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A Software Challenge: Why Users Uninstall Apps

By Julio Franco · 20 replies
Nov 25, 2013
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  1. Getting an app developed is just the first step in a long journey. One of the more daunting problems facing developers is user engagement; basically, how to get users to install apps and keep them installed. It’s difficult to keep...

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  2. TL;DR version of this article: When apps don't do what they're (advertised) supposed to do, users uninstall them.
    FLWrd, psycros and Xclusiveitalian like this.
  3. hitech0101

    hitech0101 TS Guru Posts: 449   +35

    I installed a lot of free apps only to realize I needed to pay to actually use it.
  4. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 8,647   +3,285

    Seldom do I trawl the app store for apps. I install what is recommended by people I know.
  5. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 14,599   +3,771

    Windows 7 has dvd playback, Iso burn, and excellent CD rip in a variety of qualities. Other than that, I install one of a variety of Adobe imaging products I own in every build. Beyond that, I install DVDFab, (which they're screwed up to try and force you to purchase their other products), DVD Shrink, ImgBurn, 7Zip. Beyond that, a couple of free security programs.

    In my XP machines, (that's right I said, XP"), I'll stuff in VideoLAN for DVD playback.
    (I use stand alone DVD & Blu-Ray players & a TV for movies. So, the DVD capabiliy in my computers is only used for "formats that standalone players won't handle (*)".

    If I want to know the weather, I'll turn on my TV, if I want to listen to music, I'll fire up the home audio system.

    I'm not interested in any social media nonsense, P2P, or gaming.
    So, you've got an uphill battle to try and get me install a new app, let alone worry yourself about whether I'll keep it.

    (*) Read that as "erotic art".

    And just so as y'all know I'm gearing up for Christmas....,"Bah Humbug....!:mad:
  6. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 14,599   +3,771

    Adden-dumb: "M$ Works" was an app that did most of what a private individual needed in the way of personal utilities, word processing, and some others. It used to cost about thirty bucks. M$ saw fit to discontinue it and try to sell the full version of "M$ Office" instead. When the only machine it came pre-installed on craps out, (it's pushing 10 years old), I'll make do with open office or similar. I have no intention of permitting M$ to bully me into buying the full version of office.

    Most apps being pushed into people's faces are what I call , "crapplications". BS that gives you the weather while you're standing out in it waiting for a bus on your smart phone. BS that tells you the score of every game being played in the country. And BS that hooks you into every local TV stations miasma of relentless advertising. No thanks, I''ll pass on 99+ % of new apps.
  7. When an app that is not currently running reminds me that I haven't used it in a while...it gets deleted.
    FLWrd likes this.
  8. Lurker101

    Lurker101 TS Evangelist Posts: 844   +379

    You say that like having an XP machine is a bad thing. I also have an XP machine and the bare minimum of apps on it. Foobar, SPlayer, VLC, Irfanview, Notepad++ and few good* games.

    Apps that pretend to be free but then demand money, apps that demand an internet connection for no real reason and apps that simply don't do what they say they do can go procreate in isolation.

    *By good I mean old**.
    **By old I mean actually good.
    Phr3d and captaincranky like this.
  9. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 14,599   +3,771

    "Procreate in isolation"! Is that anything like "performing an aeronautical intercourse into a rotating pastry"? ;)

    One thing though, I phrased the whole "XP" thing the way that I did, to let the Windows 8 children know there would be a fight to the death if they opposed it.

    I love my XP machines, I tolerate my one Vista laptop, and revel in my Windows 7 boxes.....:D

    And I am soooo, not looking for a way to have M$ inflict Windows 8 point whatever on me.
  10. pmcardle

    pmcardle TS Booster Posts: 117   +22

  11. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 14,599   +3,771

    Go stand buy your window, I'm sure you'll hear my applause....or not.
  12. pmcardle

    pmcardle TS Booster Posts: 117   +22

    I heard it...THANKS!
  13. captaincranky, replacing the "s" with "$" in Microsoft is really getting old...sigh
  14. Emexrulsier

    Emexrulsier TS Evangelist Posts: 593   +76

    Main reason I uninstall apps is when I find they running in the background for no reason at all. Take the mc'donalds app for example. I installed this to easily find where a maccy d was if I was in an unknown area it it works fine but there is no reason for this app to run constantly using up cpu cycles, consuming precious memory using and data allowance. Because of this I uninstalled it.
  15. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 12,674   +1,478

    " People cycle through apps incredibly quickly to find the one that best fits their needs."
    This describes me perfectly -- it's all *need/function* based.
    cliffordcooley likes this.
  16. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 11,208   +4,876

    And when we find one that works for us, we probably stay loyal to that app.
  17. DAOWAce

    DAOWAce TS Booster Posts: 286   +41

    Where's the "If the UI is overhauled in an update" section?

    I stopped using a multitude of both programs and websites because of pointless UI overhauls. If I become familiar with something, I don't want it to change. Microsoft alienated me from 7 because of the POINTLESS UI changes despite the fact that the OS is Vista SP3 with some minor core changes, so I've been suffering from lack of support all this time to the point where I'm just going to be forced over to 7 whether I like it or not in the near future. I've done as much UI modding as I've found possible in a VM, but it's just still not enough.

    From my experiences, most people don't seem to mind these changes and/or workaround them, but if you've used something for YEARS and it abruptly changes, you will have a problem no matter who you are. My parents for example refuse to use something if it changes, as they lose the familiarity of what they're using and can't be bothered to re-learn everything.

    TL:DR; Stop changing the UI between versions.
  18. Phr3d

    Phr3d TS Guru Posts: 404   +86

    M$ is getting old.. <sigh>
    talk to me in 20 years of software non-development..
    but, ok.. point taken, M$ is no longer acceptable, to the point of ignoring a post as though I said.. ahhh, nm. M$ is un-PC. k
  19. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 14,599   +3,771

    Yet somehow, the fact that it pisses you off, only makes me want to do it more....:p

    Did you have anything to add to the topic, or did you just ring in for that? 'cause to tell the truth, that's way more obnoxious than spelling Microsoft like this >>>....M$....<<<!

    Why don't ya curl up with a good book instead? http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=M$

    Ya know, at a certain point in time, we all eventually become just like our parents. Judging by the context of your post, it seems to have happened to you already......:D
  20. DAOWAce

    DAOWAce TS Booster Posts: 286   +41

    I've been this way for as long as I can remember, even back to Windows 98. My parents have nothing to do with it, and I'm far from the personality of either of them.

    Also, I should change that to say my father, since my mother can get used to change, unlike him.

    Edit: Or editing could be disabled on older posts for some asinine reason.
  21. nestorius

    nestorius TS Enthusiast Posts: 39   +6

    Actually there are other free packages that are very good. WordPad and NotePad, included with the M$ OS. Then there is Open Office which is available for free and will do most anything that M$ Office will do. There are always options!

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