I am a proud and practicing mobile application hoarder. I love applications, and I love finding new apps to incorporated into my daily routine. Nothing gives a warm and fuzzy feeling quite like finding the application that does exactly what you've been needing for ages.
Any application that might make my work and personal life easier, more enjoyable and interesting is worth a download. Among the types of applications I am always rummaging around for are: productivity apps, plain text and markdown editors, photo editing apps, collaboration tools and the few odd nuggets that grab my attention like Burner or Tie Guide. Occasionally, I'll download a game or two to kill time.
Over time, though, entirely too many applications begin to accumulate on my home screens. Pages upon pages of tiny icons stowed in folders make it particularly difficult to remember where everything is stored, to hone in on a specific application's position in an instant.
And it's not like I use all of them regularly anyway.
Back in June, I shared a breakdown of all the iOS and Android applications that I can't live without. In that article, I named 33 iOS and Android applications that I use frequently – not necessarily on a daily basis, but enough to keep around all the time. The rest aren't used more than a few times every month at best.
Just over a week ago, I had 320 applications installed on the three active devices I use on a daily basis – that was 151 on the iPad, 85 on the HTC One X and 84 on the iPhone 4S. Since then, I've downloaded several more applications and deleted a few from all of my devices.
I noted the Friday before last that the never-ending stream of application updates was driving me up the wall. It still is, for that matter. Not only is the constant barrage of application update notifications annoying, the sheer amount of updates is putting a major dent in my data cap (at least on my AT&T line). And with the amount of applications I have installed, limited storage space is becoming a point of concern.
So just after lunch today, I started scrolling back and forth between my home screens (and in my app drawer on the One X) on my phones. I figured deleting some of those unused applications would help prune the unnecessary updates. I deleted all of the applications that I couldn't remember using within the last few months. Then I went back and narrowed the filter down to applications that I've only used once or twice in the past month that I can live with out.
Believe it or not, deleting applications is hard work when you're a hoarder. On both the One X and iPhone 4S, I have slimmed the applications down to exactly 70, deleting a total of 29 applications. I tend to do this every few months. Sometimes it gets to be too much and I just perform a complete wipe and start from scratch. That's likely what I will do when the iPhone 5 arrives on my doorstep and with any other devices I may nab.
Next up is the iPad. But with 151 applications, that one will be more of a chore. I'll save that one for a lazy Saturday or something.
But I'm curious, readers. Do you ever feel the need to clean up your phone and free up memory? How do you do it? One by one? A full wipe? Or do you just let your phone ooze with apps and throw free storage space to the wayside?