Each time I click the app loader on my Android phone, there are at least 70 apps that come up. It’s a lot, I know. It’s also true. Sadly, I use only a fraction of them frequently.
And try as I may, to resolve to uninstall a bunch of them, while hoping to use others some more, I’ve never gotten around to doing either.
I’m sure I’m not alone on this. I’d wager, everyone reading this has one (or more) of these categories of apps on their phone:
1: The ones for boosting the cool factor
There are five apps I use every day; Pocket, Slack, WordWeb, Deezer and Feedly. Yes, sometimes I go days without checking my WhatsApp. Normally these would be the apps on my homescreen, along with other apps I use at least once in two days, but up there with them are Uber and Truppr. Uber and Truppr – I haven’t used those in months. Last time I used Uber from my account was June and Truppr, never even used it before. As I prepared to write this, it hit me, “you keep those there because if anyone stumbles onto your phone and finds those on the homepage, they’ll think you’re cool.”
It hurts to admit.
2: The ones the OEMs think you need
These smartphone manufacturers think they know what you need on your phone. So they pre-install some apps. The clock, the calendar, the memo and gallery, all those are useful. But bloatware like the UCMini that shipped with my Android phone is just useless. And I still I have it on my phone.
3: The ones the carriers think you need
The carriers have ideas too, so while powering up your phone for the first time, they push notifications asking if you’d want to have a certain app downloaded or not. Most times, we go with “Yes”, giving them permission to download apps to our phones we will never use or remember to uninstall. In some cases they just materialise on you app loader; no permissions asked. Meanwhile, most of these apps just give telcos a bad name. Afrinolly (remember that?) almost made me give up on my MTN line on Blackberry because there was no way to uninstall it.
4: The ones you thought you needed but turned out you really didn’t
So the Antivirus you downloaded thinking every virus on your phone is in for it? Turns out it’s not the virus Armageddon after all and now the Antivirus app is just there, hogging space, hogging data.
5: The ones you are addicted to
Candy Crush. Not me, but most likely four out of your five friends.
6: The ones you keep forgetting to uninstall
Add those suggested by your telco and phone manufacturer and this category is choked full. Also add the one your developer-friend told you is the next big thing (of course, it isn’t).
7: The ones that look innocent but secretly hog your internet data
Side-eyeing you Google services.