstallation!

  • Matt

    For people who Update their Firmware and can't see their icons there is an easy fix.

    Go into SBsettings and use the "Hide Icons" (poof icon) option to unhide all your apps. If your SBsettings icon is hidden, simply slide your finger across the top of the screen to bring up the menu and click on "more". Categories simply uses SBsettings to hide all the icons and then makes an app for each folder with the icons in them. Use the SBsettings Hide Icon feature to hide unnecessary icons like Stocks or Weather if you use TWC App.

  • toni_castle

    wish it was a actual drag and drop folder it would make life so much easier but i guess this will do for now

  • idocdina@gmail.com

    I have a theme on my iphone & when I place an app in a folder using categories, the theme goes away & the icon looks like the original icon. Is there anyway to keep the theme formatting & move it into the folder??

  • http://www.islamadel.com Islam Adel

    I found a workaround to speed up loading without backgrounder. this workaround removes the annoying loading window.
    1. Install any Winterboard Theme
    2. Open any category folder and press on the "i " at the bottom.
    3. Under icon theme, select the just installed Theme.
    4. Uninstall the theme and reboot

    Result: No loading window, fast open

  • jared

    ok i have a problem…i mistankingly deleted categories without deleting all of the apps out the folders that i created. Now when i try to reinstall categories again, it doesnt show up…I guess i have to restore and jailbreak my phone again….which sucks..Any solutions?

  • jared

    ok nevermind…my problems resolved

  • jj247365

    Hey could you please let me know how you solved this issue? I tried everything and can't get rid of these folders and categories won't install…..Your help would be greatly appreciated!

  • geek

    hey i accidently deleted the categories app without removing the folders.
    now i have unwanted folders and a new categories that cant see it.
    is there a way to delete the folders or should i refresh my phone ?

  • Geek

    Way was ur solution?

  • Kevsta

    Hi
    i recently deleted an app from an apps folder i created using catergories, but when i delete it, now its nowhere to be found
    anyone please help
    cheeers

    Kev

  • human

    I just recently updated to the latest version and when I create a new folder it doesn't give me an option to change the icon. Only to apply a theme. I have installed a couple of categories icon packs. Any solutions or ideas on this? Thanks

  • Andrew

    nice app, but HOW CAN I REMOVE IT ?
    it`s not in "packages" in cydia.help !

  • da hoff

    @kevsta

    no problem

    just install SB SETTINGS from cydia if not already happend and go to more – hide icons and switch them on. Respring!

    é voilà they are back again. worked fine4me

    greetz from da hoff

  • http://www.how.com hale

    how come it didn't popup to let me choose the icon of the folder ?

  • Shubham

    It is gr8

  • Perry

    Heyy,

    I know how to use this apps.
    Because my iphone was jailbroken.
    But not anymore. i update it to 3.1.3 so i can not jailbreak anymore, so wanne buy a apps like this one on itunes does somebody know a apps like this one here ?

    Thanks !

  • william

    what happens if you did what they said not to do in update 1?
    "Update 1:

    The Categories app's disclaimer states to "be very careful", and to "remove all apps from folders and uninstall before updating" to the latest firmware update.

    iPhone users who have not done this are facing issues as the apps that were moved to the folders are no longer visible after the update."

    i did that and i cant get the apps out, HELP PLEASE!!!

  • gigi

    Hello,

    PLEASE tell me where you got those icons from? I've been trying to find them everywhere.

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  • http://www.myurlsuite.com Dino

    How about checking this new iPhone app called MyURLs. It’s basically an app that helps you organize, manage and secure your online accounts.