As big an impact as the App Store has had on the iPhone, there’s at least one downside that’s accompanied the rapid influx of applications: the annoyance of managing them all. Apple’s made some small improvements in this regard—for example, it now keeps apps in the same location when you update them—but keeping track of them all can be a pain, especially if you happen to have over, say, 80 applications.
One user thinks the solution to this problem is to be able to manage your iPhone apps in iTunes, and he even went ahead and whipped up a little suggestion of one way this could work. Let’s go to the video tape:
Certainly, I’d like to see a lot of these capabilities made possible, since dragging iPhone apps around multiple screens can be quite the hassle, but I’m skeptical about having to use iTunes for it, and I don’t think Apple would choose to go in that direction. Despite its inherent relationship with the software program, the iPhone is inteded to be largely self-sufficient: you can download apps and music directly to the device, for example. Having to resort to an application for managing applications—and one on a separate device at that—could be construed as a failure of design.
I have little doubt that Apple’s working on more robust application management features, but I think they’ve been pleasantly surprised by the runaway success of the App Store and are now dealing with ramifications that they didn’t foresee.
I bet there would be some interesting statistics on how much time people spend paging through their apps, and whether apps that require more flicks to get to end up being used less. That could be one potential factor in the reason that interest in iPhone apps seems to drop off so sharply after download.