Are You Still Using Your iPhone Apps?


div style="width:425px;text-align:left" id="__ss_1044869">iPhone AppStore Secrets - Pinch Media

Pinch Media, who provide metrics/analytics for iPhone users recently gave a presentation on "AppStore Secrets" that highlighted what they're seeing in terms of free vs. ad supported vs. paid, and usage patterns over time. They try to provide developers with some useful number crunching on how and when to determine if their application is "sticky" and modulate price and ad support, but they also show some things that are interesting from the user perspective:

  1. We don't use free apps that much. Sure, we download them by the gigabyte-full, but after a few tries, it's buh-bye. If we pay for it, we probably need/want it more, and hence use it more.
  2. We keep using games longer than any other type of app.

Things rings true for me. Of all the apps I've downloaded (and they've been many, free and paid), about the only ones I use consistently are casual games and communication clients (IM, Twitter, etc.) The rest of the time, I'm using built-in apps like Safari, Email, iPod, etc. And even among those "sticky" apps, when I've had my fill of one game, I move on to another. When a new Twitter or IM client comes out, I switch to it (and sometimes switch back and forth).

What about you? Do you stop using free apps faster than paid? And what apps do you keep using?

(Thanks to everyone who sent this in!)

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Rene Ritchie

EiC of iMore, EP of Mobile Nations, Apple analyst, co-host of Debug, Iterate, Vector, Review, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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Reader comments

Are You Still Using Your iPhone Apps?


I play casual games for a while then forget about it. Actually it's the same with all my apps. Until something new comes along of course!

This is very true (for me anyway) the only free apps i have on my phone right now are and google Earth, iv downloaded hundreds of free apps but most of them wear useless and not worth opening twice, i have 18 games apps (non free) and there what i use most along with Tweetie and the standard iphone apps

I still use the apps I paid for. The freeones never. That's why there free. They are cool for about five minutes.

I download quite a few free apps but only keep them for a few hours. Apps that I keep on using are Remote, Facebook, and The Snow Report by the North Face because I'm always going to need to use them more than once.

I've never paid for an app. I use several twitter apps a lot and a couple of games a bit but they all get old quick. It's about the chase more than the catch.

Only free apps i have kept for more than a day or two are: fring (for sip and im), im+, linkedin, facebook, a twitter client, a radio, a couple of games, a sports score app. Thats it. Have tried many, really many.

Wow! I paid for games, and I hardly ever use them. Playing games makes me no money and I don't learn anything. My most used apps are BeeJive and wikipanion.

Most of my apps are "just-in-case" apps; I keep most of them just in case I might ever need them. Out of all of them, I probably only use about 6 of them regularly. And only one of them (Fieldrunners) is paid.

I have lots of apps, but the ones I use daily are Stitcher, Slacker, Pandora,, Google App, Bank Of America, Facebook, and Shovel.

I use OmniFocus (paid) all the time for shopping lists.
I have written a couple of casual games (one is out: Triples, a set-like puzzle game; the other's still in development) and I do play them. I try not to release something until "testing" it starts to wreck my productivity :-)

I downloaded over 600 apps; how many on my phone? 35 apps that I use frequently or rarely (but have value and they come in handy every once in a while)

i only have abut 14 apps insalled all the time the rest are saved in itunes for when i need them. I only keep apps that i use daily on the phone. I keep tweetie, aol radio, yahoo answers, slacker radio, twinkle, ifitness, google app, ido,recorder,chase banking, ewallet, ebay, amazon, newstand.

I'm about half-and-half. I do use free apps daily -- Facebook, Sportacular, NY Times, Amazon, Google, Around Me, Mobile by Citysearch, OpenTable, USA Today. Of my paid apps, Crosswords gets by far the most play (that's what new puzzles every day will do, I guess). Also, Scrabble I play at some point most weeks, and even Bejeweled gets a few plays a month. And my most expensive app, the American Heritage Dictionary, is one I use most days. I do enjoy more action-oriented games, but I do find I burn out on them more quickly.

I must be the odd man out here.
The apps I use the most were all free apps.
Being a news junkie I use USAToday and the AP new feeder, some free weather apps, Google's free app, as well as the Apple included apps far more than any of the ones I paid for.

It's about evenly split for me. The only free apps I've downloaded are those that I need for my econmerce businesses (PayPal, eBay, iTalk, Facebook, etc), along with the six or so paid apps I still use regulary. I don't download crApps in the first place so, I've never had to delete anything (except IM+ after discovering Beejive).

I find I hardly use any third party apps, paid or free. But certainly the paid ones get used a little longer, several days vs an hour for most free apps.

I hear you Mike. No one else cares about what apps some guy down in Houston is using, lol.

@Mile & Al:
The last sentence in the article asks "And what apps do you keep using?"
Sorry to make you two look like complete azzes. Read more closely next time. :roll:
... Oh, and like anyone cares that you don't care. :lol:

Free apps are not necessary bad apps...from what we at fring see our free fring app is been used more and more by users. But I guess it might be a unique case. Is it realy?

3rd party apps I use daily: Appigo Todo, Appigo Notebook, Bloomberg, USA Today, Smart Dial, Melodis Dialer, Weightbot, Pandora, What’s On?, Remote.
I have a ton of games installed, most of which are free, and several utilities which are used infrequently. However, they are all useful and/or fun on the odd occasion they are used.
Not quite sure what the Pinch Media survey was trying to prove; the same has been true for every mobile device I have ever owned, except the choice of apps was far smaller and most were more expensive. Of course, the blogosphere is wetting its collective pants over this “study - it’ll regurgitate any old pap for a cheap headline.

Most of the apps I use on a regular basis are built in or jb apps(most free) some I've never turned off. The only paid app I use on a regular basis is McCleaner I never turn this one off....IMO the best unwanted call/sms blocker and also the reason I jailbroke in the first place.. the best $12 I've ever spent :).