June 14, 2020

Manly Hanley Podcast, S2-E12: Consolidate Your Smartphone Apps


Randy helps you decide if you really need those apps that are taking up space on your smartphone.

Manly Hanley Podcast · S1 – E12 – Consolidate Your Smartphone Apps


  • Just over a month ago, I mentioned a new how-to offering, which I’m going to touch on.
  • I find it kind of cumbersome to follow this practice – 1 App for 1 Thing.
    • There are thousands of apps that tend to focus on One Thing.
    • I can’t even begin to think how many times a friend or family member recommends an app for something. “Did you try that new house party app?” “Waze is my favorite GPS app”.
      • If you’re already using Google Maps, Waze was purchased by Google years ago and a lot of the technology behind the scenes is already in Maps.
      • House party, unless you have an absolute need to play games over the phone all of the time, Facebook messenger will just continue to dominate, and it’s likely you don’t have to both your friends, asking them to download yet another app – because facebook has over 1.6 Billion Daily Active Users (2.5 Billion Monthly Active Users) – https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/facebook-reports-fourth-quarter-and-full-year-2019-results-300995616.html
      • Apps like Houseparty/Zoom, etc, really tended to peak during the lockdown. I think many of them will naturally drop, as I’ve already deleted my app. If there comes a moment where someone needs me to join a houseparty game, I can just re-download it and join. The odds are, you’ll have better battery life the less apps you have running services on your phone, checking for updates, sending you notifications – or calling back home as some people may call it.
  • This is why I find it satisfying  when an app comes along that can consolidate features of other apps, while not being massive. A very-recent example would be the “Office” app from Microsoft. It rolls the features of Word/Excel/PowerPoint into one app. Example off the app size: Word, Excel, and PowerPoint are approximately 260MB each, while the office app (this example is iOS) is 340MB
  • More free space on your phone, less likely to be inclined to pay Apple for storage overage (because they give you a measly 5GB for iCloud backup.
  • Think about how many apps you actually use daily
    • Android users may have more apps, naturally, since Android is so customizable, there are apps one could use for customization. So I tend to skip those and don’t consider them a waste. Even though Android is a customization beast, I tend to keep things simple, just installing a Custom Launcher (that allows tons of customization within itself). That launcher is Nova Launcher and it’s been the best Android launcher out there for years.
    • iOS is a bit more locked-down as far as customization, so users may be less likely to get lost in customizing. As far as your launcher goes, you really are left with nothing, other than a home screen with folders. Other than moving icons around and renaming folders, you can’t do much more, so this is one of the main reason I find it useful to keep my apps to a minimum. Not to mention that Apple overcharges for higher GB on their phones, and the phones tend to have less RAM than their Android counterparts (this means less apps open at once. More app refreshes.
      • Ask yourself some simple questions:
        “What functionality does the app offer that the mobile website does not offer?”..It will probably be something relate to the camera and scanning things into the app.
        “How often am I going to use the mobile app?”
    • Assess which technology services (ones that use apps) that you need.
      • Examples would be: “I have an HBO Max Subscription – It has an app so that I can stream services to my TV”…I could either pull out the laptop computer every time I want to stream a show, or I could install the app on my phone, which would likely make sense.
      • Companies that insist you install their app to “manage your account/pay bills”, I think are a waste. I only ever log into those type of apps if, for some reason, they jack up my bill or something unexpected – which, I’m usually calling them for those type of issues anyway. Those apps are a waste of space.
      • Phone dialer – built into your phone – allows your phone to, surprise, make calls. You don’t need any “spam-blocking”/”Caller ID” apps, in my opinion, as mobile phone operating systems are getting better at having those features backed in. A great example would be the Google Pixel Line (phone screening), and the iPhone spam block – it works fairly well, and has done that for years. You likely don’t need any calling assistant apps.
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