Hello. My name is Ryan Evans, and I am an App Addict.
I have over 500 apps. 19GB worth of space on my iPhone are dedicated to apps. I maxed out the app screens at 11, and need to use the Search screen to find the majority of my apps. It’s a dirty, dirty secret that I’ve been hiding for months. Every time I pick up my iPhone I feel the weight of all those apps bearing down on me. I’ve only opened most of the apps after the initial download. I flip through my app screens and feel a sense of guilt looking at all these unused apps. The red ball notification for updates mocks me, sitting there all big and red trying to tell me I have updates on apps that I never use.
Since switching from the Blackberry Storm to the iPhone (specifically because of the apps available) I have gone app crazy. I stopped analyzing how each app could help my day to day life or how each app fits a specific need in my life.
I found myself downloading apps like:
- Zippo Lighter (It’s a simulated lighter?!)
- Waterslide Extreme (I hate water slides.)
- Wells Fargo Banking app (I don’t have any kind of account at Wells Fargo.)
- Where’s Waldo (I don’t have kids.)
- Deer Hunter (I don’t hunt deer.)
- Scanner911 (I am not a cop.)
- HBO (I don’t have HBO.)
- 3 Weather apps (The iPhone comes with a weather app!)
- and perhaps the most embarrassing: Scene it? Twilight (This one was downloaded by my wife, I swear.)
These apps have added no value to my life. Most of the apps are awful! But I can’t delete them! What if someday I need this really crappy app? What if one day someone asks about that crappy app? Am I supposed to just say, “I don’t have that one?”
Enough of this madness; it’s time to take back control of my iPhone.
I sat down and created a list of criteria that an app needs to meet for me to keep it on my phone:
- The app provides content that I will consume on a daily basis. (WSJ, CNBC, USA Today, CNN, WCCO and ESPN)
- The app keeps me connected. (Tweetie, Facebook, foursquare and LinkedIn)
- The app enhances the capabilities of my device. (QR app, RedLaser and CoPilot NA)
- The app is entertaining. (Madden NFL, Battleship, Rally Master and Tiger Woods Golf)
- The app adds value to my daily life. (Flixster, Grocery IQ and IHeart Radio)
After 3 hours of analyzing all 500+ apps I got that number down to 92. I let my selections sit for about an hour without updating my phone and when I sat back down I decided that number wasn’t good enough. So I went back in…
When I came up for air the second time I was down to 30 apps! It was a struggle, I parted ways with some old friends, but I knew it was for the best.
I have since updated my iPhone and after a couple days with this new plan, I feel rejuvenated! I know what I want from my device and every app has a daily purpose. Plus, it’s much lighter now.
I challenge you to go through this process. I learned more about what I want out of my phone, how I wanted to use it on a day-to-day basis and, more specifically, what I want out of each app I download. I can’t guarantee I won’t fall back into old habits but I feel better about how I will utilize my phone.
But I still have Scene it? Twilight. Don’t ask.