Trying to avoid the app-splosion!
July 1, 2010 12:08 PM   Subscribe

Ideas for organizing a metric ton of iPhone apps?

I review apps professionally, and as a result, I have hundreds of apps cluttering up my iPhone, with new ones added every day. The new iOS 4 folders feature was the imperfect answer to a fervent prayer, but now that I have the power, I'm not quite sure what to do with it.

I regularly purge lousy apps, and I'll often download apps in chunks of 10 at a time, so the large turnover volume combined with the awkward folder system is proving challenging for me. With a couple hundred different apps, most of them games, what is the best way to arrange them all?
posted by Diagonalize to Technology (10 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
 
Well surely you must organise them starting by "your apps" - the ones you want to keep, and "apps to review".
posted by devnull at 12:14 PM on July 1, 2010


You could do what I do with RSS feeds: I don't organize them into folders until I have read something long enough to know that I want to keep it. On my iPhone, I do something similar, I am putting the new apps on a new screen until I have decided they are keepers. I rename folders into 1, 2, etc. if I have groups of similar things.
posted by micawber at 12:18 PM on July 1, 2010


Dividing up apps between keepers and junk is something I've done long before folders entered the picture, but using that as the sole division is terribly unwieldy, as that still leaves me sifting through 100 "good" apps to find the one I'm looking for.
posted by Diagonalize at 12:25 PM on July 1, 2010


games/new
games/good
games/ok
games/sux
games/misc
games/reviews-201007
games/reviews-201008
games/reviews-future
games/archive
etc.

On the other hand, I'm not really sure what you're asking.
posted by rhizome at 12:34 PM on July 1, 2010


Could you do "usefulness genre?" "Good Puzzle," "Mediocre Puzzle," "Shitty Puzzle," etc.
posted by fairytale of los angeles at 12:37 PM on July 1, 2010


fairytale of los angeles' suggestion of breaking up the games into valued categories might be the clearest way of dividing things up. It'd also help me to swiftly identify which apps to nuke from orbit when I'm purging. I guess I'd have to figure out what kind of broad categories I want to shuffle things into.

Dividing things up by date of review might be worthwhile too though, although I already have my reviews organized by date, so organizing the apps by date of review might be overkill.
posted by Diagonalize at 12:48 PM on July 1, 2010


Do you need to execute this organization on the iPhone, or could you do it on your desktop? It would be at least theoretically possible to create a desktop app that would give you many more options than iTunes.app does for organizing and managing your apps.
posted by alms at 1:28 PM on July 1, 2010


I could do it on my desktop, and I do have a general organization system already in place there, but with the introduction of folders, I'd prefer an iPhone-centric system so I don't have to keep cross-referencing.
posted by Diagonalize at 1:39 PM on July 1, 2010


I'm assuming you already know you can do the folder sorting in iTunes now - that'll save you some frustrating finger fucking.

With a large volume of icons, I'd tend toward a combination of ranking by use and alphabetisation. Categorisation won't always satisfy, and alphabetisation is transparent (especially when you start using the search tool a bit more and the app screens a bit less).

Ranking of use is informal and in my head, and basically means my 10 most used icons are on the front page + 2 folders. After that, there'll be a long tail, i.e. there'll be 100 or so apps you've only used twice and 300 you've only used once. These can be safely alphabetised (though you may want to rename the apps to something more useful - if that's possible, I'm not sure) and, if you start using something a lot, promote it. Perhaps with your volume of apps, have two elite screens.

But yeah, start using the search tool, because scrolling through pages is crappy, even with folders.
posted by doublehappy at 2:11 PM on July 1, 2010


You know you can organise your folders through iTunes, right?

But yeah, I'd keep your first two home screens for your own, keeper apps, appropriately foldered. Then, use folders to build a sequential 'review queue' on the third screen. I don't know what your review process is like, but it might be something like this:

- New Downloads
- Next To Play/Use
- Under Review
- Reviewed Keep
- Reviewed Discard
- Misc

Any folder system should have a misc. Then, when you are downloading apps, you put 'em in your New Downloads folder and simply move them through the folders as you go. I don't review apps, but I do have a 'Probies' folder where apps I haven't tried or am not sure about go until I'm sure I want to keep them.

You could also use Glyphboard to use special symbols for your review queue folder names. For example, a tick for apps you want to keep.
posted by Happy Dave at 2:13 AM on July 2, 2010


« Older Which "questy" books should I teach undergrads?   |   Happy Happy Fun Outdoors Toy Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.