This afternoon and evening, my son and I worked on “pruning” down our list of installed applications in our family’s iTunes library. In our family of five we now have four different iTunes accounts, but because we sync our iPhones and iPod Touches to the same Mac running iTunes, we are able to legally share all our songs and applications. Several iTunes gift cards were given and received this holiday in our family, so we’ve been purchasing some new songs and applications the last couple of days. With the amazing array of free as well as commercial applications now available for the iPhone and iPod Touch, this shared list of installed applications has grown quickly and without periodic pruning can get a bit out of control.

When someone in our family installs a new application, it is always installed on everyone else’s mobile device by default unless that person deselects / unchecks the application for their device in iTunes before syncing. This makes it challenging to get rid of an application once and for all, for everyone. If an app has been deleted from the computer’s iTunes account, but remains on an iPhone or iPod Touch, the next time that device is synced iTunes asks if you want purchased applications or songs transferred over which are on the portable device but not the main iTunes account. We dealt with this today by first syncing all three of our devices, to transfer over songs and applications which had been purchased on the mobile devices and we wanted to keep, and THEN we deleted apps from the computer’s iTunes account. We got mom’s iPhone down to three screens, or 48 apps total, which was a big improvement for her. (She doesn’t want all the games Alexander uses and many of the programs I use.) I’m not sure how many apps Alexander has installed now on his iPod Touch, but I still have 10 screens worth, and together we have 164 applications (not counting the built-in / default apps like Clock, Calculator, etc.) I updated this list on my wiki page for iPhone applications, and am including the screenshots below in this post as well. These are screenshots I made from iTunes using Skitch.

Fryer iTunes Apps Dec09 Screen 1

Fryer iTunes Apps Dec09 Screen 2

Fryer iTunes Apps Dec09 Screen 3

I’ve tried to get Yappler’s iPhone app sync application to work several times to create a list of these applications, but can’t get it functioning for some reason.

In no particular order, these are the applications we deleted / scrapped from our shared iTunes library today:
Color Lite Crossword
Missiles
Geared – Free
Molecules
Mission Mars
Sleep Tracker
Geocaching Toolkit iGCT
Nambu
Knights Onrush Free
Ragdoll Blaster Lite
Twitterific
Dots Free
Word War
Flycast
Knocking Live Video
Touch Pets Dogs

Hopefully all these applications we scrapped were FREE apps and not ones we’d paid for! I wish iTunes had a graphical way to show which applications have been actually purchased from the iTunes Store and which are free / were downloaded free. That would make it less easy to unknowingly delete a paid app forever.

The iPhone Apps I’m using the most every week now are:
HootSuite
Kindle for iPhone
Bible (YouVersion)
Pano
Echofon (I’ve been using this MUCH less lately in favor of Hootsuite, however)
Evernote
Facebook
Plurk
Pandora
WordPress 2

I also use the Google Reader Mobile web application/site almost every day. I’ve been using Fluent News Reader a bit, but still prefer Google Reader because of its sharing options.

Dropbox (h/t jed) is the newest iPhone and desktop application (to me, anyway) about which I’m most excited. The Discovery Channel’s iPhone App and Instapaper Free are in the running in this category as well.

Do you know of a straightforward way to share your iTunes application lists with others, other than Yappler’s app? It would be great if a developer made it easy to share app lists, similar to the way Netflix users can share their queues and other lists of watched / rated movies.

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3 Responses to Holiday iPhone and iPod Touch Application Pruning

  1. Eric Sailers says:

    I’ve recently pruned the number of apps that I have. On my iPhone, I currently have seven screens full of apps that are mostly educational. I’m getting close to the alotted 10 screens. A number of the apps are in a list that I created as a guide to purchasing regular education and special education apps. In case you or your audience is interested in the list, here it is: http://www.scribd.com/doc/24470331/iPhone-and-iPod-touch-Apps-for-Special-Education.

  2. Helen says:

    Wes–have you tried Appsfire? I was able to create a widget from my app library. The cool thing is that you can use your entire library, or create “sub” lists (like K-12, productivity, photog, etc)…here’s the URL: http://appsfire.com/

  3. Wesley Fryer says:

    I haven’t tried Appsfire… I will check it out. Thanks!

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