Apples App Store has been around for six years now — almost exactly to the day. Six years in which apps have changed dramatically. There are apps like Twitter, Instagram, Evernote, Foursquare and Yelp that have gone through so many iterations that they have arrived at version 6, 7, even 8. Hardly any of these applications are close to how what they were at 1.0. They have gotten better, faster, prettier, easier to use and were beefed up with tons of new features. At least superficially it seems like it.
If you step back you notice that many apps on our home screens have not only stagnated, but actually started to really suck. It feels like many established companies are either just phoning it in or lost touch to the reality of what their users actually want. Lucky enough for them users are simply too lazy to look for a better solution. And app discovery is a pain — to put it lightly — which doesn’t help.
I think the problem is that we developed a relationship to apps that is somewhat comparable to how we follow bands. We are blindly upgrading to the new version/buying the new album. No questions asked. Just look at how far Foursquare had to push it until their fans started to complain (or weezer, hah!).
And we know better. We all know that no one should actually go and buy a band’s fourth album. And the bands know it, too. That is why they only play the old hits when they go on tour.*
I believe it is time to stop being loyal. Let’s stop being completionists and feel free to move on when our favorite apps start sucking. Let’s not go to their next tour because we love the hits from back in the day. They don’t deserve to get top billing (or App Store features) anymore. At least not until they really improve.
It’s in our interest to motivate them to do a better job. So delete the app and find a better alternative (and support a motivated and creative indie dev).
Yes, it will take some work, digging and getting our hands dirty. But it is time to find a new favorite band.
*= Okay. Millennials aren’t consuming music (or creative content in general) like that anymore. That generation listens to a couple of singles from a certain act on Spotify/YouTube, but has never listened to an entire album. They probably don’t even know what a Greatest Hits album is.