Changing the Way I Think About iPhone/iPad Apps

Over the last few years, my iPhone has become a dumping ground for all kinds of apps, free apps, purchased apps, and reviewed apps. Now that I have an iPad, my thinking about my app profile has changed.

When I only had one repository for apps, I tended to accumulate apps. Even if I reviewed an app and didn’t find it useful for me in the long run, it tended to stay in the iPhone. I suppose the answer to “Why?” is because “I had room.” I know, that’s lame, but I’m often showing my iPhone to friends and people I meet.

John's news & Info

My iPad News & Info Page

Now that I have an iPad, two things have happened. First, I really try to stick to apps on the iPad that are Universal, that is, those that take advantage of the full screen of the iPad but also run on the iPhone — or — iPad specific apps. Second, I find myself no longer interested in accumulating apps for the iPhone, and the number that I keep on the iPhone is going down, not up. That’s because I’ve realized that some of the apps I had on the iPhone are really more appropriate to have on the iPad — such as news, Chess, book readers, astronomy & science, and Bento.

And then there are in between apps that I want to have on both, like movie times and other news & info reports that are useful when mobile but also useful when I pick up the iPad around the house.

Because I have a Wi-Fi iPad without 3G, I’m eliminating a whole bunch of apps on the iPhone and focusing on apps that I would really need when out and about on the AT&T 3G network: Colorado road info, snow report, G-Park, Twitter, Movie info (“Now Playing”) voice recorder and Shazam to name a few. The process has cleaned out the clutter on my iPhone and made it more useful as an on-the-go device rather than as a showcase for all kinds of apps that are really better to have over on the iPad. Or not at all.

I also tended to accumulate duplicate apps for a single purpose on the iPhone. I had Twittelator, Twitterific, and Echofon on the iPhone. Having an iPad has steered me towards selecting the single best Twitter app for each device: Twittelator on the iPhone and Echofon (at 2x) on the iPad. (IMHO). Again, that’s causing the number of apps on my iPhone to go down, not up.

If I had a 3G iPad and carried it out and about, I would probably have a different philosophy, but I find that carrying the iPad when out on weekends doesn’t make sense for me while the iPhone is perfect for that purpose. So my philosophy is likely different than people who have a 3G iPad and take it everywhere.

How about you? Have you thought about a smarter allocation of apps between the iPhone and a W-Fi iPad? Does having a 3G iPad make you think differently about how you allocate your apps?