When I was a kid, the most coveted Christmas item for me and my generation was the Millennium Falcon. It was the subject of daily pleas to mom, grandma, aunt, dad, etc., and just about anyone else who would listen. It was the MUST HAVE item of my youth. I just needed that toy…that was until my Transformers construction set appeared the next year and it was time to trade out room in the toy chest and chuck out Han Solo.
Things haven’t changed. My toy chest today has limited space as well (of the gigabyte kind), with apps that I wanted yesterday battling those I want today. Now, I just click “Buy” in iTunes and my inner child is instantly satiated with the newest, latest and greatest must-have toy app.
After downloading an iTunes update last night, I caught a quick view of the apps eating up space on my iPhone. Because I travel a lot, iCloud or Spotify aren’t going to cut it at 33,000 feet (and space for my music is non-negotiable). Within five minutes of viewing Apple’s cleaner UI, I started to erase all the apps that haven’t been updated in months, those that haven’t been used for over a year, or those I never even opened since they were downloaded.
If only developers and brands took the time to reassess the coveted real estate their apps take up on iTunes and on devices. For example, I’ve had Microsoft’s Xbox app on my iPad and iPhone for years. The app, which keeps track of a user’s Xbox Live friends’ activity, was fairly useless until Microsoft recently reimagined it as Smart Glass, which acts as both Xbox controller and provider of supplemental information regarding what a player does with their game console. Rather than clutter the land of misfit apps, Microsoft decided to rebuild and earned another day on my device.
Like George Lucas, app developers need to reinvent their wares from time to time in order to maintain relevance; if I had kept my 1978 Millennium Falcon it would sell for at least a couple hundred bucks. I can’t say I’ve found many apps that were worth the same in megabytes.