Are you App-Happy?

Posted on July 6, 2011. Filed under: Uncategorized |

I was surprised to discover recently that apps rank pretty low on the priority lists of smartphone users, with only 29% claiming to make use of them. How is it that such a large segment of the population has not yet discovered the magical convenience of apps?

When my husband and I took a month long, West coast, road-trip-of-a-lifetime last year, I downloaded five apps just for the journey:

  • Yelp and TripAdvisor to check out restaurant and hotel reviews
  • Chipotle, because it’s a safe, healthy and tasty option while on the road
  • NPR to listen to recent news and locate local stations that carried its programming
  • And a hotel app that I have since deleted, but proved quite handy when searching for cheap lodging
TripAdvisor App

While these applications are all very practical, games are actually the most popular type of app. I currently have three games on my IPhone, all of which are for my nieces and nephews to play with when they get restless during family functions. But, as much as they they love to play BubblePopper and Piano Pals on Auntie Joyce’s IPhone, Uncle Paul wins out in popularity with his IFart application. This high tech version of the classic whoopee cushion is quite lucrative. At a price of just $0.99 per download, the IFart maker raked in $80,000 during the app’s first two weeks on the market alone.

IFart appWhile the overall percentage of app users is rather low, they make up for their small numbers by downloading lots of apps. According to Pew Internet, on average, these users have 18 apps on their phones at any given time. Paul and I are overachievers with 45 and 32 respectively.

What about you? How many apps do you have on your phone? And do you go for the entertainment value of games or the practicality of information-based apps?


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11 Responses to “Are you App-Happy?”

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I have a ton of apps. Love them. A few dozen games, but several other non-game apps:
Groupon (track your personal finances)
Online banking apps (all the big banks have one)
Facebook (and soon, Google Plus)

I also like to find apps that improve upon the phone’s default options. I have apps for the calendar, music player, home screen, and more. There are a ton of free apps, but I pay for those that I find useful.

It sounds like you’re really making the most of what apps have to offer, Eric! I’ll have to check out the app for my bank – thanks for the tip!

Ok Joyce–this one is up your alley! Spotcycle is an app for the cities that have rent-a-bike programs. I was tickled to do Minneapolis by bike ( along the Mississippi river paths!!) but didn’t know my way around. Part of the program is that it costs less if you turn in your bike every 30 minutes and pick up a different one– forces you to explore more and keeps bikes in circulation especially for urban commutes. But I couldn’t map out the stations very easily. Spot cycle to the rescue!!

Thanks, Olga! I checked out that app and I’m in luck, as Boston is listed as “coming soon.”

I go for a mix of practicality and fun. When I am running out of room on my Android phone, I usually bump the fun.

I forgot to list my favorites:

Bubble Blast 2 – A highly addictive game
Call Confirm – A great butt-dailing preventer
Android Agenda Widget – Makes a nice widget that shows my upcoming schedule on my home screen
Gas Buddy – A great app for finding the cheapest gas prices in the area!

Thanks for the tips, AppMan! I haven’t checked out widgets yet for my IPhone, but I definitely will now.

I use my phone to make calls. I made a choice not to have internet access on my phone. My apps are all on my computer. I feel like I spend so much time on the computer at work that I didn’t want to have the connection all the time. If I need to find something my friends say I am the Queen of Google. I use mapquest and others on my computer. I said that I didn’t need a cell phone and now I can’t live without it – so maybe someday app’s will be in my futre.

I hear you, Ellen. I was adamant about wanting a cell phone that only functioned as a phone…until my husband got an IPhone. I started borrowing it all the time while we were out of the house to check email, get directions, and entertain myself. The convenience is addictive!

Wow!! After all this time i thought I was in the minority with no downlaoded apps! The smartphone I use meets my needs. I looked at some of the apps that are available but decided that I didn’t really need them. So thanks for setting me straight that most people do not bother with apps.

I guess I am too simple to think about using apps or too passive to spend the time, etc. – but I tend to look at that when friends send me links, etc. I wait for someone else to do the work. Looking at Joyce’s apps for the trip, we have those “apps” on the new GPS system we got which also has coupons, etc so without knowing it, I already have them.

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