Have we finally reached app saturation?
There are apps for your phone, tablet, TV, browser, car and even apps for apps. With more than 500,000 apps available in Apple’s App Store alone, have we finally reached app saturation? No self-respecting consumer electronics or entertainment platform is without some sort of app marketplace designed to help consumers add to their “experience.” Facebook now has apps that integrate with its Open Graph, like Spotify, which itself has added a marketplace for apps that provide music picks, reviews and so on. This proliferation is driving a healthy “app economy” in the U.S., according to an analysis by trade group TechNet.
It seems we’re starting to hit overload when it comes to apps. Fewer than a third of American adults who have apps on their phone will open more than five on a weekly basis, while 17 percent say they don’t use any apps regularly, according to the Pew Research Center‘s Internet and American Life Project. One estimate has consumers deleting 80-90 percent of apps they download.
Companies are specializing in helping various demographics hone in on the best apps for them. KinderTown, for example, curates educational apps for 3- to 6-year-olds, based on testing by educators, parents and kids. And Openspace, launched by OneRiot founder Robert Reich as a place for developers to create apps that cross platforms, recently opened a physical app store in Boulder, Colo. Silly as it sounds, part of its raison d’être is to help people pinpoint which apps they need.