Thousands of phone apps are available, but what 3 do you really need?

Thousands of phone apps are available, but what 3 do you really need?

Summary: We constantly hear how many thousands of applications the Apple App Store has available, yet the quantity of apps and the race to the bottom mean little to me personally. While choice is nice, there are probably too many applications available for people to even begin to find all the best and filter through the junk. Steve Litchfield posted an article over at All About Symbian talking about how most people can probably have a great mobile experience with just a few selected apps rather than loading hundreds and hundreds of them on their phone. I consider myself something of a power user and generally have 25 to 35 apps and games loaded on my devices. Can you get by with just 3 apps and if so, what are they?

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We constantly hear how many thousands of applications the Apple App Store has available, yet the quantity of apps and the race to the bottom mean little to me personally. While choice is nice, there are probably too many applications available for people to even begin to find all the best and filter through the junk. Steve Litchfield posted an article over at All About Symbian talking about how most people can probably have a great mobile experience with just a few selected apps rather than loading hundreds and hundreds of them on their phone. I consider myself something of a power user and generally have 25 to 35 apps and games loaded on my devices. However, if you take away games I too think I could easily get by and perform what I need to with just a few quality apps. Steve listed his three Symbian apps as Gravity, Google Maps, and Opera Mini. Take a look below to see what my selections are for each mobile operating system I have used and then chime in with the three you find essential.

Symbian

  1. Gravity (Twitter app)
  2. Quickoffice
  3. Mail For Exchange

Apple iPhone

  1. Echofon (Twitter app)
  2. Quickoffice
  3. Laridian PocketBible

Windows Mobile

  1. Spb Mobile Shell
  2. Twikini or PockeTwit
  3. Bing

Google Android

  1. Touchdown (Exchange client)
  2. Twidroid (Twitter app)
  3. Documents To Go

BlackBerry

  1. UberTwitter (Twitter app)
  2. Gmail
  3. Pandora

Palm WebOS

  1. Tweed (Twitter app)
  2. Pandora
  3. Evernote

Keep in mind that these are all 3rd party applications and that there are plenty of apps and utilities loaded by default in the operating system on each device. For example, native Office apps are present in Windows Mobile and an outstanding web browser is present on the iPhone so no 3rd party app is needed in these cases.

Topics: Hardware, Apps, Mobility, Operating Systems, Smartphones, Software, Telcos, Social Enterprise

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38 comments
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  • It's interesting...

    ...whatever platform you choose there are a handful of apps that are essential and everything else is kind of... well, fluff.

    Anyway, from a Symbian perspective:

    * Sports Tracker
    * Nokia Maps
    * Facebook
    Sleeper Service
    • The real lesson is that

      not everyone has the same three. Which is why the App store has so
      many titles.

      The secondary lesson is that ideologues will consider everything but
      their three to be useless fluff and a waste of bandwidth.
      frgough
      • I like your comment about ideologues

        [i]The secondary lesson is that ideologues will consider everything but their three to be useless fluff and a waste of bandwidth. [/i]

        Very true. One of the advantages of Windows is that there are billions of applications out there for it. Apple ideologues would immediately apologize for Apple by saying "You don't need lots of apps, you only need the 1 that I happen to use."

        Cue the double standards...
        NonZealot
        • Choice windows good, choice app store bad

          Where's the author article complaining about choice of windows
          applications?

          "Apple ideologues would immediately apologize for Apple by saying "You
          don't need lots of apps, you only need the 1 that I happen to use.""

          Apple ideologues blamed for a double standard they didn't commit.

          This stuff is priceless;-)
          Richard Flude
      • Indeed.

        If you look at Rafe's article you will see that most Symbian users have differing top threes.

        That said, there is probably a pool of, say, 20 to 30 useful app types which everyone uses at some point. They may be different manufacturers or platforms but they're essentially the same thing.
        Sleeper Service
        • 20 to 30 apps are enough!!

          sure.

          you anti-apple zealots live in deep denial. 20 apps is enough! i don't
          want more than 20 apps! please keep away with your 85.000 apps! i
          don't want them, i don't need them!
          bannedfromzdnetagain
          • I'm curious about your answer

            Just how many apps do you think there are currently available for Symbian and WindowsMobile?
            NonZealot
          • OK...

            ...name the apps that you use ellroy and we'll see what they are and if there are alternatives.

            Incidentally, I'm typing this on my Macbook - you shouldn't confuse zealotry with realism.
            Sleeper Service
      • Yes But...

        iPhone has far less Apps available for it than say Windows Mobile ...Apple is just trying to tout it to use its shortcoming as a strength. Which is ok, but those Windows Mobile applications have been being built and sold for 10 years plus. There are literally billions of them.
        condelirios
        • 18.000

          according to the Windows Mobile press relations team: there are
          currently 18.000+ apps avalaible for windows mobile 6.0 & 6.1

          http://www.informationweek.com/blog/main/archives/2008/07/window
          s_mobile_7.html;jsessionid=4YR5BCCDZVDYPQE1GHPSKHWATMY32JVN

          bannedfromzdnetagain
          • 18,000 PROFESSIONAL apps

            iPhone can't boast the same thing since 90% of the apps in Apple's app store are iFart and iFlashlight apps.

            We won't even talk about the millions of custom apps that aren't visible outside of the companies or individuals that wrote them.

            We also won't talk about the millions of apps on forums like XDA.
            NonZealot
          • repeat

            just repeating the same bulls**t line of quadrillions ifart apps doesn't
            make it more true. you live in deep denial, man.
            bannedfromzdnetagain
    • Exactly right

      Being proud of 85,000 farting applications is... well... silly.

      From a Windows Mobile perspective, the APPS I use the most:
      1. Opera Mobile
      2. Communicator (OCS client)
      3. eWallet (password management)
      (also a shout out to Google Maps)

      The system modifications I use the most:
      1. TouchPal (excellent keyboard)
      2. SPB Mobile Shell (finally decided I like this more than TouchFLO)
      3. ThumbCal (calendar / task app with a more finger friendly focus)
      NonZealot
      • You can't mean ...

        ...That jiggling boobs is unnecessary fluff?

        I wasn't that impressed with Opera Mobile. Google
        Maps is a must-have.

        I prefer FingerKeyboard and PhoneEx is the only
        shell modification I found necessary.

        Oh, yeah, I make the occasional phone call, too.
        Lunatic59
  • RE: Thousands of phone apps are available, but what 3 do you really need?

    For the iPhone, I would include the Google Mobile app.
    steve@...
    • Oh yeah, and one more

      I like iFart app #238. That one has the most realistic farting sounds.
      NonZealot
      • LMAO!

        TOO funny
        condelirios
  • RE: Thousands of phone apps are available, but what 3 do you really need?

    SUNDAY DRIVE for iPhone
    sundaydrive
  • RE: Thousands of phone apps are available, but what 3 do you really need?

    I prefer games. =D

    - Space Invaders: Infinity Gene
    - Synth Racing
    - Peggle
    BobZito
  • pocket bible!

    matthew, call me not surprised! you carry the pocket bible on
    your iphone (which you only have for testing purposes!) and
    you probably believe that god created earth 6000 years ago
    (or was it 5000?) and eve came from adam's rip. and there is
    no real proof in evolution, right?

    oh, and sure it is better to have only a few apps!
    bannedfromzdnetagain