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We're Just Not That Into You, iPhone Apps

timothy posted more than 5 years ago | from the 99-percent-of-everything dept.

Handhelds 205

maximus1 writes "A new report compiled by iPhone analytics firm Pinch Media finds the majority of people stop using apps the day after they download them, and only 1 percent develop a long-term relationship with any given app. Instead, most tend to lose interest after a few minutes, according to this article. Paid apps fare slightly better. 30% of the people downloading a paid app return the next day compared to 20% who download a free app. No surprises that the survey found that apps that focused on games and entertainment seem to outlast other categories when it comes to long-term love."

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Freebies (5, Funny)

jetsci (1470207) | more than 5 years ago | (#26944333)

So...you're saying we should charge for EVERYTHING to maintain interest?

/me charges girlfriend $20 for sex...

Re:Freebies (3, Funny)

jetsci (1470207) | more than 5 years ago | (#26944341)

Note: She's real, I swear. Please don't revoke my geek cred/card!

Re:Freebies (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26944631)

She's real

Hand it over.

Re:Freebies (5, Funny)

AmberBlackCat (829689) | more than 5 years ago | (#26945255)

If you actually care what Slashdotters think about your personal life then I think your geek credibility is not at risk...

Re:Freebies (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26945401)

Wiser words were never spoken.

Re:Freebies (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26945541)

Pics or we don't believe you.

P.S.: pics of her in swimsuit and we'll believe you more.

Re:Freebies (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26944355)

So...you're saying we should charge for EVERYTHING to maintain interest? /me charges girlfriend $20 for sex...

Just show her a big black niggerdick and she'll be all over it. Yo, where da white women at?!

Re:Freebies (0, Troll)

jetsci (1470207) | more than 5 years ago | (#26944361)

She's Chinese, in her mind my skinny little-white man wang is as big as it gets...

Re:Freebies (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26944399)

She's Chinese, in her mind my skinny little-white man wang is as big as it gets...

That can be changed. Oh yes, that can be changed.

Re:Freebies (4, Funny)

auLucifer (1371577) | more than 5 years ago | (#26944491)

I know! I'm always receiving emails saying so

Re:Freebies (1)

Lars T. (470328) | more than 5 years ago | (#26945031)

She's Chinese, in her mind my skinny little-white man wang is as big as it gets...

That can be changed. Oh yes, that can be changed.

Okay, I heard of sex changes, but race changes?

Re:Freebies (1)

afedaken (263115) | more than 5 years ago | (#26945077)

Never heard of blackface?

But seriously, wasn't there a Fox show about just this sort of "Racial Trading Places" kinda thing recently?

Re:Freebies (1)

Tubal-Cain (1289912) | more than 5 years ago | (#26945657)

If Michael Jackson can do it, so can you!

Re:Freebies (1)

tikal2k (1233052) | more than 5 years ago | (#26945519)

Don't you think she's curious about what the President's schlong looks like?

Re:Freebies (5, Funny)

alfredw (318652) | more than 5 years ago | (#26944829)

So...you're saying we should charge for EVERYTHING to maintain interest?

Absolutely!

BTW, you owe me $1.25 for reading this post.

Re:Freebies (1)

governorx (524152) | more than 5 years ago | (#26944867)

This is an example of novelty vs practicality. Just because you can do something doesn't mean you should, good ideas don't always lead to good results, etc. The poor saps who pay have to at least justify their original expense..

I would actually prefer that telecom companies focused on delivering phones that work and that last. I want phones that ring and give me the opportunity to answer. I want phones that don't break in my pocket. I want display surfaces that can be cleaned easily and with simple water. etc. etc. etc.

BTW Gimme my bees back.

Re:Freebies (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26945313)

/me charges girlfriend $20 for sex...

That's a stock I'll be shorting.

Re:Freebies (1)

mkiwi (585287) | more than 5 years ago | (#26945405)

You're really lucky. My app left me after I told her I wasn't ready for "long-term commitment."

It's shareware all over again. (5, Interesting)

onion2k (203094) | more than 5 years ago | (#26944367)

I'm an avid buyer of iPhone apps and games. I get dozens every week. And, yes, just as the article asserts I rarely return to them after a day or two. There are exceptions, such as Tweetie (I'm utterly addicted to Twitter, see sig (and follow me!)), and a few great games (Trism, Enigmo, GeoDefence), but the majority I see as throwaway stuff.

Which is fine.

These apps are priced to be treated like that. It's a return to the PD and shareware library ethos of old (old? I mean late 80s/early 90s). I remember paying a buck or two for a disk with a raft of simple, mostly awful Commadore Amiga games. Fred Fish anyone?

It's pretty much the same thing. There were gems on those disks occasionally. There are gems in the App Library. Long may it continue.

Re:It's shareware all over again. (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26944379)

I just used twitter for the first time this morning. What the fuck is the point of that website? Even the 'official' twitter feeds were stupid & had no content....

Re:It's shareware all over again. (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26944561)

It's stupidity continued - Twitter is truly the bottom of the tubes. I think someone needs to hand in their geek ID.

Re:It's shareware all over again. (2, Informative)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 5 years ago | (#26944441)

What do you expect? Although only the owner of an iPhone for a brief period of time due to AT&T's inability to deal with something as complex as the dreaded "family plan", I've looked at the app store on occasion and have been completely and thoroughly underwhelmed. A couple of useful apps. A bunch of total crap.

I imagine that most of the things are impulse downloads or purchases, done when there isn't anything better to do and then ignored until it becomes time to clean the things out.

When I switched to a Blackberry, I was originally a bit discomforted that there are fairly few applications for the platform. But I think they're running neck and neck in terms of useful applications.

Re:It's shareware all over again. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26944555)

Yeah, like that 'I am rich' app... useless, waste of time and money, preys on people with too much of both.
The novelty wears off, application darwinism keeps the good ones around for version 2.

this is about ads earning in free vs. paid apps (1)

djupedal (584558) | more than 5 years ago | (#26944775)

> "It's shareware all over again"

Did you use/sell/buy shareware with embedded ads?

Re:It's shareware all over again. (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 5 years ago | (#26944787)

>>>It's a return to the PD and shareware library ethos of old (old? I mean late 80s/early 90s). I remember paying a buck or two for a disk with a raft of simple, mostly awful Commadore Amiga games. Fred Fish anyone?
>>>

I agree. Except for the "paying" part. Everything on my C=64 and Amiga came from downloads, and I never bought anything legally except for Sid Meier's Pirates. The Fred Fish discs were available for free from my local BBS, and yes they were mostly filled with junk.

I only recall downloading two out of hundreds "aps" that were truly useful (a File Manager and JRterminal), and it appears the iPhone has the same lousy ratio. As a student I didn't have enough money to buy anything; thank god the MAFIAA didn't yet exist.

Re:It's shareware all over again. (5, Funny)

Kethinov (636034) | more than 5 years ago | (#26945109)

I never bought anything legally except for Sid Meier's Pirates.

Ah the irony. ;)

Re:It's shareware all over again. (5, Funny)

PopCultureDiva (844267) | more than 5 years ago | (#26945569)

I never bought anything legally except for Sid Meier's Pirates.

Ah the irony. ;)

Don't you mean, "Arrrrr, the irony?"

Re:It's shareware all over again. (1)

cowscows (103644) | more than 5 years ago | (#26945019)

Meh, it never even really went away on the desktop either. I'm killing time browsing version tracker or whatever, see something that looks like it could potentially be useful/interesting/entertaining, and I download it. Most of the time it's not really what I had hoped, and it goes to the trash. Occasionally it seems useful, and I tuck it away in my applications folder. And sometimes I'll even end up using it again.

Like you said, it's all about price. For free or maybe even a buck, you might as well try it to see if you like it. It's not like spending $50 on a retail game, in which case you should hopefully do some research (demos!) before you put down the money.

You're addicted to Twitter??? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26945101)

And you're not stuck under a pile of rubble trying to get help? I just lost all respect for you. Who the fuck wants to receive a text message every 5 minutes except some Attention-Deficit-Disorder loser? Yet another way the masses are entertaining themselves into total ignorance, helplessness, and uselessness. For fuck's sake, if ever anything turned the cell phone from a useful tool to a ball and chain, it was Twitter. Please send out the following tweet, twattle, twittle, or whatever the fuck you call it: "I'm sorry for being such a douche. rm -f onion2k."

Re:It's shareware all over again. (1)

POTSandPANS (781918) | more than 5 years ago | (#26945575)

Considering the popularity of all those "Fart" applications, I'm quite happy that people get tired of their iPhone apps quickly.

Commonly held... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26944415)

... mis-belief that Apple customers actually pay for utility. You see this a lot in cults, high-ranking Amway people don't really use Amway products...etc.

I like the goatse app (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26944423)

The goatse [goatse.fr] app.

You can never have too much goatse.

Sweet! (5, Funny)

Samschnooks (1415697) | more than 5 years ago | (#26944443)

Impulse buying! Kinda like that $999 "I'm rich" application or whatever it was. It's typical of ...

Alrighty.

I'm stopping myself now because, to be honest, I really, really want to post something that's, well, "Flamebait" or "Troll" to Apple users. It's an issue of mine. I was an abused child.

It might be that I'm jealous of folks with the discretionary income to buy those stylish electronic gizmos that really aren't necessary for everyday life or for life in general. Or for the fact that I have Back Turtle Neck envy. I wish I could look as good as Jobs in one of those.I wish I could look that good balding! unlike Jobs who looks cool balding, I look like a dog with bad mange.

Oh, never mind!

Re:Sweet! (1)

spartacus_prime (861925) | more than 5 years ago | (#26945281)

I'm wondering exactly how one creates a Back Turtleneck.

Re:Sweet! (1)

Sapphon (214287) | more than 5 years ago | (#26945343)

Or for the fact that I have Back Turtle Neck envy.

I, too, wish the back of my neck were protected by a hard protective shell. It might provide protection from the objects people fling at me when I point out their orthographical errors.

As it is, I rely on *ducks*

Re:Sweet! (1)

slyn (1111419) | more than 5 years ago | (#26945577)

It might be that I'm jealous of folks with the discretionary income to buy those stylish electronic gizmos that really aren't necessary for everyday life or for life in general.

If all I did was spend money on things that were necessary for everyday life I would certainly have more money that I do now, but I wouldn't be as happy.

That's not to say that money always does buy happiness, but its worth the cash to go out on a nice dinner with my friends every once in a while, or drop some dough on whatever the new game of the month is, or spend some scrilla on some random class at the nearby community college to learn something new, or shell out some clams on your car to get a better one or improve the one you have, etc...

Why is this strange (5, Insightful)

gelfling (6534) | more than 5 years ago | (#26944447)

The Apps store has a lot of junk. Quite a few apps are buggy. Some are interesting. The business apps are typically tied to third party services. Some are only interesting for 10 minutes. And some have a great deal of potential that's unrealized.

For instance I'd love a restaurant locator app that works outside of San Francisco, Chicago and New York.

Re:Why is this strange (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26944501)

For instance I'd love a restaurant locator app that works outside of San Francisco, Chicago and New York.

If you live in the US and Yelp doesn't cover your city...move somewhere else. I mean, even the shithole of sub/urban that is Buffalo is pretty well-covered.

Re:Why is this strange (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26944685)

For instance I'd love a restaurant locator app that works outside of San Francisco, Chicago and New York.

That requires data, and data is hard to come by -- especially for non-major cities.

Re:Why is this strange (1)

Patch86 (1465427) | more than 5 years ago | (#26944881)

There are a lot of services that already have that data. Yell.com for the UK, for example, have as much restaurant data as you could want.

If they could see their way clear to collaborating on an app, it'd be lovely.

Re:Why is this strange (1)

Lars T. (470328) | more than 5 years ago | (#26945105)

In the case of Yelp, shouldn't one be able to buy data? Cough [slashdot.org]

Re:Why is this strange (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26944923)

I'd love a restaurant locator app that works outside of San Francisco, Chicago and New York.

Try the built-in maps application. It works fine for me when I enter 'restaurant' or the Dutch equivalent of 'greek', 'italian' or 'chinese'.

Re:Why is this strange (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26944975)

For instance I'd love a restaurant locator app that works outside of San Francisco, Chicago and New York.

www.google.com

Re:Why is this strange (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26945173)

For instance I'd love a restaurant locator app that works outside of San Francisco, Chicago and New York.

If you don't live in San Francisco, Chicago, or New York, you can't possibly be chic enough to own an iPhone, anyway. You should probably just go back to hunting and voting for John McCain or whatever it is you people do in the fly-over states.

Re:Why is this strange (1)

spanielrage (250784) | more than 5 years ago | (#26945665)

For instance I'd love a restaurant locator app that works outside of San Francisco, Chicago and New York.

Urban Spoon has restaurants for most cities.

They even advertised it on a TV commercial a little while ago...

Many apps are just web services anyway. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26944455)

A lot of apps provide the same info you can get from a website or web app. And as long as that site works on Safari on the iPhone, there's not much reason to install an app just for that task.

It's not that the apps aren't useful, but rather after you download the app you find that it's just as easy to accomplish the task like you've always done it before you downloaded the app.

Re:Many apps are just web services anyway. (1)

iamhigh (1252742) | more than 5 years ago | (#26944525)

A lot of apps provide the same info you can get from a website or web app. And as long as that site works on Safari on the iPhone, there's not much reason to install an app just for that task.

I'll try to give the AC a little karma boost. I agree totally. Oooooohhhh, I can figure out how to split the bill!!! Or just open a calc and multiply by 1.2 (for tip) and divide by 5. Yeah I really needed an app JUST for that.

Re:Many apps are just web services anyway. (1)

Silicon Jedi (878120) | more than 5 years ago | (#26944937)

I'm just saying that when we split the bill evenly, the man eating steak is picking the pocket of the man eating salad.

Re:Many apps are just web services anyway. (1)

Lars T. (470328) | more than 5 years ago | (#26945119)

I'm just saying that when we split the bill evenly, the man eating steak is picking the pocket of the man eating salad.

There is no such man.

Re:Many apps are just web services anyway. (1)

socsoc (1116769) | more than 5 years ago | (#26945503)

That's a risk that you take when you split evenly. Salad man knew what he was doing.

Re:Many apps are just web services anyway. (1)

Helios1182 (629010) | more than 5 years ago | (#26945447)

Some apps are just repackaging of websites (NY Times, Yelp, Google Maps, etc.), but that isn't all bad. They can take advantage of the GPS as an app, and the interface is tailored to the device. But I agree that a lot of apps are mostly gimmicks.

Now Now... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26944475)

I have apps that get little frequent use, but are indispensable nonetheless in certain circumstances.

Makes for multiple panes, but I can solve a lot of problems from just about anywhere because my toolkit is with me.

An alternative explanation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26944499)

The App Store offerings are growing rapidly (not quite exponential, but pretty close by previously set standards). I see this use-and-discard method as a pretty healthy sign for the platform because it lets people experiment with different things. If people kept all their apps and used them every day since the day the App Store opened they'd run out of space pretty quickly. The turnover rate is pretty high, but I've discovered few gems that set a new expectation when I pick up a new mobile platform.

Besides, mobile app half-life is much shorter than those of desktop ones. I've played some iPhone games much longer than full PC variants.

Google maps has got to be an exception. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26944517)

I use that almost daily, have since I got it on my (J2ME) phone.

My iPhone apps (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26944581)

In my experience, the free app store is inundated with shovelware. But there are a few free apps I use on a regular basis, including: * TwitterFon * Last.fm / Pandora * Facebook * Fring (for instant messaging) * Urbanspoon (or Yelp) * Sol Free (solitaire) * Morocco (othello) So for the most part, I keep apps that supplement or extend the online services that I already use. These apps offer regularly updated content and a (relatively) rich user experience. Also, a couple classic games with good replay value make my list. In general, I find that the iPhone makes for an awkward gaming platform. Due to the lack of physical controls, the control scheme has to be overlaid onto the screen, thereby obscuring the player's view. The majority of unsuccessful iPhone games fall into three camps: 1) Gameplay ruined by aforementioned control issues 2) Not enough content (i.e. Space Deadbeef, high production value but played like a proof of concept) 3) Low quality games created by novice developers Then there are a few other apps I keep because work they work so well, but I don't often use. These include Remote, Shazam, Air Sharing, and a few others.

Re:My iPhone apps (Should havce clicked preview!) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26944637)

In my experience, the free app store is inundated with shovelware. But there are a few free apps I use on a regular basis, including:

* TwitterFon
* Last.fm / Pandora
* Facebook
* Fring (for instant messaging)
* Urbanspoon (or Yelp)
* Sol Free (solitaire)
* Morocco (othello)

So for the most part, I keep apps that supplement or extend the online services that I already use. These apps offer regularly updated content and a (relatively) rich user experience. Also, a couple classic games with good replay value make my list. In general, I find that the iPhone makes for an awkward gaming platform. Due to the lack of physical controls, the control scheme has to be overlaid onto the screen, thereby obscuring the player's view. The majority of unsuccessful iPhone suffer from one or more of the three following issues:

1) Gameplay ruined by aforementioned control issues
2) Low production quality
3) Not enough content (i.e. Space Deadbeef, high production value but played like a proof of concept)

Then there are a few other apps I don't use often, but I keep them because work they work so well. These include Remote, Shazam, Air Sharing, and a few others.

Stereotypes (2, Funny)

matt_martin (159394) | more than 5 years ago | (#26944619)

Must ... resist ... snide ... Apple ... userbase ... comment ... argh ... ugh...

Mostly gimmics (1)

LoRdTAW (99712) | more than 5 years ago | (#26944667)

Of all the apps they watched how many were mainly a gimmick? A friend of mine downloaded an app that turns the screen into a small keyboard, how useful is that? He has a bunch of other apps he played with once and forgot they are even on his iphone. He mainly uses it for Google maps, the internet browser and a face book app. Other then that they are all mostly useless gimmicks.

Re:Mostly gimmics (1)

The Spoonman (634311) | more than 5 years ago | (#26945233)

Further...how many have daily useful purposes? I have a bunch of apps I've downloaded that I use regularly, but not every day...Shazam (for tagging music, might use it once every week or so), Around Here (for finding a place to eat, only really use it when I'm out of town). Worldview (for viewing webcams, I only use it when the snow's bad and I want to see what my route home is like). As you point out, most free apps are either trials or gimmicks that won't see long term usage.

Well, what did you expect? (1)

rob1980 (941751) | more than 5 years ago | (#26944671)

There are a couple of extremely useful apps, but think about it. The majority of those free or $1-$2 apps have extremely limited scope and utility, and dare I say purpose as well. Seriously, an app that animates a zippo? Lightsaber sound effects triggered by the motion sensors in the iPhone? Come on, like those are supposed to amuse anybody for longer than 5 or 6 minutes.

I don't see the difference... (1)

Neko-kun (750955) | more than 5 years ago | (#26944701)

between this and any other portable applications like say, games.

My DSlite has been sitting on a pile of PS2 games for the past five months collecting dust along with all the games I bought for it. It's a giant stack of good games I've played/been meaning to play/shoved in my face to play, yet there they are. Not to mention that I had carried my DS for 3 months with me before I realized I wasn't playing it.

Oh, but during the first 4 months of me owning that system you bet I played the crap out of it.

Re:I don't see the difference... (1)

Creepy Crawler (680178) | more than 5 years ago | (#26944811)

I use DSLinux for maintenance of my servers.. You know, logs and stuff. It's nice to have a handheld easy to use Linux available. Too bad it has no MMU. I also use the TI-83+ emulator called WabbitDS, along with a algebra system called EigenMathDS.

I also have a M3 DS Real with a 4gb card, so I can also play any rom listed on romulation.net

Yeah.. 200$ = linux + calculator + web browser + IM + VOIP + all ds games.

Re:I don't see the difference... (1)

afedaken (263115) | more than 5 years ago | (#26944989)

Several fundamental differences:

- DS apps cost a heck of a lot more than your typical iPhone app. Perceived value alone will account for more usage of most DS games.
- DS apps can be traded in for credit, or even returned to some retailers if sub-par. AFAIK you can't do that with the appstore.
- Barring signal range, the iPhone is constantly connected. The DS needs wifi to get online. (Yes, iTouch, blah blah...) Since it's so easy to get AppStore products, the perceived investment is lower.

All that aside, this might also just indicate your taste in gaming. I own all of the current and previous generation of consoles, and more than a smattering of handheld devices, including a DSLite, and an iPod Touch. And I can say in all truthfulness that when it comes to hours spent gaming per console, I've spent more time gaming on my DSLite than I have on all the other systems.

I'd be able to say all the other systems COMBINED, but the number is skewed... ...because I'm on my second DSLite having worn out the controls on the first one. (I've got the parts and it's scheduled for a refurb as soon as I get around to grabbing my soldering iron.) IMHO, that says more about me and my gaming habits than it does about the viability of any of the particular platforms. I like to squeeze gaming into times between other tasks. I'll sneak a few minutes in while I'm on the can, while waiting for meetings to start, while in line, or when traffic grinds to a halt on the commute. I'm not however a casual gamer; I like a little more meat to my games.

The DS offers just the right combo of portable convenience and depth to its gaming that it wins my attention. Most of the iPhone games I've tried have been just a little to lite for my tastes.

Now all that said, if Nintendo has proven anything with it's Wii, it's that there's quite an audience of people who like to play lighter, more casual fare. Apple is doing a great job of capturing large swaths of that market. IMHO, these are also folks who are just as likely to move right on to the next neat game. (That's merely my observation, not an indictment or accusation.) And if so, so what?

Apple has been paid. The developer has been paid. The user received the application. By my standards, this is the best possible conclusion!

All the reports I've been reading on this topic seem to judge this to be a bad thing; I'm not sure it's bad at all, merely a reflection of the tastes of the iPhone community. The parent poster likes his games on PS2, with all the advantages (complexity, control, graphics) that it confers. I prefer a little more meat than the iPhone, but place portability at a premium. iPhone users obviously like things fresh and new.

Isn't it nice that this market is big enough to fill all our needs?

iphone = toy (0)

p51d007 (656414) | more than 5 years ago | (#26944751)

the iphone is a toy, not a business tool. Yes, it is a fantastic device for MP3's & video, but I prefer a WM device, where I can run outlook, word, excel, which I do daily. It's a personal taste thing...I use my phone for business, most iPhone users are caught up in they hype...the follow the Jones' attitude. "I got an iphone...why? Because everyone else has one". Reminds me of the Razr when it first came out.

Re:iphone = toy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26944845)

"I got an iphone...why? Because everyone else has one".

Yet you have no problem assuming M$ technology equals "business" just because everyone else does.

Re:iphone = toy (2, Interesting)

zmollusc (763634) | more than 5 years ago | (#26944943)

Jeez, I am glad i don't have to run fricking outlook, word or excel. I would rather go back to telegrams, tip-ex and a slide rule since these would actually be sufficient to cope with 99.99% of the things that outlook/word/excel are used for in business.

Re:iphone = toy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26945193)

If it's a personal taste thing, then why are you trying to bash on iPhone users and claiming it's just a toy?

A week ago, I went phone shopping with a friend and was amazed at how all the phones in there - even the ones costing hundreds of dollars with a two year contract - are just cheap pieces of plastic. I could see buying one of the models with a touch keyboard instead of the iPhone, but instead my friend bought a Dare because a magazine recommended it. When we were in the car, he had me try the Dare because he was having trouble getting it to respond to his touches. I got it working, and the UI was a pretty rough mix of the UIs I see on most phones - looking like they're made by the same people who run fiber and write in COBOL - and poor rip offs of the iPhone UI. It was really poor, and glaringly obvious in its low quality.

As for the iPhone, it has plenty of warts but I can assure you it's not simply a toy. It's like with many other Apple UIs - it has flaws and missing features (MMS is perhaps the most glaring, even astounding), but it's put together better and more coherently than any competitor I've seen.

As someone developing an intensive media app for the iPhone, I'm pretty well amazed with its capabilities. I thought throwing a few DSP units on it would start to bog it down, but I couldn't see a difference in CPU usage. It didn't blink until I was testing window-based DSP algorithms without caching statistics - i.e., I was recalculating the entire window with every frame. I honestly think a lot of developers for the iPhone have either been made overly cautious about system resources or have mistakenly taken the iPhone simulator's limits at face value. My main problem in developing for the iPhone is that because it's so much more capable than I expected, I've been caught up in scope creep and putting off the release date.

Re:iphone = toy (2, Informative)

fredmosby (545378) | more than 5 years ago | (#26945309)

The iPhone can connect to an exchange server, and read excel and word files.

Re:iphone = toy (2, Funny)

Zhe Mappel (607548) | more than 5 years ago | (#26945389)

the iphone is a toy, not a business tool.

Toy?!

I suppose you think designer clothes, plucked eyebrows and exposed midriffs aren't business tools, too.

Re:iphone = toy (5, Insightful)

JaredOfEuropa (526365) | more than 5 years ago | (#26945495)

I use my phone for business, most iPhone users are caught up in they hype...the follow the Jones' attitude.

Rubbish. I use my iPhone for business, where before I used to have a WM device (besides an old iPod, the iPhone is my first Apple device). When I first got the iPhone I hated the little incompatibilities with Outlook and the reliance on iTunes for synching. Actually, I still hate that... but for the rest, I found the iPhone to be vastly superior to WM phones when it comes ease of use. The GUI is fast and responsive, the on-screen keyboard is very usable even with fat fingers (and I hate the tiny physical keyboards that many phones have), and I can hold the phone in a sinlge hand and operate it with the thumb, something I somewhat surprisingly find very convenient.

It's a matter of preference, I suppose. The iPhone falls well short of full compatibility with Outlook, which is the de facto industry standard in business whether we like it or not. A big mistake on Apple's part if they are truly after the business market (as they claim to be). There's a reliance on iTunes and it only accepts Apple-approved apps, which some may object to. But the ease of use of the phone more than makes up for all that. I'll not switch back anytime soon to a WM phone.

Damn the karma (1, Troll)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 5 years ago | (#26944767)

So it means, Apple users have the attention span of a 3 year old?

Re:Damn the karma (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26944871)

How dare you sir... oh look a butterfly!!!

iPhone (now with spyware) (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26944769)

read their report and they seem more than happy to admit their apps phone home with these stats
and as they are a "analytics" company not a software company it makes you wonder wether their apps are really spyware with a game tacked on, unless Apple release their stats publicly the only way they can get numbers is by spying on anyone who downloads their crap

analytics is another name for spyware or stalkerware, the methods may be different to regular spyware but the results are the same.

looks like Windows isnt the only vector for this business

Does it matter? (4, Insightful)

ArchieBunker (132337) | more than 5 years ago | (#26944789)

You got your app and the author got paid. What is the problem here again?

Re:Does it matter? (1)

afedaken (263115) | more than 5 years ago | (#26945007)

Somebody please mod the parent up? :-)

Most I use are try 'em,delete and try another (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26944805)

Most apps are mere curiosities to say the least...some I have and I use but most I try and delete after using it a bit. I mean that's nothing new....

I mean really how many FLASHLIGHT apps do your truly need?

Not surprising. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26944887)

The reports findings make perfect sense. And I'd be willing to bet that on top of this, more people than you might expect don't regularly use their IPhones as MP3 players either.

My best guess is that most IPhone users get the phone -all excited, fill it with music and start checking out the features and then gradually start using the full capability of the phone less and less as time goes on, until basically they have a glorified cell phone which they occasionally use for maps and the Internet when nothing else is readily available.

How many IPhone owners actually even carry around a set of headphones? And the ones that do, well do those headphones just find their way stowed in the bottom of a purse or the pocket of a backpack rarely to be used?

I ended up rolling my phone back... (1)

Upaut (670171) | more than 5 years ago | (#26944935)

To a pre-2.0 state.

All the applications developed by the underground iphone community, well 99% of them, were broken and abandoned when 2.0 came out.

Why would I want these older applications when there is now an apple store to provide most of the functionality of these applications? I loved having a chat client that would run in the background. I loved having my iradio, my wedict, my ebook reader (and a ton of ebook sources for easy install on the go.) my video recorder, my ssh client, my voice recorder with easy import, my NES emulator and ROMS (legal... I own each one of those, I swear...) and other games. I miss installing a free ringtone of a song I already own. And I miss said ringtone being full length

When people start porting their apps to 2.0 for installer or cygia, then I will move forward again.

The iphone can be a very open platform, and a good one at that. It just needs people to move from the official SDK and create ones own; to forgo the rules imposed. To make whatever one wants...

Continuous Improvement (1)

XxtraLarGe (551297) | more than 5 years ago | (#26945035)

I'm not sure why this is news to anybody. I've downloaded a lot of apps, and I will often times trash them after the first few uses. They were free, and as an app developer in training (still working on my first app), I was curious to see how they worked. Sure there's a lot of junk on there, but one thing often overlooked is that many people who write apps will be constantly updating the features of their apps. I bought Solebon for $.99 when they advertised a sale on their free version called Sol Free. That has gone through a few updates since then, and there are some really nice features that the app maker has added since then. I've played hundreds of games of Free Cell on it, and it's been a great purchase. Some apps that we've junked have probably gone under similar updates. While the quality might not be there today, it will be for many of these apps in the future.

Maybe a phone should just be a phone (2, Insightful)

Alcoholist (160427) | more than 5 years ago | (#26945107)

Or could it be that people just want a phone and not some kind of do-it-all gadget?

Call me old fashioned, but I've never understood this obsession people have with making their cellphone do tricks and whatnot. It's a phone. Its purpose is to make phone calls. If you want more capability, get a laptop.

Re:Maybe a phone should just be a phone (1)

tehshen (794722) | more than 5 years ago | (#26945137)

My laptop doesn't fit in my pocket. My phone does.

Re:Maybe a phone should just be a phone (3, Insightful)

JaredOfEuropa (526365) | more than 5 years ago | (#26945421)

It's a phone. Its purpose is to make phone calls. If you want more capability, get a laptop.

A mobile phone is a device that most people will have on them pretty much all the time. And if you are carrying it around anyway, why not use it:
- to make pictures (you don't carry a camera around all the time, do you? neither do I, but I use my phone all the time to make snaps of notes on whiteboards and such).
- to manage your agenda and to-do list (instead of having to carry around a separate organiser or diary).
- to look up stuff on the internet (The apps with the Dutch train schedule and road conditions are ones that I use pretty much every day, on the go).
- to find directions? (we're men; god forbid that we should have to *ask* someone).

Come to think of it, I don't actually make that many calls on my iPhone. But even that functionality is there when I need it, and for all that I have to carry around just one tiny, lightweight device. I for one am glad that the functionality of phones has been expanded, the latest meaningful change (to me) being always-on internet that is actually usable.

I wonder (1)

Lars T. (470328) | more than 5 years ago | (#26945167)

Would all those "Apple user, ha-ha" posters look stupid if we also had the data for other platforms? Because we all know that stuff downloaded from Sourceforge will be used at least a decade, right? Do Jamba (sorry, "Jamster") downloads get a longer usage because they are so expensive?

I wonder (1)

Vexorian (959249) | more than 5 years ago | (#26945259)

Did this story hit a nerve or something? Why are you on the defensive?

Re:I wonder (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26945393)

Would all those "Apple user, ha-ha" posters look stupid if we also had the data for other platforms?

No.

I knew it!!! (-1, Flamebait)

FudRucker (866063) | more than 5 years ago | (#26945229)

the iphone is just an expensive "ooh! shiny thing" fanboy toy for the apple fanboys, if you want to surf the internet you'll want at least a 15 inch screen laptop so as a web surfing tool those internet capable cellphones are just bullshit bling to jack the price up, GPS would be a more plausible feature for a mobile user who may need directions to a destination, other than GPS the only thing i would want a device that small for would be phone calls,,,

Re:I knew it!!! (1)

rubah (1197475) | more than 5 years ago | (#26945297)

so wait, you're saying netbooks don't have screens large enough to use the net with?

Re:I knew it!!! (1)

afedaken (263115) | more than 5 years ago | (#26945429)

IMO The current crop at 1024x600 is useable, if not ideal. Like the OP implied, if I have to do anything resembling heavy lifting, I'll tether my phone to my Aspire One, and do the job from a "real" machine. Much like how my phone is always at my hip when I leave the house, the A1 is small enough that I usually just grab it on the way out of the house and toss it in the back seat of the car, just-in-case. (And in lieu of my much larger, but much more capable ASUS notebook.)

But 90% of my mobile web use is fine from the phone itself. The A1 still isn't really usable standing upright, or any place where I can't locate a surface on which to place it.

Re:I knew it!!! (1)

afedaken (263115) | more than 5 years ago | (#26945369)

Ya know, a 15 inch screen sure is nice when I've got a place to sit. And yeah, it does provide a nicer browsing experience than my little WinMob phone.

But firing up my notebook is not at all as convenient or quick for doing a quick price check, whipping off a one or two line e-mail, checking a quick headline, checking movie showtimes, or doing a restaurant search. Even given Opera for WinMob's slower render times (to speak nothing of Pocket IE which is slower, or Safari which appears to be significantly faster) I can still get most MOBILE tasks done in less time than it takes your typical notebook PC to finish boot device detection.

Apple users might get there quicker from sleep with a macbook, and I know how much y'all love your macs, but even the staunchest of fanboys isn't gonna lug around a 2lb air where an 8oz iPhone would do the job. More to the point, the macbook isn't a constantly connected device either; it'll need a data card or wifi to get there.

Different needs, different users. iPhone users obviously value portability over browser experience. (Being a longtime WinMob user, I don't necessarily agree with the device choice, but I agree with the sentiment...)

But hey, thanks for assuming that our mobile data needs and wants are nothing more than "ooh shiny thing."

Re:I knew it!!! (4, Interesting)

RickRussellTX (755670) | more than 5 years ago | (#26945565)

The browser on the iPhone is a revelation. It's the first small-format browser that has generated the same sense of "flow" [xkcd.com] that I get from a full-size browser. I sit down to use it after lunch then look up surprised when 40 minutes have gone by and I'm late for my next meeting.

Ahh, it takes me back. To 1999. (2, Interesting)

zullnero (833754) | more than 5 years ago | (#26945331)

I remember so well the proto-economy that was the PDA application marketplace. Virtually the same were present back then as well, but now it's all news all over again. Now, with a big online app store, it's just a more widespread thing.

Hopefully people won't think the only way to solve that problem will be web based apps (keyword there is "based", not locally hosted web apps masquerading as native apps). They work great on a desktop, but they will always suck on mobile phones. Just how it is with a small form factor.

Obviously things changed completely in 2000. (2, Interesting)

argent (18001) | more than 5 years ago | (#26945443)

I have a good dozen apps on my Palm that I use on a regular basis. But then I didn't get it until January 2000, so I never had to put up with the sucky apps you hated back in 1999.

Re:Obviously things changed completely in 2000. (1)

afedaken (263115) | more than 5 years ago | (#26945469)

I'm curious, are you still on the same device?

Re:Obviously things changed completely in 2000. (1)

argent (18001) | more than 5 years ago | (#26945667)

I replaced it with a reconditioned Clie SJ22 a few years ago, and I'm still using that.

Re:Ahh, it takes me back. To 1999. (3, Interesting)

afedaken (263115) | more than 5 years ago | (#26945455)

I think that the revolutionary change that Apple brings to this situation is the accessibility. For Palm, and WinMob, a PC was usually necessary to install new applications. (Not sure about BlackBerry, Symbian, or the other common Phone OS environments.)

For an iPhone user it's 2 taps and maybe a password, and boom, there's your app. Microsoft has obviously seen what this means for users; they have an app store coming. Google made it a launch feature for Android too, and IIRC even Nokia will be getting into the act for Symbian.

iFwwrrrrp! (1)

Zhe Mappel (607548) | more than 5 years ago | (#26945333)

If you've developed a "long term relationship" with your iFarting app, it probably isn't because you paid for it.

Depends on the aps (1)

ducomputergeek (595742) | more than 5 years ago | (#26945467)

Depends. I've not downloaded a lot of apps, but only a few remain. A lot get deleted because I down load 2 - 3 freebies for a task and then keep the one I like best, usually purchasing the "pro" version if available. That's what I did for an RPN calculator. (I really wish someone would develop an HP48 emulator) .

But I have a whole screen of apps that I bought that I don't use on a daily basis. They are an SSH terminal, RDP, and VNC client. I don't use them "everyday", but in a pinch they come in handy. Same with some PostgreSQL utilities. Basically, I can log into our servers and fix whatever I need to from anywhere I have an Edge or 3G connection. And I've used them to fix problems remotely. Then I have a few more apps that get used about once a week, like Paypal, Flixter, Wikitap. Same with Google's apps. We share business docs via google docs and it's handy to be able to read, just wish I could edit.

I have a few apps that I use everyday (The Weather Channel, AOL radio, Pandora, Sourceforge).

I wonder how many people have apps they use, just not "everyday".

How many times do we use any software? (1)

analog_line (465182) | more than 5 years ago | (#26945579)

The only applications on my desktop/laptop that I use on a daily basis are Apple Mail, Firefox, iTunes, and Adium. I'm not a major hunter for new cool utilities or applications (partly as a holdover from using Windows, unless I REALLY need what an application does, I don't bother with it) but even then that's 60 other things in my Applications directory that see little if any use (though a fair few of them are pre-installed iApps I never would bothered to have installed in the first place, and other 'built in' stuff). There are some of those that I paid money for (though they're all games).

Download what you need, not what looks cool (1)

JYD (996651) | more than 5 years ago | (#26945593)

The majority of iPhone users I know goes into the App Store / Cydia / Installer, sees something interesting, looks whether or not it is free, and if free checks if the phone has enough space, and if so download said app, rinse and repeat. The same pattern goes for apps that are not free, with the exception that the process becomes more conservative and stingy. It is actually by seeing this trend that I know that iPhone 2.0 only supports 9 pages of apps!

In response to the article about apps being used only 1% after it has been installed, doesn't that work the same way in Windows as well? Notable examples off the top of my head is Photoshop, which I can see most people actually have a copy installed on their machine, yet the same user probably really only uses Paint.

Pandora Rocks (1)

JoeMerchant (803320) | more than 5 years ago | (#26945607)

Pandora Rocks, rolls, jazzes and classics it up... even if 99% of what comes out is meaningless fluff for 99% of people, there will be killers like Pandora that most everyone can use, and super super niche stuff that's awesome for 1/10,000 iPhone owners and useless to the rest. That's the beauty of a "programmable" device, unlike the Moto815eVerizonLockedPieceOfStuff that I carry - it has some decent basic software, but could be sooooooo much more if it were open for people to get the most out of the platform (such as, the crappy GPS software that Verizon wants to rent to their subscribers...)

The Palm software marketplace was almost identical the the iPhone store - cool shiny new programmable gadget appeals to semi-geek crowd with lots of disposable income. HandFart would have sold very well if the PalmPilot had a decent speaker.
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