The Life of an App Store App

Doug sent me this article a few days ago and I thought it was very interesting. However, I forgot to pass it along! Some of you may have already read about this but, for those of you who haven’t…here you go.

Pinch Media has been keeping some nice records of App Store app statistics. What I found to be interesting were the results of the stats. It seems that people quickly lose interest in the apps they download from the App Store. In fact, according to Pinch Media, “For free applications, only about 20 percent of users return to use the app the first day after they download it, and then it quickly drops off from there. By 30 days out, less than 5 percent are using the app. The chart for paid apps shows a slightly steeper fall-off rate.”

Not only did I find this to be interesting but, based on my own experience, highly accurate. There are very few applications that I use on a daily basis and to be honest, there are many I completely forget about after using them the first time (or demoing them).

When I do find that I have a few minutes to spare (usually when waiting at the doctor’s office or when meeting someone) there are a select few games/apps that I choose to occupy my time with. I have pages (and pages) of applications on my iPhone but honestly, I could probably only name about one page worth of those applications. I do realize that I might be a slightly abnormal case since I am constantly testing apps but, I have a feeling this is a universal experience.

What I cannot figure out is if I get bored with applications, if I am partial to certain types of apps or if I just plain forget about apps that I have on my iPhone. Just the other night, Doug and I were watching a movie and I liked one of the background songs so, what does Doug do, he whips out his iPhone and opens Shazam! I had totally forgotten about Shazam and the fact that it is a super cool application! So, I’m still pondering this one and trying to decide if App Store apps are just not developed well enough to hold my attention or if my iPhone is just as saturated with apps as the App Store that I cannot even remember that some exist (even at times when they would be very useful)! You will have to let me know what you think in the comments!

Pinch Media’s results go on to talk about the effectiveness of putting ads in a free application (which turns out to be completely ineffective). You will want to check out TechCrunch’s full article…it has a lot of interesting information. Also take a look at the the Pinch Media presentation at the end of the article (it is an embedded presentation)…there is a ton of great information and stats in there!…especially if you are are app developer or looking into getting started in the app developing world.

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  1. I’ve experienced this as well, I have 108 apps on my phone and basically don’t use about 90% of them. Sure I mess around with the games and stuff once and a while but most get boring quickly.

    This is why i’m really thinking of getting the Palm Pre when it comes out if it does land on Rogers one day. The multi-tasking and integration between chat/IM/txt/facebook is brilliant, they really went all out on making the social aspect of the phone the top priority which is something you would think others would have thought of sooner since a phone is obviously a social device!

    I’m really hoping I can stick with the iPhone but they need to make some big strides with the next version of the phone. Even with jailbreaking they are still very behind in some basic phone functions.

    • I have not really found this to be so. Which basic phone functions are do you feel are lacking? Keep in mind that Apple did not design this to be a portable gaming unit.

    • Sorry for the grammar mistakes; cannot we not have a edit button implemented?

    • I don’t care about it being a portable gaming unit – thats actually the very very least of my concerns, as I mentioned its lacking in basic phone functions. Off the top of my head in order to actually make the basics features of the phone useful I need to jailbreak and install Snapture, Qik, Cycorder, SwirlyMMS, iLog, biteSMS, StatusNotifier, etc. All these programs features should be integrated into the phone already.

      Jailbreaking allows me to fix some of the things Apple got wrong but i’m hoping for a big improvement in the next version of both the firmware (feature wise) and the phone (more RAM, multi-tasking, etc)

  2. I do the same. I have around 70 games on my iPhone and I maybe only play 5 alot. Everytime I restore I put them back onto my iPhone, sort the springboard out and forget again. I think it is just that some games or any other apps seem to stand out a little bit so you go back to them. But if they don’t stand out they are forgotton about :(

  3. I completely agree with this article and you, Brooke. I always download new apps from the AppStore and once I try the app, I usually don’t like it or I find the description to have been misleading, and I delete it within the first 10 minutes of having it. But there are those few apps that I always will have on my phone for when I have free time, like you said you do. Like Facebook & Myspace. I also have apps like Wedict, Shazam, and Flixter for when I NEED them.. But they are really just space fillers (because I use them so rarely.) I just hate having apps on my phone that I never use. But at the same time I hate having to install an app, using Edge, when I NEED it and then deleting it again after I use it once. (I’m a hypocrite, I know!)

    and p.s. I actually just recently found an app that is really cool, and has held my interest for the past week or so.. It’s call Distant Shore. It’s the only app/game that I’ve come across so far, that I’ve played and used for this long.

  4. I personally think that the iPhone is just lacking a very basic feature i.e. Send files via bluetooth

  5. Basiclly, 95% of the applications in the app store are a complete load of rubbish and an utter waste of time – including the bought ones.

    Most of these are exactlty the same as each other only different !!!!!
    (I think you get my meaning)

    However, the restrictions are so severe that not much of any use can be offered anyway, unlike Cydia that has a multitude of well thought out first class app etc.

  6. I have just noticed Stevey’s replay and beg to differ. The iPhone is exactly the same as the iPod Touch with the added phone.

    • And camera, and video recorder (cycorder), louder speakers (3g), bluetooth, silent switch, and internet access wherever. They are different and the phone is way better.

  7. this was very interesting i do find it to be true for i have a friend who has the five row and five coloum tweaks and some how managed to fill five pages of apps but manages to use the calculator most

  8. So, I think that now days the best strategy for being highly ranked is frequently updating apps.
    As the above article mentioned, people easily forget apps and have few change to meet so many apps.