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Summary:

Last week, Pinch Media released some interesting statistics about App Store usage in a presentation, now available online. In short, they’ve found that while free apps are downloaded like crazy, active use drops off fast. Paid apps tend to see more use after installation and are […]

Last week, Pinch Media released some interesting statistics about App Store usage in a presentation, now available online.

In short, they’ve found that while free apps are downloaded like crazy, active use drops off fast. Paid apps tend to see more use after installation and are used for longer periods. If it’s a paid game, all the better.

Long before he stopped using his iPhone altogether, Om raised similar questions on GigaOM regarding app usage.

Does your own iPhone usage support this data?

Looking at my iPhone I find that most of the applications I actively use are those that support or work in cooperation with the web-based tools on my desktop computer. Even though I’m not using a wide variety of applications, overall I’m using my iPhone on a daily basis far more than I have used any other mobile device.

My app mainstays include Remember the Milk, Facebook, TwitterFon, Salesforce, BeejiveIM (expensive at $15.99 but worth it), 1Password and Box.net. I also regularly launch eReader, TWC (Weather Channel) and Now Playing. While I still have a few games on my iPhone, I can’t remember the last time I launched one.

I took a rare visit to the App Store to see what I might be missing.

itunes.png#9 on the Top Paid App list is something called “White Noise”, which pretty much sums up what the store is like for me these days. Not much seems to stand out in a sea of mindless games and fluff entertainment.

Part of the reason I’m bored by the App Store is how often I’ve been burned by apps that don’t live up to their promise. The ratings aren’t as helpful as they could be since you can’t see which version the reviewer was using when they cast their vote. So instead, I tend to grab apps from developers I already trust or those that are recommended on other web sites.

What apps, if any, are still making your cut? How do you decide what to buy/download?

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  1. I completely agree with you about the app store turning into a wastland of useless apps where the gems are hidden in the proverbial garbage. Apps I regularly use are gym buddy, (I’m a fitness nut) File Magnet, Toodledo, (like remember the milk, but follows the Getting things done principles) Facebook, and Fring. I also tend to refer to editorial websites to help me pick good software, because you can almost never tell what’s good based just on what you see via the app store.

    I recently saw that Android started selling apps on their app store, but what struck me as a great idea is they allow program returns for any paid app within 24 hours of purchase. To me that would totally change the landscape of an app store; no longer do the programs that just look good but have no substance trick you out of your money, since now you have a trial period.

  2. i completely agree with the comments on the app store being a wastland of useless apps. BUT when u can download those useless apps for free u tend to find some that are actually worth it like, ” hero of sparta” and iron man’s aerial assualt is a pretty good one to. although ive downloaded these apps for free. i would def pay for them if i hadnt learned about getting all the apps on a jailbroken iphone for free first ;0)

  3. I can’t say I am a an app-using fiend, but I’m judicious about the apps I download, and I find I tend to use a number of them regularly:

    NOW PLAYING; 1PASSWORD; SAY WHO & SAY WHERE; GOOGLE MOBILE; THE WEATHER CHANNEL; iTALK; and i.TV.

    There are others I use less frequently, but I wouldn’t want to delete them:

    UNITS; DIAL ZERO; GOOGLE EARTH; VNC LITE (the uncrippled first version); EASYWRITER; NYTIMES; SAVE BENJIS; LAST.FM; CONCERT VAULT.

    And I have three that I rarely look at, but again I want them for when I want them:

    SHAKESPEARE; HOLY BIBLE; and U.S. CONSTITUTION.

    I have deleted apps that either duplicated functionality of some of these, or that were disappointing for one reason or another.

    The thing is, I don’t think the usefulness of iPhone apps can be measured solely by how frequently one uses them, but by how satisfied with them one is when one does need to use them…however infrequently. It’s like maintaining a toolbox of useful tools just so you know you have what you need when the occasion arises that calls for that particular tool.

  4. @Adam I like the idea of being able to return apps that don’t make the cut within 24hrs; that’s a great idea.

  5. @Ameer I don’t think you should be proud about getting apps for free that you would “def pay for” if you hadn’t jailbroken your phone.

  6. I think in terms of sites, more than Apps. My list includes these:

    http://Google.com (best search)
    http://YouTube.com (entertainment – when you are bored out of your head in a hotel room)
    http://MyOtherDrive.com (best online storage)
    http://maps.google.com
    http://PayPal.com (great for payment and receiving payments)
    online banking (for whatever bank you have)
    online news
    http://linkedin (professional networking)

  7. David Leibowitz Thursday, March 12, 2009

    I’m making art on my iPhone, and the apps for painting & image manipulation are useful everyday.
    Some like Collage, Gesture,or Juxtaposer,, I couldn’t live without.

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