×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Ask Slashdot: What Makes You Uninstall Apps?

Soulskill posted about 5 months ago | from the that-cottage-cheese-smell dept.

Software 243

jones_supa writes "One of the most important measuring sticks for the success of any software is how long a user keeps it installed after first trying it. Intel has an article about some of the most common reasons users abandon software. Quoting: 'Apps that don’t offer anything helpful or unique tend to be the ones that are uninstalled the most frequently. People cycle through apps incredibly quickly to find the one that best fits their needs. ... A lot of apps have a naturally limited lifecycle; i.e., apps that are centered around a movie release or an app that tracks a pregnancy, or an app that celebrates a holiday. In addition, apps with limited functionality, for example, “lite” games that only go so far, are uninstalled once the user has mastered all the levels.' Some of the common factors they list include: lengthy forms, asking for ratings, collecting unnecessary data, user unfriendliness, unnecessary notifications and, of course, bugs. Additionally, if people have paid even a small price for the app, they are more committed to keep it installed. So, what makes you uninstall a piece of software?"

cancel ×
This is a preview of your comment

No Comment Title Entered

Anonymous Coward 1 minute ago

No Comment Entered

243 comments

They pop up and notify me they are running. (5, Insightful)

ackthpt (218170) | about 5 months ago | (#45438219)

If there's one thing I can't abide, it's apps running in the background, poking their noses into my affairs.

Re:They pop up and notify me they are running. (5, Insightful)

sunderland56 (621843) | about 5 months ago | (#45438363)

The concept on Android of listing app permissions is a good one - although it needs to be MUCH more detailed, and you need to be able to filter in the app store based on permissions.

Right now, to find a suitable app that won't do something you dislike - e.g. running in the background - you need to install it, see if it does the bad thing, then uninstall it. If those attributes were clearly listed, and searchable, then you could only install and try out the ones that aren't instantly annoying.

Re:They pop up and notify me they are running. (4, Insightful)

ackthpt (218170) | about 5 months ago | (#45438523)

The concept on Android of listing app permissions is a good one - although it needs to be MUCH more detailed, and you need to be able to filter in the app store based on permissions.

Right now, to find a suitable app that won't do something you dislike - e.g. running in the background - you need to install it, see if it does the bad thing, then uninstall it. If those attributes were clearly listed, and searchable, then you could only install and try out the ones that aren't instantly annoying.

I was greatly dismayed to see how many apps expect access to my email, location and contacts directory, most with no need whatsoever for such information. I don't install a lot of apps. I'd rather develop them.

Re:They pop up and notify me they are running. (5, Interesting)

blackraven14250 (902843) | about 5 months ago | (#45438587)

One thing that bugs me about Android is that for something like contact listings, which are likely useful to the developer at one point or another, and potentially to the user, it's just a blanket permission that could mean anything from "going to constantly monitor everything in all of your contacts" to "this app will ask you once if you want to share with friends".

Re:They pop up and notify me they are running. (5, Insightful)

AvitarX (172628) | about 5 months ago | (#45439197)

Even worse is network access, that could be everything from "hey, I'm free, gotta send some ads" to "Imma take all of your actions and send them home"

Re:They pop up and notify me they are running. (2)

tlhIngan (30335) | about 5 months ago | (#45439129)

I was greatly dismayed to see how many apps expect access to my email, location and contacts directory, most with no need whatsoever for such information. I don't install a lot of apps. I'd rather develop them.

Well, it's usually for advertising because of Android's strange payment models make ads about the only way to make money. Sure they probably make some sense, but considering there's a variance in support for Google Wallet and especially in-app-purchases on a country level, an app developer who wants to make money and not bother with the different rules per country is best off giving it away for free and contracting Google to sell ads on it. (Unlike say, iOS where Apple apparently handles everything for you so you don't have to worry about sales taxes and surcharges and other stuff because Apple handled it).

Though, really, the Android prompt isn't that great - it's just doing a Dancing Pigs [wikipedia.org] deal by popping it up, and most users will just tap "Install" anyways without even reviewing it. Or even noticing it.

Especially since a lot of people get app recommendations from friends and articles they read, so they want to try it out, and the extra dialog just means another tap to get past it. I'm surprised no one's made an extension that bypasses the screen - it would probably be extremely popular.

Re:They pop up and notify me they are running. (5, Interesting)

mikael (484) | about 5 months ago | (#45439151)

I have "Ad Network Detector". I run that on all downloaded applications. Anything that tracks my location, collects device or mobile network information, needs my list of contacts, has popup advertising and hotkeys that jump to a web page gets thrown out. I'd also throw out "TapJoy", "Mobclix", Mobo and Game Hub if it were possible to remove them.

Re:They pop up and notify me they are running. (5, Insightful)

kbrannen (581293) | about 5 months ago | (#45439165)

I was greatly dismayed to see how many apps expect access to my email, location and contacts directory, most with no need whatsoever for such information.

Yes, that is really annoying. I tried to install a Flashlight app the other day. I had to go thru about 6 of them before I found one that didn't need any permissions. I mean really, why does a flashligh need permission for the network? Do I really need to see an ad for the 5s seconds I have the flashlight on to find the keyhole to my front door in the dark?

Re:They pop up and notify me they are running. (3, Insightful)

ackthpt (218170) | about 5 months ago | (#45439305)

I was greatly dismayed to see how many apps expect access to my email, location and contacts directory, most with no need whatsoever for such information.

Yes, that is really annoying. I tried to install a Flashlight app the other day. I had to go thru about 6 of them before I found one that didn't need any permissions. I mean really, why does a flashligh need permission for the network? Do I really need to see an ad for the 5s seconds I have the flashlight on to find the keyhole to my front door in the dark?

No.., but the NSA wants to see what you are snooping around with a flashlight for. 8o)

Yeah, that was where I initially saw the ludicrous access garnering, a flashlight app. Seriously, what does a damn flashlight need to know about my contacts or location? Too much free or even pay-for apps are up to no good.

Re:They pop up and notify me they are running. (2)

Penguinisto (415985) | about 5 months ago | (#45438657)

The concept on Android of listing app permissions is a good one - although it needs to be MUCH more detailed...

Considering that way too many of them seem to want access to damned near everything...

Re:They pop up and notify me they are running. (3, Interesting)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | about 5 months ago | (#45438805)

The concept on Android of listing app permissions is a good one - although it needs to be MUCH more detailed...

Considering that way too many of them seem to want access to damned near everything...

I would go further: not just the listing but the control needs to be more detailed. For EACH app, I should be able to set which system services the app is allowed to access. That would only take a few bytes of storage or memory per app... hardly an onerous requirement.

Re:They pop up and notify me they are running. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45439005)

For EACH app, I should be able to set which system services the app is allowed to access.

You can do this. The app I use that exposes this Android feature is named "Permission Manager" in the Google Play Store.

Re:They pop up and notify me they are running. (2)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | about 5 months ago | (#45439285)

You can do this. The app I use that exposes this Android feature is named "Permission Manager" in the Google Play Store.

Alas, the only "Permission Manager" with good reviews was for 4.3 only.

I found another than I'm going to try. But really, this should have been built into the OS to start with. There is just about zero possibility that this ability was left out accidentally... it was a planned absence.

Re:They pop up and notify me they are running. (4, Insightful)

citizenr (871508) | about 5 months ago | (#45439017)

The concept on Android of listing app permissions is a good one

NO IT IS NOT!
A good system would let you fine tune permissions per app (+ spoof data if you so desire), and not a hostage of "I need to read your contact list" game.

Re:They pop up and notify me they are running. (4, Funny)

MightyMartian (840721) | about 5 months ago | (#45438423)

I'm confused. Are you talking about apps or girlfriends?

Re:They pop up and notify me they are running. (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45439073)

Are you talking about apps or girlfriends?

This is slashdot. Take a wild guess at which (s)he is talking about.

Re:They pop up and notify me they are running. (1)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | about 5 months ago | (#45439127)

Are you talking about apps or girlfriends?

This is slashdot. Take a wild guess at which (s)he is talking about.

Given that women are a majority of new tech hires in the US, this is still a valid question.

It's 2013, not 1993.

Re:They pop up and notify me they are running. (1)

jkauzlar (596349) | about 5 months ago | (#45438603)

I removed my facebook app, because my phone would buzz once or twice a day on random posts from 'friends' I barely know. Words With Friends kept buzzing with pointless notifications too. In short, if I can't just forget I have it and use it when i want, then I'll uninstall it.

Re:They pop up and notify me they are running. (2)

aristotle-dude (626586) | about 5 months ago | (#45438733)

I removed my facebook app, because my phone would buzz once or twice a day on random posts from 'friends' I barely know. Words With Friends kept buzzing with pointless notifications too. In short, if I can't just forget I have it and use it when i want, then I'll uninstall it.

I assume that you are running Android? Are you saying that those apps on android do not prompt to be able to send notifications in the background? On iOS, an app has to ask for permission to send background notifications and you can always easily disable that ability in the settings app.

Re:They pop up and notify me they are running. (2)

mythosaz (572040) | about 5 months ago | (#45438829)

You can easily set what thing you get notified for in Android.

If you don't like the app's internal settings, just feel free to uncheck "Show notifications" in the app info page.

Re:They pop up and notify me they are running. (1)

SeaFox (739806) | about 5 months ago | (#45439035)

I removed my facebook app, because my phone would buzz once or twice a day on random posts from 'friends' I barely know.

Have you considered part of the issue here is becoming "friends" with people you don't really care about?

Re:They pop up and notify me they are running. (0)

larry bagina (561269) | about 5 months ago | (#45439303)

I removed my facebook app, because my phone would buzz once or twice a day on random posts from 'friends' I barely know. Words With Friends kept buzzing with pointless notifications too. In short, if I can't just forget I have it and use it when i want, then I'll uninstall it.

Have you considered leaving your phone pressed against your taint?

The fact that they're apps. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45438231)

Real software only, thanks.

Ads and Notifications (3, Informative)

drakesword (3203755) | about 5 months ago | (#45438233)

Or if it doesn't work, then why keep it

Doesn't work (1)

unixisc (2429386) | about 5 months ago | (#45438641)

Usually, its not working as promised is the only reason I uninstall. Other things are there, but usually don't cause me to uninstall. Only its non working, as well as bugs in the software

As a developer I'd like to know ... (3)

perpenso (1613749) | about 5 months ago | (#45439145)

As a developer I'd like to know a little more about notifications and what users consider acceptable. For example in one of my apps, http://www.perpenso.com/calc/calc3.html [perpenso.com], I have some one time notifications regarding optional calculator modes. I may point out that historically calculators may do A or B, and that this app does A. The handful of notifications that I have are related to very common user errors.

So, what do people think. Are one time notifications regarding common mistakes acceptable?

Dumb question (1)

oldhack (1037484) | about 5 months ago | (#45438271)

You dump it if it sucks and you don't need it or you have an alternative.

Word the question differently to get more useful replies.

Re:Dumb question (1)

ackthpt (218170) | about 5 months ago | (#45438541)

You dump it if it sucks and you don't need it or you have an alternative.

Word the question differently to get more useful replies.

You also dump it when you learn it's handing off information it's not entitled to. A lot of spying going on in apps. :(

Battery (2)

Parsiuk (2002994) | about 5 months ago | (#45438279)

Apart from notifications and ads I'd say impact on my battery would be a good reason to get rid of an app.

They spy on you! (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45438297)

Many apps ask for far more permissions than needed.

I was once testing a 3270 emulator app to access a mainframe system over a vpn.

The emulator app refused to run unless you give it full access to your email.

When I called the vendor to ask why, they said it was so that users could automatically send support requests by email.

I can write my own email, thanks.

Uninstalled, and the vendor lost out on a multi-thousand dollar purchase.

My List. (5, Interesting)

briancox2 (2417470) | about 5 months ago | (#45438317)

#1 Zinga buys it.

#2 Freer software comes out that can fulfill the utility.

#3 ParanoidAndroid and AdAway are not capable of taming the program the way I'd like.

Wish there were a way to archive data... (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45438323)

I do wish it were easier to archive apps on iOS. On Android, I can use Titanium Backup, save a game off, and uninstall it. If I want to play it again, I can grab the APK from the TB archive, or if on a different device, install the game, restore the game save data.

On iOS, backups are all or nothing (although some games store their save game data in the Documents folder that one can back up in iTunes.) Next to a jailbreak and AppBackup, there isn't any real way to archive off a larger game like Chaos Rings when done with it.

Of course, the things that will cause me to toss a game:

1: If I see it trying to open up scads of behavioral tracking, analytic, and other spyware sites.

2: If it is worthless. Most games on iOS look good, but demand tons of "smurfberries" (or whatever currency you have to pay for) in order to advance. Want a decent plot in Zombie Farm, brains are a buck a piece. Want a good eatery in Zombie Cafe? Pony up for the toxins. Want decent armor in a MMO? Time to pay up. Want a better boomstick in Army of Darkness? Time for an IAP.

3: If it isn't maintained. Even an app that is fairly feature complete needs an update just to keep up with the latest OS looks.

4: If it is just a shell around a crappy, SEO-encumbered web page, like the Cracked app on Android.

5: If it requires activation or another account with them to work. For example, the Pixelmags apps on iOS. They need to just deal with Apple, not require one to have an account with them in order to read stuff.

Updates asking for more rights, or unusable UI (1)

bob_super (3391281) | about 5 months ago | (#45438343)

See title

Any updates at all! (1)

dejanc (1528235) | about 5 months ago | (#45438467)

It doesn't even have to be updates asking for more rights. I usually uninstall software I don't use once it starts bothering me with upgrades at all. On Linux, I never have that problem as I generally know which software I need and don't just try out new programs without a good reason, but on OS X and Android, where I mostly install things through their respective app stores, some applications will be asking to update themselves more often than I consider polite.

On Linux I usually apt-get update once a week (and I do the same with macports), but when particular app wants my attention even if I don't feel like upgrading - it gets old quickly.

Re:Any updates at all! (1)

bensyverson (732781) | about 5 months ago | (#45438701)

I agree—in the past, I deleted apps that update very frequently, especially if I hadn't used them since the last update. But recently iOS has switched to automatic updates, and now I don't think about it.

I wonder if OS X will switch to auto updates. It's one thing to have a 10 MB Tweetbot update happen in the background, but something like Final Cut Pro might come with a 1GB update.

Asking for greater privilege (4, Informative)

TechyImmigrant (175943) | about 5 months ago | (#45438345)

Recently I've had a spate of 'updates' to android apps that are asking for me to approve additional privileges.

One instance was a button on the main page to turn wifi on and off (rather than digging into the settings menu). This was quite useful.
Then it got an update and wanted access to post on my behalf, the internet, my phone lists and a bunch of other things. So I uninstalled it.

This has happened several times. I'm guess it's a common attack vector.

Change Permissions (4, Informative)

Rob Riggs (6418) | about 5 months ago | (#45438365)

I uninstall apps when they change permissions to grab my identity, contacts, camera, etc. There's only one reason for that and it ain't good.

Re:Change Permissions (1)

i kan reed (749298) | about 5 months ago | (#45438575)

Lazy developers who don't add permissions to their built executable "just in case"?

Re:Change Permissions (1)

bensyverson (732781) | about 5 months ago | (#45438709)

You're damned if you do, you're damned if you don't. If you request access to the camera because you might need it in the future, you risk turning off a group of users who may rightly ask why their calendar app wants the camera.

Trying to be everything (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45438369)

There's this class of app that tries to be everything. I hate it. Yes, maybe some apps have a limited scope, but this is a good thing: I usually download an app for a specific use case. If it tries to do other things without my input or obscures what I'm trying to do, that's the point where I get sick of it and get rid of it.

Depends on platform (5, Insightful)

The MAZZTer (911996) | about 5 months ago | (#45438389)

On a PC there's no pressing need since I have lots of disk space, and it's easy to keep apps from running in the background.

On Android is another story. Very limited space, and apps can run in the background very easily and are hard or impossible to kill in some cases. I recently uninstalled outlook.com app since I never used it (I installed it intending to, but never did) and it was sucking battery life. I also uninstall apps which provide duplicate functionality that I already have in an app I prefer. Large apps have to really be persuasive to stay as well.

crash = uninstall (2)

johnrpenner (40054) | about 5 months ago | (#45438397)

when it crashes my machine — it is done.

Re:crash = uninstall (-1, Flamebait)

Khyber (864651) | about 5 months ago | (#45439391)

And if it's your hardware going bad and you don't know it.....

So you just kill an app without verifying the cause of failure. Good job. I won't hire you for IT work. Not even as a base-level computer tech.

Apps / Smaps (1)

skillrod (555920) | about 5 months ago | (#45438401)

I don't uninstall, I just upgrade the platform. Then it's a matter of what will I reinstall. .... Gimp, Inkscape, Audacity etc. Oh wait, these are applications as opposed to apps, never mind.

They want me to be too permisive with permisions (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45438409)

few things need network connection or access to location or ..... the list goes on and on

Did it come Pre-Loaded? (4, Informative)

Kagato (116051) | about 5 months ago | (#45438431)

Almost all pre-loaded software on a major PC brand (excluding Apple) is crippleware. In many cases the computer vendor has been paid to pre-install the software. So my answer to people about the first thing to do is to uninstall all that junk. It's just taking up CPU cycles, drive space, and making the computer take longer to boot.

Re:Did it come Pre-Loaded? (2)

intermodal (534361) | about 5 months ago | (#45438823)

That's why I always reinstall the OS first thing. Gets rid of manufacturer garbage, trial antivurus that leaves traces of itself, and a bizarre amount of bloat that seems to have come from nothing.

Re:Did it come Pre-Loaded? (1)

biobogonics (513416) | about 5 months ago | (#45439135)

Almost all pre-loaded software on a major PC brand (excluding Apple) is crippleware.

Not just pre-loaded software. Today I saw a poster in an internet newsgroup wanting to translate very old computer language X to newer computer language Y. Y is often used in an educational setting, particularly in physics, astronomy and math. I'm fluent in X and have used Y in the past, with some major gotchas. The previous version of Y misbehaved on Win XP. It would regularly GPF and graphic displays were mostly useless. I remembered that they offered a program to convert X to Y. It was compiled and it was missing two required DLLs. After rooting around on the internet, I found these libraries and ran the program. It created something that looked like it was written in Y, but did not look so great. Just for fun, I asked myself if I could compile and run the program in Y, since the program in X compiled and ran as is with more modern versions of X. The vendor offered two demo versions. The first choked on the source code, complaining about bad line numbers before it hung. Its interface reminded me of Win 3.1, so I was happy to remove it. The 2nd demo version was quite a bit larger. After starting its IDE, I loaded in the converted source code and tried to run it. No luck again. This time it "compiled" and left somewhat cryptic error messages. OK. I'll just try and fix the source code and re-compile. That turned unpleasant, because the editor on the time limited demo version was crippled. It would not save edited source files. I did not feel like going to the bother of using an external text editor to make corrections. I'm not happy about a time locked demo. I'm even less happy about one that deliberately aggravates me. It's not fun at all to test and correct example programs in this fashion. Why would I want to try this demo one minute more? I gave up, and uninstalled it. I then let the newsgroup know what had happened and that I would *not* be buying any products from Y.

In-Game Purchases (5, Insightful)

Teckla (630646) | about 5 months ago | (#45438433)

The fastest way to get me to uninstall an app is in-game purchases (other than a one-time payment to purchase the full version straight up, with no further fees).

Give me a lite version to evaluate it, then let me buy it straight up. I loathe and detest in-game purchases for gold, gems, or anything else necessary to continue a game, or to speed it up.

Re:In-Game Purchases (2)

MightyMartian (840721) | about 5 months ago | (#45438533)

I pretty much avoid apps with any kind of in-app purchasing. If you think your app is worth the price of all the extra bits, well then allow me to buy the whole thing. I'm not interested in being nickeled and dimed to death for extra levels, abilities or features.

As a developer, fully paid vs in-app purchase ... (4, Interesting)

perpenso (1613749) | about 5 months ago | (#45439337)

I pretty much avoid apps with any kind of in-app purchasing. If you think your app is worth the price of all the extra bits, well then allow me to buy the whole thing. I'm not interested in being nickeled and dimed to death for extra levels, abilities or features.

I have two app, the full paid http://www.perpenso.com/calc/calc3.html [perpenso.com] app with various calculators built into a single app and a lite app where scientific (including fractions and complex numbers) is built-in but other modes such as statistics, business and hex are in-app purchases. The fully paid includes everything and there is no advertising and it is offered at a bundled price point, about 60% of the price of all the in-app purchases combined, equivalent to 3 of the available 5 in-apps. There are plenty of users who only purchase 1 or 2 of the in-apps.

The problem as a developer is that some users only discover the lite app. I mention the fully paid app in the lite app's description and that it may offer a cost savings, yet there are a noticeable number of users who purchase all 5 individual in-app purchases. I don't think all of these users are trying to be supportive, that most just did not notice the fully paid bundled app.

If I had done as you suggest and only offered the fully paid bundled version I may have lost many of the smaller sales. I'd be interested in hearing any suggestions. In the future I plan to again use this 2 app strategy of fully paid bundle priced and completely a-la-carte via in-app purchases. The difficulty seem to be in making potential users aware of both versions so that they can select the best fit.

I don't think there is a one-size-fits-all single app solution. Am I missing something?

Background bull**** (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45438445)

I uninstall things that install "services" or "autoupdate" crapware (Java, iTunes, and Google's apps all do this)
I uninstall things that continue to run after I've closed them (Office suites, MMORPG launchers are guilty *glare NCSOFT*)
I uninstall things that I have given up on (more games)
I uninstall things that serve only a single purpose and that purpose has passed (data retrieval/recovery/formatting/rescue)

My "core apps" on Windows or MacOS X are:
VLC x64 or MPC x64 (I use both, latter more often because it doesn't nag for updating)
No web browser doesn't annoy and nag the user, MSIE actually is the least annoying for this, and it'x x64 mode is more secure than the 32bit browsers. Firefox, Chrome and Opera are very annoying about updating.
Steam (Games are installed or removed by Steam or GOG. Uplay and Origin are exceptionally annoying)
Adobe CS4 Suite.
Spybot S&D (It has an annoyance about not running a scan every so often though.)
Avast (It likewise is very annoying unless you run it in game mode all the time.)

Past that, I never install Flash or Java, and when something explicitly "needs" Java I have it as "click/prompt to run"

If apps want to stay on the system and be used more often, they have to be usable WITHOUT BEGING NAGGED TO DEATH AT LAUNCH. If there's an update, download the update silently and then install it when the app is next closed. Prompting to update at the beginning costs time. Most apps don't need to be updated at all at launch unless there is a critical problem that the user is in fact experiencing.

umm... do they? (1)

kamakazi (74641) | about 5 months ago | (#45438449)

When I look at my friends phones I don't think they do uninstall apps, screen after screen of unused little icons that do marvelous things that no one remembers.
I think they just install stuff until they think their phone is too slow, then upgrade and start over.

Update utilities (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45438457)

Fuck you. If I feel like it, I'll run version 1.0 until the heat death of the Universe.

Re:Update utilities (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45438909)

My 4.14 version of paintshop pro supports this comment 100%

No install needed.
Saves,loads,clips,cuts,resizes,tweaks colors. Good nuff. And been good nuff since 1997.

I uninstall because: (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45438475)

they suck resources. They have viruses. They have ads. THey do stupid shit like put a toolbar on things.

IF YOU HAVE TO ASK THIS YOUR SOFTWARE SUCKS!

fuck youl.

When i need space (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45438503)

A program or application i do not use may keep occupying its space until i need to store something else. Even if a program or application sucks as hell, there is a huge probability that it does not get uninstalled soon.

Do not look at the lifetime on a user's device. Look at the actual usage instead!
There is software that is expected to be only started once. But for the majority, a start-once-only usage pattern clearly marks a bad product.

Updates All The Time (1)

peanutious (730210) | about 5 months ago | (#45438525)

The apps that almost every day release an update with no apparent change in functionality really get under my skin. I hate getting notified that there is a new update or a new version installed for special events the vendors have way too often. Those are the first ones to go for me.

Paid-for app better mean no ads (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45438557)

One particular weather app I tried worked well, had nice animation, and had the right balance of information that I wanted to see. It was well worth the cost of purchase.

Alas, it kept on popping up pleas for me to try all the other apps made by the same company. So I deleted it, and I'll never buy anything from those bastards again.

Don't Need 'Em (4, Informative)

bobdehnhardt (18286) | about 5 months ago | (#45438583)

Working infosec for a dozen years or so, I tend to harden things by default. I view any app on my system as a potential vulnerability, so if I don't need it or aren't using it, off it goes.

Preemptive Uninstall (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45438621)

When it tells me their app requires a login and they strongly prefer I do it by using my Facebook account by making it difficult to do it any way else. Or it's been installed only to find out everytime I do something they slap me in the face with a "share this with my Facebook account."

Notification spam and excessive updates (4, Insightful)

symbolset (646467) | about 5 months ago | (#45438651)

An app that needs to update every week is not from a reliable developer. An app that wants attention every day is a pest. Freemium apps, apps that want me to install more apps or get "social" are lame. Also low value apps take precious space. Permissions creep is not OK.

Re:Notification spam and excessive updates (2)

intermodal (534361) | about 5 months ago | (#45438801)

I agree, but in particular, the frequent updates issue increases my odds of an uninstall because I notice a program updating that I don't use. If it's dormant, I may never notice.

Re:Notification spam and excessive updates (4, Interesting)

SternisheFan (2529412) | about 5 months ago | (#45438931)

Any downloaded app that re-spawns after I 'force stop' it (Android), or doesn't function unless it has a working internet connection.

Paid app switching to adware are what I uninstall (2)

DaphneDiane (72889) | about 5 months ago | (#45438671)

Biggest one for me is when a formerly paid app switches to being advertising base. What I've found is that even if they offer a way to remove the ads by paying again, or grandfather the original purchases into an ad free mode that the apps tend to suffer redesigns that are motivated to support advertisers and that many of these redesigns impact the use of the apps even for paid users. I've already uninstalled a bunch of apps for this reason, such as Quickoffice Pro, OneTap, etc. and have been considering uninstalling apps like The Weather Channel.

Any app I did not explicitly install (1)

roc97007 (608802) | about 5 months ago | (#45438677)

Any app that is a barnacle attached to an app I have installed, gets uninstalled by default. If it's so unwanted it has to be attached to another app, I don't want it on my machine by definition. This goes triple for toolbars, optimizers and "safe surf" plugins.

Any app that pops up an advertisement.

Any app that pops up any other message more than, say, once a month.

Clean Up (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | about 5 months ago | (#45438703)

On iOS, if I decide I have too many apps for whatever reason, I will go through and anything I have not used for a while gets deleted.

If an application just has something going on like too many notifications, I will usually just turn that off for the app.

The other main point of deletion is if I launch the app for the first time and it annoys me for some reason or I can tell right away I'm not going to use it. Then out it goes.

A few reasons (1)

MysteriousPreacher (702266) | about 5 months ago | (#45438705)

1) Unjustified self-importance: applications that, even when not running, insist on having daemons running for updates or whatever else. If it's not core to the utility if the application then just fuck off.

2) Freebies that keep begging me to buy stuff. I'll either buy this or I'll take something for free. If the latter then don't be disingenuous.

3) stuff I paid for that gives me adverts. I paid for this, so fuck off when you either decide to use DLC or adverts to repeatedly well me shit that interferes with my user experience.

whack-a-mole (1)

roc97007 (608802) | about 5 months ago | (#45438715)

It's kinda like playing whack-a-mole. I may install an app that seemed like a good idea at the time, and it might stay on my machine for years before I notice it and uninstall. But apps that piss me off get uninstalled, and nothing pisses me off more than an app that calls attention to itself. About the second or third time an app pops up with "you really want to be running the non-free version of this" or "there's a new feature that only costs..." or "We also offer..." it goes.

Sourceforge. (4, Insightful)

ledow (319597) | about 5 months ago | (#45438719)

Bundling shite with them, like your sister site Sourceforge does.

Other than that, if it survives a day, it stays on my computer forever. I never worry about disk space, and if I've downloaded something that fulfilled a purpose once, I keep it around in case I need it again.

About the only apps I've "uninstalled" have been ones that lasted literally seconds after I realised that they bundled tons of unnecessary shit in their installers and/or weren't what I was after.

i dont run apps (0)

FudRucker (866063) | about 5 months ago | (#45438741)

the computer's operating system does, now if an app is too annoying, or buggy and a piece of crap they get uninstalled pronto, or if i am upgrading to a newer version i uninstall first then install the new version, (i wont install over top of an old app because if there is some obsolete file that would linger and possibly cause problems

I don't (2)

T.E.D. (34228) | about 5 months ago | (#45438745)

...I replace the entire phone instead.

For the most part I don't ever uninstall an app. I get a new phone every year and a half or so, so why bother? If I don't use it, I just won't reinstall it on the new phone.

Re:I don't (1)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | about 5 months ago | (#45438785)

...I replace the entire phone instead.

For the most part I don't ever uninstall an app. I get a new phone every year and a half or so, so why bother? If I don't use it, I just won't reinstall it on the new phone.

Have to agree with this. I had FB and some apps on my iPad2, broke that, got an iPhone5, did not reinstall FB and some other apps on purpose.

FB just got to pervy, so it's gone. Same thing will happen to other apps.

Fat lips (1)

nospam007 (722110) | about 5 months ago | (#45438749)

I downloaded the whip app. After I tried it out on my wife, I got a fat lip and so I uninstalled it immediately.

Ads Ads Ads (2)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | about 5 months ago | (#45438761)

Reasons why I uninstall apps.

1. Ads
2. Ads with sound
3. Ads with motion
4. Ads that burn up bandwidth.

I don't care how much I paid for them. Too many ads and you're GONE.

Frequent updates and background processes. (1)

intermodal (534361) | about 5 months ago | (#45438767)

Background processes are annoying, if I notice them (and they're not doing anything that helps me in an obvious way).

But the main thing that makes me uninstall apps is that I use them infrequently but they want to update frequently. If you want to update a lot, you had better make an app I use a lot.

I delete and reinstall big apps as needed... (1)

bensyverson (732781) | about 5 months ago | (#45438775)

Between the App Store and the Adobe Creative Cloud, I freely delete large apps when they're not in daily use. For example, I use Adobe After Effects about once every three or four months. It's a 1.8 GB app, and my SSD is pretty small. So I install it when I need to use it and delete it when I'm done with that project.

It's pretty handy—I definitely wouldn't have done that in the old days of slow CD-ROM installers and serial number stickers.

Apps unusable without significant effort (1)

Kozz (7764) | about 5 months ago | (#45438791)

I may occasionally be looking for an app suitable to a particular task, and I'll find there may be a half dozen semi-"popular" options that I'll download and try, one after another.

If I'm familiar with the software's operating domain, I may expect that I can open the app and figure out how to get my task done in fairly short order. If I can't, I hope there are menus that may give me a hint. Failing that, toolbar buttons; but some employ mystery meat navigation [wikipedia.org], with no text or hover-tooltips to indicate what they might do, so you end up clicking blindly. Then you check for a "help" button or menu, and find there is none. You go to the website to look at the documentation which is broken up rather oddly, or it's a wiki that's almost devoid of content. If there's no generalized 'help' document, I'd hope the authors could at least create a document with a few screenshots / steps of the most typical use case.

After a while, you discover that figuring out how to use the app just isn't worth it. *CLICK*. Uninstall.

It's a CPU hog (1)

msobkow (48369) | about 5 months ago | (#45438799)

The KDE "search" functionality is a fine example. If there were any way to uninstall Nepomuk, I'd get rid of it in a heartbeat. But no, this useless piece of crap is so deeply embedded all you can do is disable it. But disabling doesn't actually get it to stop sucking CPU -- you have to autostart to run "tracker-control --terminate=miners" to *really* kill Nepomuk.

The corpse is still rotting on my system, but it's dead now.

Re:It's a CPU hog (1)

kbrannen (581293) | about 5 months ago | (#45439257)

The way I kill nepomuk is: sudo chmod 000 /usr/bin/nepomuk* /usr/bin/akonadi*
then reboot. Better still, put the chmod in your /etc/init.d/rc.local and then that will keep them under control even after updates.

Thought of another reason (2)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | about 5 months ago | (#45438841)

Another reason I uninstall apps is if they complain when I turn the phone or tablet on Airplane Mode, or demand to connect to the internet and keep bugging me about it.

I have the wifi and cell off for a reason.

If you can't cope with that - you're gone.

Interfering with base system functions (4, Interesting)

AnalogDiehard (199128) | about 5 months ago | (#45438883)

Anything that interferes with base system functions gets the banhammer immediately.

AOL was notorious for this years ago when the install process would replace most Windows DLLs with AOL-flavored ones. IT departments at work were pretty busy fixing computers.

Today you can't install anything on work computers unless you are an engineer involved in software development. As of WIN7 they have locked down the computers. You can't even save data to the c: drive, you have to use a thumbdrive.

I have a WinXP Netbook at home that I installed iTunes on. Over time the browsers stopped opening at all. IE, Mozilla, Firefox, Safari, none of them worked. I traced it to some iPod apps running in the background even though iTunes wasn't open. After I removed iTunes it worked a lot better.

Maybe the wrong way to look at it. (1)

nine-times (778537) | about 5 months ago | (#45438887)

You are asking what makes me uninstall apps, but I think the bigger question is, what makes me not uninstall apps. I don't install a lot of apps, and with most apps that I try out, I immediately remove them.

There's a simple pattern to what makes me keep an app: It does something distinctly useful in a way that doesn't annoy me at all. If it crashes on me repeatedly, it's gone. If it doesn't integrate well into my OS or it conflicts with other apps, it's gone. If it's slow or hard to use, or confusing, then I probably won't keep it. If it doesn't do anything that makes my life significantly easier, I won't keep it for very long.

I've been doing IT for a long time, and there are three big recommendations I would make for keeping your system in good shape:

  1. Don't run open attachments or run programs from websites that you don't know what they are.
  2. Don't use silly hacks. In fact, don't change the default settings unless you have a real reason to do it.
  3. Don't have more software installed on your system than you use. Try not to install any software than you need to.

Boring! (2)

DRAGONWEEZEL (125809) | about 5 months ago | (#45439201)

I agree w/ everything right up until the 2nd & 3rd Don't
I think that's pretty extreme.

Don't add nice wheels to your car
Don't upgrade your Rotors...
Don't change the colors of your house.

FFS

If not USING your PC is your idea of IT, I'm glad I dont' work w/ you!
Me personally, like making the PC personalized. I don't need to be super Admin at work or anything, but I get pretty pissed at employers who utilize draconian GPs to lock down PCs that people sit at day in and day out. Somethings make work easier, like AutoHotKey. The later, I only use every now (not even quarterly?) and then to create rapid text macros needed for doing manual manipulation of >20 records at a time. A rarity, but it saves hours!

Is it more than you use daily, or more than you've ever used. Like many I've used photoXXXX, (including bump mapping, texturizing, Masking, Merging multiple layers, color replacements, etc... not making Memes) but I don't use PhotoXXXX on a regular basis, maybe 2x a year. Should I uninstall / re-install that every time?

Just playing Devil's advocate here.

All time favorite apps for PC:
WINDIRSTAT / MS Office
All time favorite apps for Android.
Titanium Backup / Tasker.

annoyance (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45438893)

If you push updates more frequently than I use it, then I'll remove it.

I do this with Ubuntu too. e.g. Libpurple wants to update? "I don't remember telling you to update a damn thing." *unstalls libpurple*

Reasons (2)

neminem (561346) | about 5 months ago | (#45438963)

* If I realize that it's been months and I've never actually used it
* If I thought it would do something useful, I tried it, and I realized it didn't
** Or if I got it thinking it would even work at all, tried it, and it didn't. That's totally a thing.
** Or if I got it and it didn't crash all the time then, but it does now.
** Or if when I got it, it didn't constantly bug me, but after an update, now it does.
* If I downloaded several apps to do something, then picked the best one and this wasn't it
* If at the time it *was* the best app to do something, but then later someone made a better one
* If, as mentioned, I got it for a particular trip, and that trip has now passed. Or I got it for a particular event, and the event is over.

room for more porn (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45438967)

When I need more space for porn, I uninstall unneeded crap. Then once I tire of old porn that makes room for new games, etc. Vicious cycle. :)

Our Research on Why People Hate Your App (5, Informative)

JAS0NH0NG (87634) | about 5 months ago | (#45439095)

Here's a link to our paper at KDD 2013 looking at why people hate your app [cmuchimps.org]. We crawled user comments on Google Play for about 100k apps, and then did some clustering and linear regressions to probe what people say when they give you low star ratings.

It turns out that a lot of low ratings often come right after an update, when people find out that their app doesn't work anymore due to incompatibilities. We also found some odd anomalies, like people saying they love your app but gave you a 1 star rating. If you want the very short summary, jump to Table 6. We divided up the comments by app type. For example, for games, people tended to complain about (1) attractiveness, (2) stability, and (3) cost. For other categories, the complaints were less consistent.

cycles cycles cycles (2)

guygo (894298) | about 5 months ago | (#45439121)

so many apps have ancillary modules that sit in the background, sucking up RAM and CPU cycles. when I find one of these I always ask myself if I really use it. IF not, it's gone! boom. Constant updates are a real pain, too, but at least that can be turned off.

Programs that dont uninstall completely (1)

Dan Askme (2895283) | about 5 months ago | (#45439131)

Get uninstalled, then, manually deleted from my system.

You know, the ones you uninstall and they leave files/folders/reg entries on your system, then claim its a "bug".

Let me list the ways (2)

gelfling (6534) | about 5 months ago | (#45439159)

When endless 'upgrades' are nothing more than adding more tie ins to every god damn social media site out there.

When the ads become too intrusive.

On the laptop when they nag to go to the 'pro' version, even once.

When the underlying website is pure nuclear bullshit to start with, like Netflix.

When running a utility provides no real world benefit.

avast - bitdefender, why i switched (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45439183)

I recently gave up on Avast antivirus because it was consuming 60% of my internet connection on a regular basis to send/receive information from it's cloud network. It might have been a bug in the latest update, but it was enough to make me uninstall. I'm using BitDefender Free version now instead.

Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Sign up for Slashdot Newsletters
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...