R.I.P., cluttered grid of icons. Behold, the God Screen!
The biggest change to the home screens of iOS, Android, and Windows in the near future, will likely be the use of rectangles with text logos instead of squares with icons. The rectangles with text logos will look similar to what's used in these examples:
Apple TV's home screen uses rectangles with both icons and text logos, but it would be more consistent if all the items used text logos:
Sony uses ugly squares with text logos on the PS4:
Windows 8 almost has it right. The icons and squares are mistakes:
In portrait mode, the home screens will be similar to Windows but without the white icons, squares and with smaller rectangles:
Rectangles with text logos are better than square icons because text logos are more recognizable than icons, which can be cryptic and unfamiliar to people. People want to see this:
Rectangles with text logos also make better use of larger screens on large smartphones, tablets, desktops, and TVs. The rectangles will be bigger so they'll be easier to tap than icons. Fewer items would make the interface cleaner and simpler than a cluttered grid of icons. Also, rectangles are better looking than squares.
The text below the icons on iOS and Android will probably be removed.
An iPhone would be able to have 12 rectangular tiles in portrait mode (6 rows x 2 columns.) A larger smartphone would be able to have 18 or more in portrait mode (? rows x 3 columns.) A single column with vertically scrolling rectangles would also work. Tablets have plenty of room.
iOS's and Android's current home screens were designed for small screens with low pixel densities. But, larger screens and hi-DPI displays make rectangles with text logos feasible.
It was easy for me to figure this out.