Tuesday, July 26, 2016

The Novelty of the App

Walt Mossberg (Hacker News):

I attacked my phone’s app landfill to learn how very many apps which once seemed interesting or necessary hadn’t made it into the toolkit of my life. How many had been superseded by better apps or by functions built into the phone or my other devices since their debut. How many were redundant or disappointing. Or, on the other hand, how many were great but did more than I ever needed.


But there are way too many bad, mediocre, or me-too apps. The good ones are too hard to find. And the novelty and joy of suddenly having access to millions of bits of interesting software has worn off for me and for many other people. While Apple now claims 2 million apps in the App Store, as long as two years ago analysts were reporting that most smartphone users didn’t download even a single app in an average month.

Update (2016-07-26): Oluseyi Sonaiya:

Yes, there are application categories that are resistant to this disintermediation, but they are likely far narrower than you may assume, and likely represent a tiny sliver of the average smartphone user’s installed apps.

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