(Excluding default apps you already never use)
Smart phones are amazing. They’re also jammed up with dozens of apps we might have the intention of using, but which do not stand a chance.
The vast majority of these are perfectly fine apps, well designed and useful. The issue is a mobile device version of the old computer malady, PEBKAC (Problem Exists Between Keyboard And Chair).
Without further ado, here’s a batch of apps you add to the home screen but haven’t opened ever since (and by you I mean the royal “you”, a non-specific aggregate meant to represent a more anonymized version of someone closer to home).
1. Google Translate:
You downloaded it that one time in 2017 to explain to the drywall guy which paint was for the ceiling and which was for the wall, and haven’t needed it since. But you might go to Italy someday.
Remember that blog about favorite drum fills you were going to start? Neither does anyone else. As a matter of fact, you no longer have the login information because you downloaded this one before you started using a password manager. It’s probably in a Google spreadsheet somewhere.
3. TV Remote App:
The concept is noble. An app that can control your TV, cable box, Apple TV, Roku, Fire TV, and Surround Sound bar. We all knew it was never going to work, starting with the Bluetooth pairing. Great, now you’ve got one more remote floating around.
4. Pomodoro Timer:
That was such a cool article that inspired you to rock your productivity in 20-minute bursts. You got all amped up about boosting your focus, and you did it! For two days and never again.
5. Intermittent Fasting:
Also two days and never again. Turns out the “fasting” part means not eating for like sixteen hours. It’s hard to imagine our distant ancestors fought their way to this rung of the food chain for us to do that.
2018 was the year you were going to get all the finances in order. You know, scan all your receipts and have expenses all sorted out. Again, this is one of those apps where you actually have to do the work, not chase down your accountant with a shoebox the second week of April.
7. Podcast Recorder:
You don’t even remember what you were going to podcast about. You went so far as to listen to other podcasts to get in the swing of it. Maybe it was going to be interviews? Clever observations on politics or advertising trends. Product reviews? Comedy? Hang on to the app in case it comes to you.
8. Amazon Seller:
Somehow you got all pumped up by that article about drop shipping. Seemed like a good idea at the time, which is probably the best explanation for most of the apps here. You could probably fit eBay, LetGo, and any number of selling apps here. Everything is expensive until you try to sell it.
9. High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT):
Cue the Rocky theme as you dash headlong into a triumphant… nope, that’s really hard. We all have a baseline level of activity, and there are many of us for whom burpees just don’t fit in the picture. Typing furiously about pet peeves seems to be a pretty good activity.
Let’s face it, if you’re over 16 you will never understand why people make posts that disappear before you can get around to reading them. For example, a whole army of Gen Z kids could cancel this article and the rest of us would have no idea.
11. Some kind of Authenticator:
Probably downloaded this to log in to a client’s secure network once, and now you’re not sure if you can safely delete it. You’re not really sure if you legally can delete it. You’re not even sure if it should still be on your phone. Who’s that at the door?
An app that reminds you three times a day to exercise, stay on task, or some crap like that. The only task you’ve managed to complete with this one is updating it regularly for six months. As of last count, this reporter has about six productivity apps gathering cobwebs on his phone.
Ironically, the four unopened mindfulness apps you’ve already got are giving you anxiety. For what it’s worth, meditation app developers, some of us are exceedingly unlikely to create a new account to “try out” a session.
If only wishful thinking could limber up those brittle tendons. Here’s another category littered with earnest attempts at self-improvement. The apps themselves are not to blame, though. It’s more of an end-user resistance to stretchy activities that look a lot easier on the screen.
15. Unknown App:
You have no idea when you downloaded it or why, and when you open it all you get is a login page. Sadly, it gets worse when you Google the name because you have no idea what they’re talking about. But you keep it in case it’s some kind of crypto thing that could be valuable in a few years.