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See, apps aren't the only thing...
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Old 02/17/2013, 08:27 PM   #1 (permalink)
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http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/0...e-app-burnout/

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Old 02/17/2013, 09:22 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Yup. The core features are all I need, plus a few apps.
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Old 02/18/2013, 12:40 AM   #3 (permalink)
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It is not so much important if people USE them. It is important, that you HAVE them.

See, it is always about promises. It is about expectations. You know you don't need another app, still you visit the play store or the app store and browse through it.
It is like a candy store. You are already full to the brim with all the sweets you could eat, still you like to browse through the store an buy one or the other candy ... for later ... even if you never eat it in fact.

Same goes for developers. MOST of them dream of making money with their lines of code. So they tend to stick to the platforms, that are in demand. Do they all make money? No. Some do. Most are not.

It is not important if you use a lot of the apps on your phone. It is important that there is a big candyland of it, which draws the buyers and developers to it like flies to the heap of manure...
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Old 02/18/2013, 08:35 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I think of this when I flip through the apple catalog or android catalog and see apps that have been downloaded a bajillion times. I cynically think of how the catalogs would look if they included numbers for "uninstalled x times" after trying the app and finding it's junk, or "opened once in six months x times".

The core apps and experience are key. The fact that there are probably 50+ calendar apps for the iProduct and it requires a Gmail app for a decent experience paints it pretty clearly. Android does a pretty fair job, but the argument of number of apps equaling success gets harder to believe after a certain point.

So many apps could be perfectly suited as a website. Apps have ads, websites have adds... what's the difference? Usually being an app gives them an easy way to tie in to the catalog purchasing system for them to reach into your pocket. With good design, this could be made cross platform in a web app with pretty similar results. They would just have to tie in to Amazon payments or Google payments or something nearly universal. The app ecosystem is not perfect, and I believe is too susceptible to gaming, similar to the early days of search engine optimization and link farming.
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Old 02/18/2013, 08:43 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Wow... some of the comments on that story are enlightening. There are actually people out there like this...

Quote:
denise philadelphia
On my iPad 283 total apps Used at least once a week 247. On my iPhone 155, used at least once a week, 122. Yesterday my mother in law asked what I could do with my iPad.. I told her, pretty much run the world or at least as much of it that affects me and my family. We are a 4 iPad, 4 iPhone household. When my mother was in the hospital dying, the last conversation we had before she was intubated was her telling me to bring her iPhone to her the next day. It's one of my fondest memories of a terrible time. As a family we still say its an apple commercial begging to be made. " On their deathbeds people still want their iPhones" or "Only put of my cold dead hands... I have kept my mothers 3GS as a keepsake.
On second read that almost sounds like trolling... but I don't know. Wouldn't be surprised if it were real.
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Old 02/18/2013, 08:58 AM   #6 (permalink)
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The apps I use most often are the ones preinstalled (chat/IM, browser, phone, camera, etc.). Most of the apps I've installed I don't use often. The two I would say I use the most are Facebook and a Weather app. Both of which I could do web-based. Shouldn't all apps use web technology anyway so they are cross platform

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Old 02/18/2013, 01:03 PM   #7 (permalink)
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If someone wants an app, the difference between iOS, Android and WebOS is that only 2 of those have viable app catalogs. Everything else is just rationalizing.
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Old 02/18/2013, 07:50 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Wow... some of the comments on that story are enlightening. There are actually people out there like this...

On second read that almost sounds like trolling... but I don't know. Wouldn't be surprised if it were real.
That's terrifying. Either that's trolling or I need a stiff drink.

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It is not so much important if people USE them. It is important, that you HAVE them.
Hold it right there. It's more important to have a thing than to use it? Does that make the least bit of sense? Are people that foolish?

OP's article aside it seems that sadly yes, sensible or not, you're right. That's the way it is. Yeah, on second thought, I'll take that stiff drink now.
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Old 02/18/2013, 11:35 PM   #9 (permalink)
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750,000 or 10,000 apps, the number itself isn't important; it's the quality and availability of titles a critical mass use that matter.

I don't buy the argument that a platform with few (<10,000) apps and even fewer name-brand apps can successfully argue that it's a worthwhile investment when, on the desktop, I'm using a large variety of services for whom a first-party mobile extension (Netflix, LogMeIn, Rackspace, Divide, Flickr, Wunderlist, Sirius/XM, TuneIn, Uber, etc etc etc--this list can go on a while)--and not some third-party, second-rate attempt at recreating it--are a serious consideration of mine.

Apps that mean something to me are logical mobile extensions of their desktop and/or web-based counterparts. Simple as that. They patch into systems I already use and make life easier without having to deal with workarounds and other bull**** that actually result in a loss of efficiency in the name of orthodoxy. After all, why should I settle for a second-rate Flickr (or "Insert Name Here") app missing half the features when on Android or iOS I can have the real, full-featured thing?

Neither can an app store of 750,000 apps convince me that bare numbers are everything. They may have all the core apps I would use on a daily basis, but the sheer number means nothing. The truth is, though, that any platform with that many titles very likely has the apps critical to my daily flow and tie into the other systems I already use. If the platform only had 25,000 apps and still had the ones I needed, well, that's great. 750,000 is a masturbatory number.

What does that mean? I go with the larger platform because they actually have what I need, not because of the numbers of proclaimed apps. Spouting the bare numbers themselves to prove some kind of a point without any additional context is complete amateur hour.

It's really that simple, folks. Many here might be happy without the apps millions of others use--some may completely swear off apps here--but to me, I can't stay with a platform that just doesn't have what I need. Period.

Last edited by dignitary; 02/18/2013 at 11:40 PM.
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Old 02/19/2013, 12:15 AM   #10 (permalink)
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I should have added the USAA app to my list; being able to instantly deposit checks on my phone instead of having to send them to Texas or run to a designated UPS Store to deposit them is incredibly useful and a must-have on any platform I even consider.

Great reminder and convenience point, kirkland31.
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Old 02/19/2013, 07:53 AM   #11 (permalink)
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See, apps aren't the only thing...
No someone making hardware that a consumer can buy is important as well!

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Old 02/19/2013, 08:51 PM   #12 (permalink)
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seems based on a silly notion.

I've never heard someone claim apps are "the only" thing. As if a phone with apps but a broken keyboard or ugly design or no headphone jack would sell. Clearly a successful phone includes many variables like screen size, keyboard, form factor, wifi, software, etc and apps would be one factor in that consumer calculation. Seems like this is trying to rebut an argument no remotely thoughtful person has actually made.

As for the article the first half is basically complaining that the iphone catalog is unwieldy and hard to sift through. But the general tenor is that the person has more apps than he uses dialy. He says he uses 16 regularly. His friends have more apps than they use regularly. The salient point is they still use apps regularly. It surely isn't that they only use apps or never use apps. And really what people use daily is gonna vary from person to person. Also, the fact that a person doesn't use an app every day doesn't make the app not useful. I got a news app that i don't use daily but i have it for when i do want it. Like when i got time to kill. same with tons of other apps like angrybirds, etc. There are tons of apps i use but only sporatically like a flashlight app, package tracking apps, navigation, slingplayer, a jogging tracking app. I don't use soundcloud all the time but when i need it i want it. I rarely may make a phone call twice a month on my personal phone. But i'd never buy a phone calling app or without that functionality. So not using an app daily is not the measure of an apps worth. i got a banking app i use once a month.
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Old 02/20/2013, 06:29 AM   #13 (permalink)
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For me the bigger discussion is how poorly we leverage the internet right now. On the whole apps feel like a step backwards. For years developers felt they had to develop for Windows because it was the dominant platform. If you wanted to port your app to a Mac you had to invest a lot of time and money. Then along comes the internet and we finally have a platform that for the most part is OS independent. Rather than leverage that and make mobile sites that are truly platform independent we instead buy into apps and app ecosystems and again get caught in a meticulously laid out web setup by Apple/google et al to monetize what are essentially web apps in a fancy package that they can charge for. I can't blame them for wanting to make money but it is frustrating to see our society take a step back in time to a that era where it's once again all about what platform you're on.
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Old 02/20/2013, 08:37 AM   #14 (permalink)
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For me the bigger discussion is how poorly we leverage the internet right now. On the whole apps feel like a step backwards. For years developers felt they had to develop for Windows because it was the dominant platform. If you wanted to port your app to a Mac you had to invest a lot of time and money. Then along comes the internet and we finally have a platform that for the most part is OS independent. Rather than leverage that and make mobile sites that are truly platform independent we instead buy into apps and app ecosystems and again get caught in a meticulously laid out web setup by Apple/google et al to monetize what are essentially web apps in a fancy package that they can charge for. I can't blame them for wanting to make money but it is frustrating to see our society take a step back in time to a that era where it's once again all about what platform you're on.
So refreshing to see someone step back from the us vs. them vs. them vs. them paradigm and seeing things for what they are. I would venture to say that for most people's needs, web apps are all that's needed. I can understand the allure of having an "app" native to your own OS that translates lines upon lines of code and shrinks it to your device so you don't get bogged down in resizing a screen, etc.

Much like you said, I don't understand why we can't just move on to mobile web apps (I'm no techie, so correct me if that's incorrect lingo) the iPhone FB app is almost a mirror image of the mobile website for fB now and quite frankly, most websites/web services could follow suit and save themselves the cost of developing for different platforms.

I do also think that it boils down to control over the revenue stream for manufacturers like Apple. Getting folks to "buy" into their ecosystem keeps the money flowing their way for sure.
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Old 02/20/2013, 08:45 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Just like the Napster days, I feel like we will look back at the current app ecosystem in much of the same way. Remember when there were just two places to get apps and you were locked into either Apple or Google? Man, those really were the dark ages!
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Old 02/20/2013, 08:57 AM   #16 (permalink)
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To most webOS loyalists, apps were never a big issue, otherwise we all would a left a long time before most actually did.

I finally left not so much because of a lack of apps... I always carried an ipod touch, and used the homebrew app, free tether and before that the free mobile hot spot on the verizon pre plus to fix any need I had for an app... But in reality I still used my webOS phone for calenders, email, note taking, calculator, videos, pictures, occasional games, Facebook, Twitter, Web browsing, phone calls, texting, online banking, etc.... No I left after my pre 2 started randomly rebooting, alarms stopped ringing consistently, and devs that were long time supporters of the platform starting pulling their apps or support for the apps...

In other words, I got by.

The pre and pre plus did have some pretty decent apps... Pandora, slacker, stitcher, accuradio , tune in radio, epocrates, fandango, flicks ter, spotify, trapster, open table, good food, zagat, hand mark news apps, ny times, la times, newsweek , bank of America, wells Fargo, ea games, gameloft games, angry birds, picsel smart office, lexicomp, pepid, where, yp mobile, Google maps, later bing maps, photofunia, ap mobile... And there were a lot more.

Irrespective of webOS, I think the point of the article is that if a company can make good hardware, can make sure their core built in apps are very good, and get the support of big name developers to make mobile versions of their full websites, in either "app" form or via a "Web app", and of course have the support of carriers... There should be no reason why one has to be tied into a particular ecosystem such as apples or googles.

Where webOS had a potential advantage was synergy, bringing everything together from all kinds of sources and merging in into one device. That was a tremendous power of webOS, which unfortunately will never be realized and was never taken advantage of my palm and then hp.

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Old 02/20/2013, 12:38 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Apps aren't the only thing... No one element is. It's a totality of the user experience. Apps play their part in this, but realistically and practically are not the overarching concern.

That said... There is chatter elsewhere on this board about the upcoming Ubuntu Developer Edition ports available Thu Feb 21st, 2013 for Galaxy Nexus, Nexus 4, Nexus 7 and Nexus 10... People are asking in those threads: "Where will we go to get Apps?"



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Old 02/20/2013, 05:01 PM   #18 (permalink)
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I think the real reason I've stuck with webos is a bit out of principle, and a fair chunk of hope. I really feel that Webos and the way Ares and Enyo were developed they were really conceived with openess in mind. Make your app on our platform and you can port it across a variety of platforms. A very refreshing concept! It feels like a platform that is trying to leverage the internet. I really wish we'd get to a point where the platform doesn't matter and we carry 'internet appliances'. Instead, I'm really afraid we're entering into another time where just a handful of companies are ruling mobility. I feel like this is being bared out by the fact that quarter after quarter it seems there are only two real players: Apple and Google/Samsung and everyone else is almost a non-player. Third place barely even seems relevant. Unfortunately, I don't see that getting any better unless we get developers buying into an improved mobile internet. People will have a hard time giving up their app ecosystem and they'll feel too tied to their current company to move on. So, I sit here and hope that one day Webos or Ubuntu or some other open platform will have a breakthrough and we'll finally see a truly powerful mobile web.
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Old 02/20/2013, 09:13 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Apps aren't the only thing... No one element is. It's a totality of the user experience. Apps play their part in this, but realistically and practically are not the overarching concern.

That said... There is chatter elsewhere on this board about the upcoming Ubuntu Developer Edition ports available Thu Feb 21st, 2013 for Galaxy Nexus, Nexus 4, Nexus 7 and Nexus 10... People are asking in those threads: "Where will we go to get Apps?"



"Apps written for Ubuntu desktops will run on Ubuntu phones and tablets."

Done. It's Linux. They'll work, just like they work on a Touchpad with Ubuntu force-fed into it. People just need to be informed of this.

As Ubuntu Mobile gets out there, developers of existing desktop apps will just optimize them for mobile so they work in all form factors running Ubuntu equally well. That said, unless you're running Ubuntu Mobile on the device of your choice (i.e., you're running Ubuntu for Desktop on your Touchpad instead), you're probably not going to get that optimization.

Article: Canonical Unveils Ubuntu For Tablets, Developer Preview Available For Nexus Devices On Thursday | TechCrunch

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Old 02/21/2013, 04:16 PM   #20 (permalink)
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We discussed this app thing in detailed before and most of us came to the same conclusion as this story. No one needs are uses the vast number of apps that iOS and Android have. People only need/use a few. When others and I brought this up, we were "making up excuses". Good to see this being discussed in print.

The app count is a useless thing to hold over a device/platform. You don't need to match a platform app number to app number to be successful. You just need to have the apps that most people want/need.

It is funny that all of the apps/services mentioned as being frequently used in the article were available on the TouchPad on day one. It is also funny that the author mentioned (and I am paraphasing here) how mundaned it is to search for and find a decent app in the clutter that is the app/play store. If the author only mentioned the vast number of junk "apps" on most of these platforms (especially Android) or the useless website replacement apps, I and others here would have been totally vindicated.

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