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GLOBAL – Once you loved it, but now it’s just another useless icon taking up screen space. The ‘Milk the Cow’ app that only made you laugh the first time you used it? The free photo editing app that wouldn’t actually edit anything unless you downloaded the paid-for version? And how many times do you want to pop the bubble wrap? 

There are some apps that you never use – and probably never will unless you are Bob the Builder – but you hang on to them just in case. The torch and spirit level are good examples of this. Many others, however, can be happily dispatched into app oblivion.   

Researchers have identified four trends that make people delete apps (the research was done in the Android Marketplace, but we reckon the results hold true for any platform): 

Is it free? 

It seems that you value what you pay for, and people are more likely to delete free apps. To be fair, you are more likely to take a chance and download free apps – only to be disappointed. If it’s a free app with an unusual name, or function, you are even more likely to be mystified by the purpose of an app, and get rid of it. 

Is it full of bugs? 

There’s nothing worse than an app that freezes your screen and crashes. All for a bit of free air guitar. Developers are advised to test an app on every platform, and re-test every new version.  

The novelty wears off….

The honeymoon is over. Do you need an app that allows you to see what you’d look like sporting a bushy moustache? You’ve shown everyone what a fun person you are for downloading all those wacky apps in the first place – but now the first flush of excitement is over.  

One among many…

You want to tweet, play scrabble or forecast the weather – and who knew there were so many apps to let you do that? You’ve searched through quite a few options, added an app, and then found a better one. So its goodbye to lesser apps who see their rankings plummet.

Perhaps what we need is an app that manages our apps!