September 27, 2017

What Apps on Your Smartphone Are Your Favorites?


There are over 2.8 million apps for Android phones, 2.2 million for Apple smartphones. Those are incredible numbers. While it may seem that you have a large percentage of those on your phone, our actual use is surprisingly small. The typical person uses nine applications per day, from a core of 30 apps that are clicked at least once a month. Many more may live on your phone, but they are unused.

I thought it might be interesting to share which smartphone apps we use most often. Which ones are essential to you everyday? Which ones are part of your regular routine, though not as often? Which one have you tried and deleted because they just didn't fit your lifestyle or they bombard you with too many ads and constant updates? What are the silliest or most unnecessary apps you have seen?

How about my phone? There are 40 apps on my Android Galaxy. I am on par with the national average: seven or eight of them I use every day and another 10-15 get monthly use. There are several that came with the phone that have been either deleted or disabled when Android insists I keep it.


Daily, I look at:


1) Huffpost
2) CNN
3) Gmail
4) Google Calendar
5) Chrome browser
6) Messenger
7) Twitter & Facebook

Weekly:


1) Spotify
2) Alexa
3) various bank apps and credit card apps
4) Weather channel (will it ever cool down?)
5) Google maps
6) Phone (yes, I actually make a few calls per week)
7) a ham radio app to take part in weekly on-air meeting



Monthly (or less):


1) Verizon (to check on data use)
2)  Groupon
3) Anti-virus app (it does its thing every day in the background)
4) Trip Advisor
5) VR (when grandkids want to play VR games)
5) Camera



What are my major application irritants? 


A) Those that update too frequently. The "new" version is worse than the old one.
B) Apps that load too slowly because of too many video or advertising popups. 
C) Those that require registration and/or email address to continue. 
D) Those that don't deliver what they promise.
E) Those preloaded on the phone that I can't delete

The New Galaxy 8 will be released shortly, at a price close to $800. Apple's newest version is now out, too, at a similarly silly price. At least for me, that is crazy. At those prices, my Galaxy 6 is going to be my best buddy for a long time to come. The apps I choose to use have to work for my lifestyle.

How about you? What apps can't you do without and which ones have you discovered that disappoint or frustrate you? Help us out!




49 comments:

  1. I agree with your irritants list. I could easily live without the apps, at the same time I do use the following: calculator, weather, maps, Safari, email, KUSC - a classical radio station from LA, iHeart Radio, Pinterest, Flught Aware, Duolingo, notes.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. I forgot to list the NPR app that I sometimes listen to while at the gym or on long walks. I like some of their podcasts.

      Delete
  2. WhatsApp use extensively when traveling out of country or traveling. It's free to get, to text, to video call, send images on my iPhone & on DH & son's androids. The person you are communicating with must also have the app. Airbnb for our travels to stay in touch with upcoming stays. Path, a closed social media site open to only invitees to see photos of family and close friends. Free. Great way to 'see' the grandkids.Use the Health & Activity apps daily to track activity to remind me to walk, stand, exercise to goals I set.Also use Walgreens Wellness app to track activity that results in coupons awarded to use in store.i use my Kindle app a lot too. Would be lost without iHeartRadio & The Standards Station is my favorite, Encrptme acts as VPN for free wifi to browse safely, and TimeWarner Passport for free wifi (we use TimeWarner/Spectrum for internet at home). Rome2Rio use for travel. MobilePass for ease of return to US when traveling.Use StickyPass for corralling all my passwords to check banking, credit card statements etc. Tile app to find items such as my keys, my purse & my iPad & I had to buy Tiles to place on devices, I also must replace Tiles when they expire. I use TripAdvisor for travel or restaurants. Use Life360 to stay in touch with spouse w/o having to call. I check Headlinespot daily & w/in that aggregator read another aggregator Google News, Washington Post (subscribe), BBC, and read The Guardian. I also read the digital version of my local newspaper (subscribe) but read the latter sporadically. That's a lot & have more that are used & some I don't use so need to rethink keeping. Two game apps that are free that I use a lot are FreeCell & Moonlight Lite Mahjong..the latter less than FreeCell & sometimes I just need a little time waster to relax or pass the time while waiting. Still have many more apps but these are the ones I would miss.

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    1. Wow, an excellent list of many apps I have not heard of. I am going to have to take some time and try out several of the ones you mentioned. Thanks!

      Delete
  3. Am I the only one without a smart phone?

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    1. No, but thanks for reminding us that there are millions of folks who survive quite nicely with an older phone. In fact, surveys say that about 23% of Americans do not have a smartphone.

      Delete
    2. No, but you're on the endangered species list...

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    3. No you are NOT!!! Thank goodness someone already said this, I was thinking I was the only one as I was reading the comments.

      Delete
  4. In addition to many apps you listed I use:

    Out of Milk, for grocery lists
    NYTimes, but just the free preview version
    Snapseed, to enhance photos
    Dropwords, when killing time
    BBC News
    Waze, when on a road trip to spot jams
    Weather Underground
    Word Reference-because I study Italian
    Reverso in Context, again for language learning
    RAI Italia, to read news in Italian

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I found a new one recently called Vocabulary that teaches me (or reminds me!) about a new word each day. English has so many words that go unused, this is a great tool for keeping the brain active and helping when playing Scrabble.

      Delete
  5. I was a rather late adopter of a smart phone, but absolutely love it when traveling, when free wi fi is available in hotel rooms and elsewhere (although I avoid using it for anything financial). Around the house I still use my laptop, not my phone, as I don't have wireless set up. I downloaded the American Airlines app before a very recent trip, and was quite glad I did, as my flight was diverted due to bad weather, which caused a delay on arrival at the connecting airport. This then resulted in several passengers being automatically rebooked for the next flight which was not until the next day. This then required an overnight stay, the cost for which AA said they were not responsible, as it was a weather event, not their fault. I was able to use the app in flight to find that I had not been rebooked, even though I had a rather mad dash to make my connecting flight, arriving 7 minutes before boarding. My favorite app is a small notification calendar which keeps me informed of upcoming dates when I have something planned.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. For me a smartphone really shines during travel. I can leave a laptop or tablet at home since everything can be accomplished on the phone.

      I use Google Calendar extensively. Without it I'd be lost each day.

      Delete
  6. P.S. I also have the Geico App and AAA app installed, but have not needed to use them.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. I thought about the AAA app, but decided to just carry the membership card instead..one less icon on my phone's screen.

      Delete
  7. Well, I use my apps for money saving activities and so on, and actually dont use the calendar as I use paper in that area. Daily: My banking app (checked every day), my camera,a note app for lists and such, Chrome (I view my news through the browser), messaging (texts),twitter, facebook, a complentative prayer app, a bible app, instagram. Amazon music, calculato, contacts, email. I also run a variety of passive apps on my phone throughout the day that just run when I am in wifi Weekly or occasionally my list is much longer as I have apps for all of the stores and all of the places I eat out at, shop at, go to or whatever, So those could include AMC movies, King Soopers, Walmart, Panera bread,Walgreens app and more. Each of those apps allows me to load my card, many allow me to pay and all give discounts not available on the website.Too many to list here. I do ALL of my calling on my phone and do not use a land line. So it is used daily. Oh, and words with friends. Much more. Maps, the timer feater for reminding me to get up and move, the my fitness pal app for daily food and exercise tracking. On rare occasions when I am waiting in line I have been known to use the Kindle app or something like that. I'm sure there are more.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Another good list that gives all of us some apps to consider.

      Like you, we gave up our landline phone several years ago, mainly due to all the junk calls. Guess what...they are now all coming in on the cell phone!

      Delete
    2. Oh and I forgot my insurance apps, I dont carry a ppaper insurance card or AAA card,

      Delete
  8. I use a free app called Mile IQ to keep track of mileage. It's free up to 40 trips per month. Could be handy for keeping track of charity mileage. I use the app Wonderlist as my Task List, because it easily updates across all devices and can have many lists and sublists. And if you'd like to learn a new language, nothing beats Duolingo.

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    1. I have heard of Wonderlist but never taken a look.

      Delete
  9. What's an app? Just kidding. Umm, not really....

    ReplyDelete
  10. [All iOS]
    Dark Sky for super-local weather
    Words with Friends for online scrabble
    WorkFlowy for to-do lists
    Overcast for podcassts
    Soon to remember books, movies, albums, restaurants...
    Slack for client communications
    Google Maps for directions
    Kindle for reading
    Bloomberg for news
    Starbucks for coffee
    Airline apps when traveling
    DominoDrop for mindless gaming

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Some of those sound like ones I would like. My grandson has asked to play Scrabble with me, so maybe I should use the Words with Friends to practice.

      Delete
  11. And these lists go on...! I see a lot I'd like to try, but then, the whole point at the top of the story was about reducing Apps, or at least recognizing how few we use. Seeing all these new ones here moves me in the opposite direction!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are right. This post may have opened up a can of app worms! What I am likely do is see if any of the suggested ones are better than something I am using and then do a swap. My goal is not to add much more to the phone.

      Delete
  12. I use Shazam to identify music but I am guessing you would have no need for that!

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    1. If it is from the 60's or 70's I am pretty good. After that, don't put me on a game show.

      Delete
  13. Tunein Radio, Swiftnotes (a leaner Evernote) Spotify, Radio Paradise, Folder Player Pro (plays music stored on my sd card), Twitter, Facebook, Google Maps and of course the phone, IM and photos.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. My irritants are mostly with Google forcing apps on my phone that I can't delete. Spotify forced me to add an app to prevent it from playing music automatically when I start it. I'd sure like a phone where I have more freedom.

      Delete
    2. I have tried to use Evernote several times but it is just too full-featured for my needs. I'll take a look at Swiftnotes. Something like this may be helpful for saving ideas for posts if I find something and then save it in some organized fashion.

      Delete
    3. That's exactly why I switched.

      Delete
    4. I use Ninox Database as it is very easy to use and doesn't require much "computer speak". I keep lists for everything and most are on Ninox. OneNote is pretty good but Ninox is just easier.

      Delete
  14. EverNote - keeps track of anything + everything (shopping lists for groceries + home depot, To Do lists, furnace filter sizes, appliance model #'s + serial numbers, frequent flyer + hotel membership numbers, I could go on + on). And it syncs with home computer and/or tablet. I clip info from articles/magazines to save for later (usually related to travel). Banking app to mobile deposit the occasional checks that come in - don't do much other financial stuff on phone though. Voice recorder, Mobile Passport for travel outside US (re-entry), Splitwise for tracking expenses when traveling with friends, SitorSquat bathroom locator for travel, airline + hotel apps, RBDigital/Zinio - magazines access through local library, flashlight, county emergency app (earthquake, fire, etc), ICE emergency contact info.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. I just noted in the comment above yours that Evernote is too overwhelming for my needs, but it sounds as though you have figured it all out.

      I like the name of the bathroom app...my heavens, there is an app for everything!

      Delete
    2. Yes, EVernote does a lot and they add more features. I like that I don't have to have separate apps for to do lists, shopping, movies to see or books to read or music to get and so on. Less clutter on the phone + asking the question - now, where did I 'file' that info? For me, the synchronization between computer/tablet + phone is priceless. Before retiring I had it on about 5 devices and all synchronized.

      And it's wonderful for travel, keeping notes of events that will be going on during my visit, places to see and so on. In the past there would have been a fat file folder. and all my reservations.
      I've also started tracking info on elderly relative in another state - because he can't find anything and is so disorganized.
      We all have favorites + what is easiest to use.

      Delete
  15. I use Flipboard for reading news and magazine articles.

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  16. I find using my PHONE to be a pain in the butt because it is so SMALL.. but now in real estate work,I have to learn to love my PHONE.I have an IPAd which is better for me ... and I use apps on both. I don't remember all the names of all the apps! But I have weather and traffic apps. I LOVE my music apps..GOOGLE MUSIC and PANDORA. Banking apps. But I don't do BANKING on my phone.If I lose my phone I have no banking apps loaded on it. I love google drive for lots of things.. Are new sites considered apps? I love Huffington Post (well,less,lately) BBC and CNN. But I tend to do stuff on the ipad or laptop.Phones are so small. well, mine at least.I have a 5 S iphone, do not need an upgrade yet.. great post,Bob!!!! I will be looking at all the replies and trying out some new stuff....

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    1. I love being able to deposit a check just by taking photos of it and having it go directly into a checking account. It means I almost never go to a bank anymore except to use the ATM.

      I received a free tablet from Verizon after my last phone upgrade 2+ years ago. Well, free except for the $10 a month line charge! It is a good size for reading newspapers, magazines, and web sites.

      Delete
  17. I follow along with your list of apps on my phone. I do like being able to look at my financial institutions quickly but generally use my laptop. Podcasts are great and I have the local pbs radio station app on my phone. Nice to listen to when I am waiting somewhere. I have wireless blue tooth headphones which make it easy to listen. Good topic and I liked reading about all the different apps

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    1. Yes,, it is fun to read about what others have on their phone. I have found a few that folks have listed that sound worth looking at. Will I use them enough to keep them? Who knows, but since they are free no problem if I delete something after a while.

      Delete
  18. I have a hard and fast rule, and that is not to pay for any app on my phone (also true of my PCs). On a daily basis I use Yahoo Mail, Gmail, Facebook, Fox News, TD Ameritrade, Yahoo Finance, Accuweather, Garmin Connect (for my Vivofit results), and Mr Number (to block all the spam calls). Don't use my phone for music or any other apps that many find interesting. I have a love for the kind of music I like, and listening on a phone likely will not satisfy that love.

    I am with you on the new phones, Bob. I moved to a Motorola Droid Turbo2 two years ago and it works great. My only problem in the past was scratching or break the glass and with the Turbo2's unbreakable glass setup, that has been rectified. I'll hold onto this until there is a major sea change in technology, and a slightly better viewing image, or camera, or faster processor (when the existing processor is plenty fast) are not enough to get me to shell out $800-1000. Those that do, more power to you, but we weren't able to retire early by throwing our $ away on phones that do not need upgrading.

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    1. The phone and computer businesses (almost the same anymore) thrive on getting us to feel we must have the fastest and newest whatever. I am not biting. Would a 4k TV look substantially better than the HD in the living room? Not enough to get me to rush down to Best Buy.

      I only listen to music on the phone at the gym. With a decent pair of headphones and fast enough WiFI, the sounds gets me through the 45 minutes better than staring at news channels on the TVs hung from the ceiling!

      Delete
  19. Great post and some new app ideas! I was also reminded to reload Sit or Squat before my upcoming trip. :-)

    I'm totally hooked on my iPhone and would be lost without it, and as you said, it makes travel SO much better. I use all the standard iOS apps, and would love to be able to delete those I would never use, e.g. Garage Band (!) and iMovie, etc.

    Daily or nearly: Weather (multiple cities - family members, travel, etc.), iMessage (everyone texts instead of calling now), Mail, FaceTime, Safari, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Podcasts (while exercising), NYTimes, Amazon, Alexa (shopping list, music), Calculator, Notes, Credit Union (LOVE the mobile deposit feature), Maps, Weight Watchers, Vanguard.

    Those I use less often but weekly: Costco, meditation app, Flixster (movie reviews, etc.).

    Less than weekly: Netflix (mostly for research, watch on TV or iPad), Zappos, Yahoo Mail (read on larger screen), Apple Watch, Trip Advisor, Yelp, Delta Airlines, Panera Bread, Macys, Voice Memo app, Compass, Scanner+Pro (makes PDFs).

    Dang, I didn't realize I had so many. I created files so they take up less screen space and don't block my wallpaper. :-) Probably need to rethink as few of them that I'm not really using. I can alway reload them if I miss them.
    --Hope

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    1. Yes, that is quite a list! I use Trip Advisor when planning and booking trips in the States and find it pretty accurate and helpful, especially suggesting things to do in a new city.

      I see you listed podcasts. I will briefly discuss them in a post that goes up here tomorrow. You may have a new one to listen to!

      Delete
  20. Just posted on Next Avenue (via grandparents.com), a group of recommended apps. One helps you find your car in a vast parking lot, another senses when you fall suddenly.

    http://www.nextavenue.org/slideshow/apps-change-life-2017/

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  21. Like Madeline, I find the font on the phone too small, and prefer to use my iPad when I am at home. However, I use my iPhone a lot more since I upgraded from a 4s to a 6s as the font and keys are just a bit bigger. On my phone, I use the following everyday: clock, camera, health, messages, phone, google search, google maps, Duolingo. I also use the following on a weekly or monthly basis: outlook mail, gmail, calendar, photos, weather, stocks, App Store, FaceTime, Facebook, messenger, HomeAway, ferries schedule, and have just downloaded Spotify. I prefer to use the iPad for outlook mail, calendar, Word, Facebook, Pinterest, Blogger, TED Talks, Google search, Netflix, and iBooks. Although I read the news on the iPad, I tend to go to news sites via google search rather than having apps installed. I use Blogger and Google search to read my favourite blogs.

    Jude

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    1. One note, Jude, that the sizes of the icons are changeable, as are the fonts for various functions, like reading email. Of course, bigger icons mean fewer fit on each screen, but that may be an inducement to cut back!

      Delete

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