The Droid Bionic is one of my favorite Android handsets. It's powerful, sleek, enjoys Verizon's 4G network, and (thanks to Android) is incredible flexible and highly configurable. This is a boon when you're dealing with a smartphone containing hundreds of installed apps. However, when you open the app drawer, you have to scroll around forever to locate the app you need.
Thankfully, there's a way to organize your app drawer into groups to make searching for those apps far easier. So, instead of scrolling through page after page of app icons, you simply select the group you want to view, and then tap the icon for the app you want to use.
For reference, I'll be demonstrating this on a Verizon-branded Droid Bionic that's running the following:
- Android 2.3.4
- Kernel version 2.6.35-7
- Build number: 5.5.1_84
The steps for this are actually quite easy. Let's walk through the process.
Step 1: Open up your app drawer
This should be second nature to you. Open the app drawer on your mobile to reveal all those wonderful applications you've installed. You probably have enough to group them into:
Step 2: Add the new groupWith your app drawer open, take a look in the upper left corner (Figure A). Do you see the All apps drop-down? That's the magic button. Figure A
The grocery bag icon in the top right corner opens the Google Play Store.Tap the All apps drop-down to reveal a new overlay (Figure B). Tap the New group button to create a new group. Figure B
These are the default groups. They are helpful but don't go a long way to organize your mass of apps.
Once you tap the New Group button, a new overlay will open, asking you to give the group a name. Do so, and then tap the Save icon immediately to the right of the text area. As soon as you save the new group name, you'll be taken to that group. Now, it's time to add apps to the group.
Step 3: Add apps to the groupFrom within the new group, tap the "+" in the upper right corner. When you to this, yet another overlay will open (Figure C) where you can select all the apps you want to include in that group. Figure C
Choose your apps wisely, specific to the group you've created.Keep repeating this process -- creating new groups and filling them with related apps -- until you have a nice collection of groups to choose from (Figure D). Figure D
There's still more to configure from this point.
Step 4: Final configurationsIf you long-press a group icon, a new overlay will open (Figure E) with the following options:
- Add the group to your home screen
- Edit the group
- Edit the group icon
- Delete the group
The Add to Home option will add a shortcut to the app drawer group.
If you have a specific, configurable dock on your home screen, you can always add the groups to the home screen and then move them to the dock. This will work with the default Bionic dock by long-pressing the icon and moving it to the desired position on the dock. If you replace the app drawer icon on the dock, fear not -- it's possible to add it back. Simply follow these steps:
- Long-press the home screen
- Tap Shortcuts
- Tap App Groups
- Tap All Apps
- Drag the All Apps icon to your dock
Your Droid Bionic is now far more organized and easier to navigate through the vast array of applications that you've installed. When you're on the go, being organized is one of the single most important aspects of smartphone usage. Making good use of app drawer groups will make your Droid Bionic more user-friendly and those apps faster to access.
Jack Wallen is an award-winning writer for TechRepublic and Linux.com. He’s an avid promoter of open source and the voice of The Android Expert. For more news about Jack Wallen, visit his website getjackd.net.