After an inspiring discussion with Marc last week, I finally cleaned out my collection of iPhone apps, deleting about a third of them and ending up with 23.
The big difference this time was that I decided that I’d ignore the price I paid for the app when deciding whether to delete it. Lessons learned:
- Neither WeatherBug (free) nor MyWeather Mobile ($10) proved any more convenient than Apple’s built-in Weather widget. And both were slower to launch and update.
- I shouldn’t buy a game, no matter how cheap it is and how good it looks, without seeing video reviews. (Low Grav Racer)
- I actually play games much less frequently than I think I do when I’m buying them.
- Just because I enjoyed an app or game once in the past doesn’t mean I’ll ever really want to launch it again. (pairMe, Brain Tuner)
- I have too many apps that I keep around “in case I want to browse stuff when I’m bored”. I can cut some. (Facebook, NYTimes)
- The “graveyard” page of my home screen should be reserved for things I care about when they update for competitive intelligence (Byline, Stanza) or utilities that I rarely use but do occasionally need (iSSH, BubbleLevel). It’s not a good place to fill up with games and apps I’ll never launch again.
- I’m not allowed to install new games until I’ve played all of the ones I already have at least once. Many haven’t reached that point yet. (2079, Rolando, Slingshot, Up There)
- If I’m not motivated to ever launch a game for whatever reason — frustration at a certain level, boredom of it, etc. — I can go without it. (Dizzy Bee, Monkey Labs Puzzle Games, Tris, TrivialTech)
- I don’t actually play long, story-based games on my iPhone. (Toy Bot Diaries)
- I can accept that a free app (Wikipanion) is sometimes better than a paid app (Kiwi) and delete the paid one.
- I should never buy apps solely on John Gruber’s recommendation. (MyWeather Mobile, Kiwi)
- No matter how good an app looks, I shouldn’t buy it on the assumption that it will come in handy “sometime”. Rather, I can buy it only when I start to need it. (Sketches)
And finally, I can aggressively delete because I can always redownload applications I’ve previously bought for free. Unless, of course, I can’t remember what they’re called — in which case, I probably shouldn’t be redownloading it.