"We've reached peak app." So declares veteran tech journalist Walt Mossberg, who wrote eight years ago, just after Apple's App Store first opened, how excited he was about apps. "The App Store was new and brilliant then. It’s really, really old and dull now," Mossberg writes at Recode, adding that Google has the same problem. The novelty has worn off for many people, as evidenced by a 2014 study that found most smartphone users didn't download any apps during the average month. There are too many redundant apps and apps that just aren't that great, and there are so many apps in general that, well, good luck finding the ones that are worth your time.
That's why Mossberg recently deleted 54% of the apps on his phone. (He still has a lot, 140, but that's because of the nature of his job.) When he started culling, he found that many of the apps that "once seemed interesting or necessary hadn’t made it into the toolkit of my life," and many others were passed over in favor of using his phone's built-in functions or apps that did the same thing, but better. As Mossberg explains, he still believes apps are "crucial to mobile devices"—just imagine having to use Facebook through your phone's browser instead of an app—and there are still new apps that become a sensation, like Pokemon Go. But app developers, be warned: "People have app fatigue," so if you're designing one, it better be good or it'll end up on "life support." Click for his full column. (Read more mobile application stories.)