The iPhone has introduced us to a palooza of iOS apps. When it launched in the summer of 2007, we collected apps like there’s no tomorrow. But then the iPad came along, and suddenly it became clear. We only need a few mobile apps on the iPhone. For those fortunate enough to have both devices, the iPad is our proper app warehouse.
I remember when I got my first iPhone, the original model. I started collecting apps because I had a mental list of all the apps I wanted to carry around, like Chess, calculators and news apps. Then, there were apps that took advantage of the iPhone’s special capabilities and were fun to showcase, like G-Park (“Find my Car”), IMDB, and Netflix. Also, I was loathe to delete apps I had reviewed and liked.
And then… the iPad arrived and I realized that many of those apps I had been collecting on my iPhone were unnecessary. I had a dreaded case of iPhone app clutter. Many of these apps properly belong on the big brother with a big screen, the iPad. Think about it. Do we really need to read a book, play chess, or watch a movie on a 3.5-inch screen? That’s something we do because we can, and because it makes for a fun demo with iPhoneless friends. But the long term? I’d rather not.
Nowadays, I have apps on my iPhone that I really need when I’m out and about. (Some of these replace and improve on Apple apps.) The simple calculator mode of PCalc, weather (TWC), a basic news app (USA Today), a GPS and sunrise/sunset app (Nav Clock), astronomy (Star Walk), a good voice recorder (Recorder), a flashlight (MyLite), a full feature alarm (Timewinder), the snow report for Colorado ski resorts, the Colorado Dept of Transportation road report, (which is really a link), Apple’s compass, a car locator (G-Park), movie times (Flixster), some remotes, Skype and Echofon, (but Twitter on iPad), RedLaser, and Urbanspoon. These are apps that I’ll likely need if I’m out and about.
However, I do keep tChess Pro on the iPhone especially for when I’m in a doctor’s or dentist’s waiting room. There’s no better way to speed up time. As always, “the doctor will see you now,” of course, just as I’m closing in on the enemy King. (I keep the app’s ELO below 1800 for that.) Sigh… Other apps that I’ve collected and reviewed, all the other chess apps, some technical reference apps, all my astronomy and science apps, all my favorite news apps and some recipe apps really belong over on the iPad. In fact, with the larger screen and the affordance of folders in iOS 4.x, one can have a very large collection of apps on the iPad. As for the iPhone, I’ve eliminated about half my peak number of apps. No more folders. Now it’s a lean, clean traveling machine. And that’s, after all, what an iPhone should be.
Has this happend to you?