Most people have a smartphone, or they are pretty familiar with them. Heck, most of the folks in the TM office have them. So let’s talk a little bit about those handy mobile apps you downloaded for your phone or tablet. No, no. Not the Facebook stalker app. The other kind. What makes a mobile app good anyway? In short, it’s not whether someone downloads the app or not, it’s whether they keep using the app on a regular basis. The most popular apps are not just the most intriguing, fun or helpful, but they are very engaging. Recently, a mobile metrics firm called Localytics conducted a study on this issue.

This past January, Localytics studied a bunch of information regarding the iPhone, iPad, Android, Windows Phone and BlackBerry apps being used by people. The results showed that 26% of all apps downloaded were never used after they were downloaded the first time. On the flip side, 26% of other apps were used more than 11 times a day. A good reference point when they both equal 26%, don’t you think? Unfortunately, the study did not state what apps people were using.

So let’s find out. Take a look at your tablet or smartphone, if you have one, and let us know what kinds of apps you are keeping on your home screen. I’m going to bet these apps are something that is important to you, or helps you organize your daily life, take pictures, keep in contact with your friends or maybe a calendar of some sort.

And what about those apps you don’t really use…where do they end up? What gives you motivation to access those apps? Do you remember what they are even called so you can find them in your app list, or have you organized them in special folders?

Experts have stated that in their experiences, apps that are easily located are usually the apps that are most engaging. The reason is because people truly don’t care what happens to an app they don’t use on a normal basis. Wireless editor Jason Ankey stated “A worthless app is like a particularly loathsome song, something you hear once and hope to never hear again. The point is that consumer reaction is instinctive and immediate—it rarely, if ever, requires six or seven listens to determine whether a song is great.”

This is a great analogy when referring to how some apps are successful at engaging people over others. So go through all your apps, maybe do some spring cleaning on your phone. Look at that big list on your apps list, and think for a minute “what are my favorites?”

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