The Test of Time

By Jo Albright, Mobile Engineering Instructor

Lifespan

Most people think about what new apps are out there, but few think about the ones they have been subconsciously using for years. If you were to stop and look at what apps you still have on your phone and how much you use them… I think you would have an epiphany as to how you think.

Psychology

The average device user collects apps… better yet hoards apps. We keep these little pieces of software on our phone just in case we need to use them someday. Many of the apps you haven’t even opened up in over a year. Other apps you open every once in awhile, but aren’t actually doing anything in it.

Survival

Read on for a small list of some apps that have stood the test of time!

These apps have been on my phone since first download (none of this, delete and re-download crap).

  • Nike+ Fuelband : I used this app everyday for the first 6 months… now I open it monthly
  • Foursquare : I use this about once a week to find dinner places… so indecisive
  • Evernote : haven’t opened this in over 6 months… I used to save ideas in it
  • Dropbox : haven’t opened this in over 6 months… but I might need it someday
  • LinkedIn : I like to browse “People You May Know” and quickly connect or respond
  • Twitter : I never tweet from this app… I only open when I get mentions
  • Clash of Clans : play almost everyday… they know how to get a user to consistently return
  • Minecraft : someday I might play this… but probably not
  • Netflix : just in case I have time to watch something… which I almost never do
  • Figure : more of a party trick kind of app… haven’t opened in months
  • ConvertBot : this is the oldest non – Apple app on my phone … just in case I need to convert something

image

Question

Do you have apps that you keep around just in case? Is it a security blanket? Why as humans do we have the need to hold onto things that aren’t needed?

For Developers

Find out what your target audience is and what makes them fear deleting their apps. Build a reason to keep your app on their phone. Or even better, build a reason to keep them visiting your app everyday.

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