Take Control Over Your Smartphone and Stop Hoarding Apps
Enough Apps Already!
If you're one of the millions of smartphone or tablet users around the globe then chances are high that you’ve run into this problem. Many people might not even realize it's a problem and continue living with this cloud overshadowing their lives. I’m talking about apps. Apps, apps, and more apps! Just like anything else in life, too much of something usually isn't a good thing and having a mobile device loaded with apps could be having a negative impact on your life. Learn to set yourself free of the ocean of apps you have installed and become even more productive.
Our smartphones and tablets are supposed to simplify our lives and make our daily activities less stressful and maybe even a little more fun. We’re able to easily keep in touch with family, friends, and work colleagues through texting, email, video chat, and even good old voice calling. You can keep an organized calendar full of upcoming events and appointments. Set reminders for important things happening throughout the day. Keep track of your health activities. There's so many ways our smartphones improve our daily living, but some people take it to far and look for solutions to problems that just aren't there.
There's no shortage of apps on both the Apple App Store as well as the Google Play store. Not only that, even the latest versions of Windows and macOS come with their own app stores. They’re everywhere and there's dozens of apps for pretty much any situation you can think of. Usually someone will get themselves a nice shiny new device and immediately head for the app store to see what they can find. Once they open the store, it's like a tidal wave smacking you right in the face. There's so many possibilities and so many shiny icons just begging to be tapped on and installed. You need to avoid the temptation to install every app you see. I know you can do it. Be strong!
You wouldn’t want to live in a house that was full of useless junk all over the place. That would be terrible and have a negative impact on your quality of life. It's depressing living in filth and never being able to find the actual useful items among the clutter. Think of your mobile device as a second home that needs to be kept tidy, organized, and efficient. Here's some tips on decluttering your device and being a more efficient person in the process.
Nothing Wrong with the Default
Rather than installing a bunch of apps as soon as you get your new device, you should first familiarize yourself with the default apps that are already installed and ready to use. Sure, some people will scoff and turn their nose up at this but the truth is, these apps will work just fine for most users. Play around with everything first and get to know how everything functions. Don't go googling for suggestions or tips because usually people will just recommend installing more advanced apps that you don't really need. I find that the best way to learn something new is to get your own hands a little dirty. Don't be afraid to mess around with settings and everything else because if you really mess something up, which is highly doubtful, you’re always a factory reset away from a clean slate.
Getting to know the default apps inside and out will not only teach you about their inner workings and features, you’ll also learn some basic functionality of the operating system itself. Most apps will share common functions across the operating system such as swipe to delete or copy and paste. So, now you have a good understanding of how your default apps work and you can start using them the way they’re intended. I think you’ll find that they get the job done just fine without introducing any unnecessary features like hooking in to social media to share everything you do for no reason or adding a selfie button.
My family uses iPhones and I think the default apps are great for keeping all of our lives in sync while keeping things easy to understand. I consider myself a tech expert but the rest of my family certainly isn't. That's where I really like the default apps. We can easily have a shared family calendar that any one of us can update at any time and it syncs across all our devices. We also have a shared grocery list in the reminders app that works the same way. This obviously won't work for every family but it works great for us. If you have a mix of iOS and Android devices then you might have to buy a third party app for the same functionality.
If you really play around with your phone or tablet, you'll probably find that is has features built in that do the exact same thing as a specific app. For example, I had both a currency converter and a unit converter app installed. Little did I know, those features are built right into spotlight in iOS. I was able to delete 2 redundant apps from my phone after making that discovery.
Mobile operating systems are always adding new features so you never know what the latest firmware is going to add if you don't read the patch notes. There might be new features added that can take the place of an app you're using. You never know until you really dig deep and learn about all the different features of your mobile OS of choice.
Install a New App Only When Necessary
There might come a time when you outgrow a certain default app and need a feature that seems to be lacking. If that time comes then it's perfectly fine to hit up the app store and search for alternatives. Usually, even a quick research session with Google will reveal what the best apps in certain categories are. At this point, it's ok to go beyond the default if you need more options out of a certain app. If it's something you use daily then it'll be well worth the upgrade.
You don't want to end up with a bloated app full of features that you don't need so make sure you do your research before paying any money for an app. A lot of times developers will try and add too many features when they should be focused on what the core of the product is meant to accomplish. My biggest pet peeve is the addition of so many social and sharing features. Not everything needs to be shared! Is it really necessary that a calculator has access to your Facebook and Twitter feed? Probably not.
Do you really need all those games?
Its no secret that games are very popular on mobile devices. There's even commercials on television that advertise these simple mobile games. I'm not going to bad mouth all the games available on mobile devices because some of them are quite good. Unfortunately, most games are nothing more than free to play garbage designed to emulate how casino slot machines work to keep you pumping money into them. They implement timers and loot boxes and flashy graphics to entice people to pay up. The game play is quite shallow and secondary to draining your wallets.
If you need to install a game or two, try and stick with premium ones that charge you a buck or two and maybe just one free to play game that looks good to you. Don't install every single game you see in the top charts because they're all basically the same free to play junk that wants to sell you premium currency to play the game. It's best not to clutter your device up with these garbage games. Another thing to be aware of when it comes to playing games is that they chew through your smartphones precious battery life in no time at all.
Cull the Herd of Apps
If you've had your smartphone for awhile, then there's a good chance you’ve got it loaded to the brim with apps already. Look at them all and ask yourself how many of those you even use. I'm sure the answer will be not many. When I went through my phone, I had apps that I never even opened once and a lot of them that I only used once. Delete these apps without hesitation. They're obviously not necessary in your daily life and are only cluttering things up and getting in the way. If you ever need one of those little used apps again, it's easier to just download it again, get what you need, and then delete it.
You should have a pretty good idea of what your most used apps are. If not, try and keep track of how often you open certain apps. If it's less than once a week then I would probably delete it as it must not be that important. That fart app you downloaded years ago might have been funny once but it's time to move on and delete it. No one is going to be impressed by your magic fart making app any more.
Keeping your device uncluttered of apps will make it so much easier and faster getting to the important apps that make a difference in your life. Not only that, device storage isn’t abundant or cheap, so freeing up a bunch of extra space leaves more room for pictures, videos, music, audiobooks, and more. What are you waiting for? Set yourself free of all your unused apps and stock being such a digital pack rat.
How Much of a Digital Hoarder are You?
How many apps are installed on your smartphone?
© 2017 Mike Howg