Where Apps go to Die

July 16, 2012

Someone should take the time to open up a graveyard for all of them apps.

In the two most important events in our industry this quarter, the numbers for the app stores were revealed.

But how many of these apps are relevant today?

I did a small research lately on carrier specific apps on Google Play. I wanted to see which apps do they have, how are they being marketed, and how well are they received by the end users. while this information may be a topic for some other post, during that process I have found a lot of apps that are quite dead.

Here are a few doozies from carriers – apps that belong in the graveyard:

UPDATE: They died a miserable death, and in 2020, were scrapped and officially removed from the app stores, so their links aren’t available. I removed the links as they were broken 🙄

O2 SmartSounds

O2 SmartSounds is an app for an event. From the app’s description: “On November 24th 2011 Westlife will perform at O2SmartSounds”

Over half a year later, this app is irrelevant at best. A nuisance to those looking for something to download.

LA7 – Le Invasioni Barbariche

Le invasioni barbariche is an app for a TV talk show with the same name. The talk show aired 2004-2008 and then started again in 2010. As all talk shows go, it will probably stop in the next couple of years again.

Once the talk show is over, is there any real reason for having that app in the store? Does it make any sense to count it in that huge number of apps available to us consumers?

T-Mobile TV for Dell Streak 7

An app for a specific device. The Dell Streak is over a year and a half old. Any app that is done specifically for it should be considered dead at this point in time.

Mobile devices have a life span of 18 months tops these days. You pay for them in contracts of 2-3 years, but 18 months and they just feel cumbersome. At some point, any application that is designed for specific devices is bound to die with that device.


My favorite: the testapp.

Every carrier has a lab. Every developer shop going for mobile starts with a proof of concept. These apps they do? They live on with us. They make part of the 600,000 and more apps statistics.

It would be interesting to know what percentage they take up in the app stores.

If you are looking for a solution to the app graveyard, then a simple one can be found in web sites. App stores should ask developers to register their apps once a year every year. And if the developers fail to do so, they should just move the app to the graveyard. Same as DNS names for websites.

Sure, they can have better search and discovery capabilities in their app stores, but after 5 years working on these stores, I am quite convinced that neither Apple nor Google are serious about that part of their operation – they are both doing a lousy job at offering me apps that are useful. It would be nice if they at least took care of reducing the clutter made by the corpses lying around in their stores.

On another note, it would be good if we could get better statistics about these App Stores – the amount of apps they hold is irrelevant. How about publishing how many active apps an App Store has?

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