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April 20, 2012

Apps: How long do they last?

Take a look at your Nokia right now and the many apps you no doubt have installed on it – and tell me how many of those you use every single day.

via Fone Arena

I’ll be honest here, I just did an audit of my apps. I have 17 apps installed on my N8 that I have actually downloaded from the Nokia Store and of those 17 I use two on a daily basis. Two. That’s about 12% of the total apps installed that get used every day. For those I use about once a week, the figure rises to 30%. That means 70% of the apps I have installed hardly ever get used. Will I delete them? No, I might need them some day in the future, but it does beg the questions – why did I install them in the first place? And why don’t I use them anymore?

Well, a few were downloaded as research for posts here at Nokia Connects, a few on recommendations that I have seen on many posts that you guys have written, and a few because I have read the buzz about them and jumped unashamedly on the passing bandwagon. I’ve been meaning to clear out the list for ages, and have started several times, but couldn’t bring myself to do it. What if I suddenly feel the need to slice some fruit with a samurai sword? Or turn a photo into a sketch?

I was prompted to write this post by an article I read on the numbers behind the Foursquare success story. It questions how many of the 20 million users are still active, and how many have ‘drifted away’? Because that’s what you do with apps, isn’t it? Use them intensively for a while, then just gradually slow down in your usage. Or is that just me? Us mobile users are notoriously fickle, always looking for the next new thing (‘Foursquare is done, bring on Highlight and location-aware automated check-ins’). Is this the accepted ‘career path’ for apps? Something I think the Angry Birds guys have done amazingly well is to keep their offering fresh with the Rio and Seasons iterations. Other games stick to the original, and they are the ones I don’t play anymore.

So what’s your number? How many of your apps are languishing, unused in a list? Potentially there are those of you out there who regularly cull those apps that don’t make your day-to-day usage, but I’m betting that there are those of you who are just like me. Let me know in the comments, or by sending me your 140 characters @Nokia_Connects.