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Because Fridays can sometimes get weird, The Verge staff started discussing how many apps they have on their phones — and why.
As you can imagine, there are a lot of interesting — and occasionally off-the-wall — conversations that take place on The Verge’s Slack channels, especially when the weekend is on its way. One of them occurred recently, when reviewer Jennifer Pattison Tuohy happened to ask how many apps people had on their phones. The reaction was immediate — and actually rather telling. It turns out you can find a lot about a person when you talk to them about their phone — and their apps.
If you’re at all curious about how many apps some of The Verge’s staffers have on their phones (and their excuses for that number) — read on.
I currently have 31 apps on my iPhone 12 Mini. I’m pretty aggressive about only keeping apps that I actually use on a regular basis. If I don’t, I’ll spend all of my free time thumbing around different apps on my phone. (It also means my apps don’t use too much storage.)
I’ll often redownload an app to test something for an article or if I need to use it for a day or two for some reason. But as soon as I don’t need it anymore, away it goes! – Jay Peters, news writer
I have 109 apps on my iPhone 14 Pro, which is both more than I thought and way less than a lot of my co-workers. I suspect a good chunk of these are random Apple Arcade games that I stock up on every time I’m about to go on a trip, assuring myself that I’m definitely not going to neglect them all in favor of Marvel Snap again. I have made peace with the many invasive permissions these apps undoubtedly require to sit idle on my phone. Maybe more accurately, I have made peace with the psychic block I have in my brain that tells me not to think about it. – Tristan Cooper, social media manager
I apparently have 128 apps on my Pixel 7A, including system apps, and I think that’s as low as I can cull it (although now I’m trying to take off a few more). I don’t love having things on my phone that I’m not actively engaged with or don’t know what they’re up to, so I’m hesitant to add new ones, and I’m pretty quick to remove old ones. Although my “Road,” “Rail,” and “Air” folders have definitely all rapidly expanded with new apps again since travel came back to being a thing this year. – Kate Cox, senior producer, Decoder
I have 138 apps on my iPhone 14 Pro, which looks to be the middle ground among Verge staff but is also fewer than I thought. Before switching to my current phone, I deleted and offloaded so many apps to save on space and somehow never bothered to reinstall them. Most of the apps that are on my phone or still installed but offloaded are airline apps (I have nine) that I don’t really need because I put my tickets on Apple Wallet anyway. There’s also a bunch of random apps I needed to download to get into a concert, bar, or a random karaoke place that I should probably delete. My favorite part, though, is that I have four authentication apps because no one can agree on having just one app for 2FA. – Emilia David, reporter
I have 234 apps on my Pixel 6, and part of it is because I will try out apps and never get rid of them. For example, I put a bunch of Mastodon apps on a couple of months ago, and even though I only use one of those apps, I still have the others. I also have some games that I thought I’d play and never got around to and some apps that I haven’t used in years but don’t want to remove from the phone “just in case.”
I think I was traumatized when one of my favorite apps, Carrr Matey (which helped you track where you had parked and all its instructions were in pirate jargon) was finally abandoned and pulled out of Android’s Play Store, and when I tried to move it to my next phone, it never worked again. (Follow-up note: while editing this article, I found that there was actually a version of Carrr Matey available from Amazon. But it’s been so long — I’m afraid I may be over this particular crush.) – Barbara Krasnoff, reviews editor
iPhone: 167. Android: 292. Android’s Settings app appears to count a lot of system apps in this, which inflates the number. For example, I scrolled through the list, and it’s counting language packs as apps. A good 20 percent of the apps I have installed are stupid smart home device apps. – Dan Seifert, deputy editor, reviews
339 apps on my iPhone 14 Pro. Do I use them all? Absolutely not. Do I even know what, like, Meeting Owl is or how it ended up on my phone? Nope! But ever since Apple made it easy to punt an app off your homescreen without deleting it altogether, I’ve basically stopped deleting apps. (This is probably a bad idea.) I also have a definite surplus of productivity tools, which I keep around just so I can refresh my App Store updates tab 10 times a day to see if one of them finally added the feature I need that will change my life and make me better at everything. It’s totally going to happen one of these days. – David Pierce, editor-at-large
Android: 444. I’m sick. It takes me five thumb swipes to get through my Android drawer. – Chris Welch, reviewer
Android: 170. This is a little inflated from how many apps I’ve installed just for work — there are probably 10 defunct social apps in there. – Jacob Kastrenakes, deputy editor
I have 365 apps on my iPhone, the vast majority of which are smart home apps (along with about 50 weird games my 12-year-old daughter has kindly added to my phone — I don’t recall ever playing Fashion Battle). I long for the day when I don’t need to download a new app every time I test a new smart home gadget, but we’re just not there yet. In the meantime, the iPhone’s swipe and search for an app function is my best friend. – Jennifer Pattison Tuohy, reviewer
I’ve got 171 apps installed on my iPhone 12 Pro Max, and a quick tally of my homescreens tells me I only use about 38 of them with regularity (including preinstalled iOS apps like Messages). I culled a bunch a few months ago, so I estimate it was slightly over 200, but my app usage rotation has probably stayed around 40. I have lots of streaming, shopping, and utility apps that I don’t interact with frequently, but I have them for whenever needed. Though, to be fair, those same streaming apps are used nearly every day on my TV.
I banish lots of apps to the App Library (it’s like App Purgatory in my eyes) to keep my homescreen somewhat organized, and I do a quick search to call them up when it’s their time to shine in the spotlight. The Library was actually a small feature that helped convince me I’d be okay with switching to iOS after over a decade of using Android phones. The Android app drawer is still better though — damn, I miss it sometimes. – Antonio G. Di Benedetto, writer, commerce
iPhone: 165. Believe it or not, I regularly and ruthlessly cull the apps on my phone so the vast majority of these are ones I use at least on a monthly basis. Most of these apps are for official services like my banks, health insurance, the six apps my apartment building requires us to have, and work-related apps like Slack. The exceptions are a handful of fitness and gadget apps because of all the testing I do as a reviewer — and I definitely do not use them all. However, it also doesn’t make sense to delete them, especially if it’s a company like Fitbit or Withings. I know I’ll eventually have to redownload the app whenever a new product launches or if I have to write about them for a story.
What I would like to cut down on is the number of would-be Twitter successors like Threads, Mastodon, Bluesky, etc. And chat apps! I have so many because all my disparate friend groups insist on using different apps like Telegram, Signal, Line, KakaoTalk, and WhatsApp. – Victoria Song, senior reviewer
I have 335 apps on my iPhone. I do not use most of them! Some of them I should probably delete, like the app for the amusement park in the Netherlands I went to one time four years ago. – Nathan Edwards, senior reviews editor
iPhone: 22. I try to delete anything I don’t use regularly. Now I’m down to 16 — thanks for the reminder. – Graham MacAree, senior editorial engineer