Has Your App Store Made You Its B!#&h?

Has Your App Store Made You Its B!#&h? | 40Tech

So I’ve had an iPhone for over a year now, a smartphone for at least three, and an iPad since December. I went through my initial app insanity a while back, unable to resist the call of the thousands upon thousands of different apps out there — a feeling that was only amplified by my innate geeky curiousity, and the fact that I write for a tech blog. Hell, I’ve even done about a hundred or so freelance reviews of iOS games in the past year, with all of the purchases reimbursed — talk about having an addiction enabled!

Well, I’m all done with that now. I’m no slave to my devices! Really! I’m not!! Okay, so I might be… but maybe you are too?

Has Your App Store Made You Its B!#&h? | 40Tech

I’ve taken stock of the apps that I own, and the ones that have taken up long-term residence on my devices, and I have come to the conclusion that I actually use less than 10% of my library on anything even approaching a regular basis. The rest just sit there, mooching off the storage space on my iPhone and iPad, hanging out in their folders and doing nothing all day. They should get a job or something. Seriously. They should get a job or get out — but they play off my weaknesses, you see. Every time I go in to delete them, I get bombarded with reasons that justify their existences, often using phrases like “just in case” and “but this app is just so cool!”

It’s all lies, though, and I keep falling for it. The only apps I regularly use are Evernote, Springpad, my RSS readers (MobileRSS, Zite, Flipboard), iBooks and Stanza, Facebook/Friendly, Twitter, Producteev, and Card Shark Solitaire (the free version). Of course, I use the stock apps like Mail, Safari, and the like, and I also occasionally use the Google app and Google Maps, but that is a pretty good snapshot of my average usage. I still seem to be unable to let go of the others, though… go figure.

How about you? How many of your apps do you actually use on average? What are they? And do you also suffer from app hangers-on? Have the app stores made us their bitches? Let me know!

Bobby Travis

Bobby isn't 40-something, but is a strong supporter of the Grown-up Geek kind. He's a loving husband and father first, but is also a freelance writer, productivity nut, operatically trained singer, and (not-so) closet geek. Check out his random thoughts, wackiness, and Instagram pics on Tumblr, Twitter, or Google+-- or just head over to bobby-travis.com.


  1. Well that sounds like me pretty much. I use maybe a dozen apps tops on my Droid. I have about 200 installed though.

    Total spent on apps since I’ve had it = 0 (I’m cheap), so since my droid has the space on it, I don’t see a problem…really. :)


    • Heh — good to know I’m not alone in this. I try to keep things on the cheap, too. Doesn’t always work out that way, but I think the most expensive app that I’ve ever bought (and hardly ever use) was about $12. It was and is a great app, and I felt that the purchase was justified, but it has yet to pay for itself in usage time…

  2. Yeah, totally me. I finally went through them last night and culled the crap out. Took me forever (had to reorganize too) and still ended up with 230ish apps. It’s a 16GB iPhone 3GS, and all the updates are slowing it dooowwwwnnnn…
    And the only reason the Mac App Store hasn’t done this to me is because I’m not laying out that kind of big moolah for apps there. I have a few, but not more than five.

    • Lol! I feel you, Jen! It doesn’t seem to matter how many I cull from the herd, there are always too many left, and more on the way… My iPhone is a 3GS 16GB as well, and I actually remember thinking “That will be more than enough space — I’ll never have enough apps and such for it to be a problem.”

      Yeah, not so much — especially when some of the games are around 900MB and climbing. I also have a trigger happy camera finger (or thumb) and a 2yr old, so that eats up space. I actually have nearly no music and no video on either of my devices (iPad is also a 16GB) at the moment, and have to be very careful when syncing, as the cross-device sync can cause space problems in a hurry.

      And if I could actually afford a Mac, I would probably have yet another problem to deal with, as well.

      Thanks for the comment!

  3. Personally, *I* don’t have a smart phone, but I use my wife’s iPhone from time to time. Mostly the Kindle reader (to verify formatting and such for my Kindle eBooks), Blackjack, and the Amazon app … as well as Safari to kill time in a waiting room. I actually have the WordPress app installed, but haven’t used it.

  4. Let’s see, stuff I use every day on my Android phone:

    Plume (Twitter client)
    xScope (browser)
    Email (native app)
    Weather Bug
    Google Voice
    Mute All

    Other stuff I use frequently:
    MLB At Bat 11
    Out of Milk

    Then there’s a bunch of stuff I use once in a while, like the Kindle app, Ultimate To Do List, and Slingplayer.

    Surprisingly, I haven’t been as crazy with apps as I used to. I counted 23 apps that I rarely or never use.

    • You’re doing better than me… I can’t even count all of mine that I don’t use. It would take too much time.

      You had an iPhone well before I did though, and have since switched platforms. Maybe that’s the key: time and switching…

  5. Its indeed true, and I guess on Apple stuff, the problem gets even bigger. However due to plenty of free stuff available, you always have an alternative while using android. Better still, its always good, not to be a patron of any particular specimen since it often leads to biased views and verdicts.

  6. I agree with you James.:) Thank you.

  7. Apps on my 5800 are all I need. Online stock trading demands a lean and mean device-use only the apps you need.

  8. I am a techie person, I have apps, like Facebook, Bible, Skype, Google App, Maps, GMAIL and many more…

  9. I have an iPhone, I use Gmail, LyricsSearch, Maps, NoteMinder, Showtime…

  10. I owned iPhone 4 with applications including PhotoForge 2, NPR News, Entertainment Tonight – ET, AccuTerra and my favorite Butterfly Collection.

  11. I your writing style really enjoying this web site .I have liked Launch Pad on Facebook!

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