How to Be More Selective in the Apps You Download

December 22, 2015

10:00 am

As of July 2015, the total number of apps in the two most popular stores – GooglePlay and Apple AppStore – exceeded 3,100,000; in half a year since then, probably another hundred thousand rolled out. To navigate in this multitude on your own is sheer madness, and search and discovery tools offered by the stores themselves are woefully inadequate. This means that if you don’t want to be random in your choice of an app that is likely to play a considerable role in your life, you need some tips.

1. Define What You Need

A useful rule in general, but all the more useful in looking for apps, because it is so easy to get distracted. Write down exactly what kind of app you need and which functions it should have. Ask yourself if it should be multiplatform, whether you will need to back up its data, and whether you will have to synchronize it across multiple devices and so on.

2. Check out Professional Review Sites

Ample choice tends to paralyze; that is why it is mostly useless to browse GooglePlay or AppStore – they are happy to flaunt the amount of apps available but do little to make navigating among them easier. You are likely to just waste your time surfing through, and then lose more time evaluating what you’ve collected. Instead, try to limit your choice – visit a website like TheBestforiOS.com and study their collection of the “Best for” apps. It is much easier to select what you need from 10 items that already have been tested and found useful by professionals than to try and sort the wheat from the chaff on your own.

3. Decide If You Need an App for the Purpose in Question

In our day and age there are apps for everything: for weight loss, for time tracking, for photo editing, for counting the number of snores you produce during the night, or for recording the amount of time you waste browsing apps to prevent yourself from wasting time (ha). The truth is, you don’t need all 3 million; most likely, you don’t even need all the apps that are on your phone right now. So, before embarking on another search, ask yourself: do I really need an app for this? If the answer isn’t an immediate and vigorous ‘Yes!’, then you don’t need it.

4. Check on It Later

We collect all kinds of things we hope/intend/would like to use some day, and usually end up never doing so and eventually forgetting about them entirely. Apps are no different – so make it a rule to check on every app you download a month after. If you haven’t acquired a habit of using it on a regular basis, delete it without remorse – we are lugging about enough distracting garbage as it is, so there is no need to clutter our phones with it.

Choosing an app that is really going to improve your life, make you more productive or at least will be fun is tough – but we hope that these tips will help you make a better choice next time!

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IT manager and independent journalist, designer, entrepreneur and blogger living in Jersey with his dog Soul

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