By Ken Burkhalter on Fri, 10/31/2008
By default, the iPhone arranges icons on the various Home Screens in a tight configuration that pushes everything up and to the left, leaving all blank spaces at the bottom of the screen.
While this generally works, there are times when you want to organize the screens so that your Apps are grouped in logical clusters. For instance if you have three favorite Weather icons and two GPS related icons, you may want to force the two GPS icons to a new line so that they can remain together, rather than having them split up with one located in the Weather group line and the other one on a new line.
There is a workaround, however, that can give you control of your icons.
We can use the fact that the Home Screens icon thumbnail image is created by either the Application, or by the webpage screen view you save in Safari using the "+" icon at the bottom of the screen.
By browsing to a blank black web page and then saving that to the Home Screen with an uncluttering name like ". ." you create a blank black icon that acts as a placeholder, and can be moved to any icon location where you want to prevent a standard icon from parking.
For instance, on this Home Screen there is a placeholding black page icon in the upper right corner to keep a Tool App icon from appearing with the group of Wi-Fi icons, which now all appear together on the first line.
OK. But, you say, "How do I browse to a blank black web page?"
Thanks to the IT staff at iPhone Life, they have created a page you can reference for this purpose.
To use it open Safari on the iPhone and browse to . . . http://www.smartphonemag.com/iphone/files/blackpage.html, click on the "+" symbol at the bottom of your Safari page, then select the "Add to Home Screen" button. The new "blank" icon will appear at the first available empty spot on your Home Screens.
To position this blank, put the screen into "shimmy/shake" mode by "tap and hold" on any icon for several seconds until the icons start to shake. Then drag and drop your new Blank icon to where you want it (you can cross Screen boundaries as the screens will auto-scroll, but sometimes it takes a bit of "coaxing" by bumping the dragged icon against the Screen edge you want to jump thru).
Exit shimmy/shake mode by tapping the Home Button at the bottom of your iPhone.
You can create as many"blank" icons as you need. Just browse back to the (Smartphone Mag) black web page above noted and create another addition to the Home Screens.