Three years ago when I was a huge BlackBerry buff, I always had my nose buried in my phone. But I wasn't playing through a pile of flash game rip-offs or endlessly searching through pages upon pages of utility and social applications. Not because apps and games sucked back then – which they definitely did – but because options were extremely slim. At the time, Research In Motion's BlackBerry App World was not yet available and app selection was pretty scarce. If there was an app I wanted or needed, there was no easy way to hunt it down ... other than the age-old Google search, of course.

Oh, how the times have changed.

Android has entered the scene guns a-blazin' and Apple's App Store has grown exponentially over a relatively short period. Collectively, the two have reached well over a half million applications and counting. Windows Phone, though it hasn't managed to gather a lot of market or mind share, has somehow gained the attention of developers. Even App World has come around and has a respectable collection of apps to call its own.

Unlike before, there are virtually applications for everything: locating nearby areas of interest and restaurants, banking apps, mountains of social media clients, third-party browsers, etc. Chances are, if your phone is lacking a specific function out-of-box, you can take to the respective application store and will likely find something that suits your needs. In fact, you'll probably find a handful of duplicates.

The other day, I was tapping out an article while eating dinner with my mother and watching television. (I guess this is what you would call a 21st century family dinner.) I'm not much on "reality" television, but there was an intriguing show on while we were stuffing our faces: Hoarders. I have watched it before and it's definitely nothing particularly new or inspiring. As I watched this clearly insane man cry over someone throwing away a "perfectly good" unpaired glove that he never recalled seeing before, however, it made me realize that I'm not so different from him. I may not collect every trinket under the sun and the joists in the floor of my apartment may not be cracking under the sheer weight of the pile of junk in my living room. But I'm just as bad as him in my own little way.

Since this surge of smartphone app development, I have become a bit of a hoarder of a new breed. I collect applications. Granted, this isn't as bad as a potentially life-threatening wall of useless junk that someone refuses to get rid of because they may one day find a use for each individual item. But I have somewhere around 400 applications linked to my accounts, waiting for me to download and use them.

I do pay full price for several apps, especially if I know the developer or have had a pleasant experience with their apps in the past. In that case, I will usually make sure I pay full price and put a little more bread on their table. But when it comes to extremely niche applications, or if they're from a developer I've never heard of before, I will usually wait until the app goes on sale or use the free version as long as possible (these are usually ad-supported and still put money in the developer's pocket).

Features like the Free App of the Day in Amazon's Appstore (though it's dirty business, I still download the app of the day from time to time, simply because I feel that if the developer has not done their due diligence and researched the crookedness of Amazon's daily application deals, it's on them at this point, not the buyer) and applications like App Shopper on iOS have turned me into a bargain shopping, mobile app hoarder. I am constantly on the prowl for deals on apps, applications that I don't really have a use for at the moment, but might one day come in handy. When I'm perusing Android Market or App Store and I see "Introductory price" or "$X.XX for a limited time only" or "Free until [insert day of importance]," I am almost instantly compelled to snag the app while it's at a special price ... or free.

Of the hundreds of apps that I've managed to accrue, I can honestly say I've probably only used 10 or 20 of them. Of those, I've probably only used them once or twice. Of course, they're mine forever, and I just may find a use for them down the road, especially if the app improves with time.

Maybe it's because I'm trying to avoid future buyer's remorse. Or maybe I have some compulsive problem. (Hey, it doesn't hurt anything, right?) As it stands, though, I am a hoarder and the amount of time I find myself looking for mobile app deals is quickly getting out of hand.

What about you, ladies and gents? Do you hoard apps and snag even the most useless ones when they're on sale or free for a limited time? Do you ever end up using them down the road? Or do they sit, ready for that one time you might use them? Of those you have used, how many times have you used them?

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53 Reactions to this post

"Do you like apps?"

Please limit your reaction to 140 characters or use comments for a longer reply :)
Thanks for your participation! :)

Fan OfDreaming I like games :)
Michele Dena yes on my i pad thou
Jeff Cross Got maybe 6 to 8 apps but I'll check out that Amazon app place to see what they have for free
Hieronymous Igharas stupid question,
Kris Sabo Sure do
Paul Davis I just want a phone with a bad ass camera on it. Could care less about applications.
Bamm Grundie Hell yeah i download apps just to see what they do......lmfao
Athier Mohammed yes....got to have me angry birds!
Nicolas Flores I berly go my MyTouch 4G Slide and im like 75 apps in. Too many apps will slow down the blazing fast 1.2 Ghz Dual Core Processor though. Keepin it limited.
Tim Miyashiro That's like asking a slut if she likes dick. Stupid question
Ernest Marvin Esteban We love apps!!!
Anthony Sanchez Oh yes!!!!
Anthony Douglas Just the one's I use on a daily basis...if you have 50+ apps & you use them on a regular basis then thats fine but having a ton of apps just because is stupid
Alex Lopez 320 on my gs2 n luv em all
Benjamin Handel Integration with the OS first, then apps.
Jose Be Julme Yes i am! I must have any app that helps me. On my Android 3.2 tablet, HTC Android 2.2, and iPod Touch 4g.
Jennifer Urieta POCKET FROGS, this weeks addiction....
Santiago Alexander Cruz Ehh the essentials: Pandora, facebook. Angry birds....
David L. Clark Asking "Do you like apps?" in today's cell phone industry is like asking people, "Do you prefer rubber tires or wooden & steel wheels on your car?" Come on, seriously?
Gary Brown I am but when i get my new phone , i'm gonna try to do better . its hard to let go of an app .
Stephen Gunnoe Heck yeah! I download apps all the time when on sale or free. Even if I don't need them. Might need it later.
Ernest Marvin Esteban Yeah. try opening your autocad files using your integration... try solving a math equation using integration. try knowing the first aid for food poisoning using integration, try using your phone as a remote for your desktop using integration. Gosh, these people who says they only need integration not apps are fooling themselves. cause right now, the only thing their windows phone can do is organize your twitter and facebook contacts. sheesh.
Mike Pitts Ima appaholic! I got apps for days. I cant even remember how many apps i have lol
Carlos Quinones I've gotten a little tired of them. They fun for a few minutes here and there, but that's about it. Plus, they can eat thwe battery like crazy
Cory David Baxter app junkie i am
Anthony D. Booker Yes I had been, and still am a little. I had a Galaxy S phone, and I had so many apps I only had 51 mbs left. I said no I gotta do something else, bought the HD7, and life has been a Window into the Galaxy, lol. Windows is the Grand Daddy of Computers and Cellphone. Other people only copied what they did and have succeeded. But now Windowsphone is back to take over. How many apps to we really need?
Jamil Oquendo Integration is much better, everything flows with more harmony. Since this is in it's infancy, apps are still very necessary.
Russell Groce Oh yeah!
Alex Dalton 148 apps so far on my iPhone 4S
Chenou Xiong Hell Yeah
Fonzy Paniagua Only the top rated and most downloaded #Android
Jaime Andrade I like the android apps but i don't like to much stuff on my phone.
Henry Lucio Lmao yes !
David Hilgendorf Yes I like the ones that are useful and that I use almost daily. No junk or spam apps and I don't have apps are hardly ever use. What's the point of having hundreds of apps I never open. Just to say I have more apps then you?
Ernest Marvin Esteban i enjoy using apps. haha, one time AutoCAD WS saved my life. hahaha!
Hubert John Abiera Time to uninstall some apps...
Dustin Meyer o yeah! i'm app crazy. over 200 apps on my ipod, nicely organized in folders.
Ernest Marvin Esteban yes and no, I purchase lots of apps but only install them when i need them to free memory. :)
Christian Sotelo I love apps on the android market but on windows phone it was gay and on the app store market sucks more
BigChuck Rossetti Yes and no... I try billions of them... I've purchased over a hundred.... but I don't hoard them on my phone because it does slow the phone down... I just leave them in the market and if I ever need one or want to show off.. they're always there waiting for me.. all paid for and willing and shit.... nice
Evan Bobbitt I didn't think about it till now, but I am totally an app hoarder!!!
Arvydas Gr Well, I like integration much more. And I enjoy using WP7.5, which has many important features built-in. So I don't have to install any social, search and etc. apps.
Matheius Hussein Williams Nope and never will be
Jaelynne GimmewhatIwant Brooke No. Too many apps makes a slow phone.
Michael Perez Yes homie
Jim Messerfish I like big apps and I cannot lie.
Brandon Friedman noo i love um

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