I acquire a huge number of photography-related apps on my phone. Some of them I'm requested to review, some of them I choose to download so that I can compare them against similar apps, some of them I download for a specific purpose and never use again, a few of them I even use on a regular basis. I'm not too bad at sifting through them perodically to delete those which aren't serving any purpose and doing nothing more than consuming memory on my phone, but when I realised that I had four folders of photography apps, I concluded that it was time for a spring clean. Thus began the great app cull of Spring 2014. It was a fairly simple process based on the question 'Do I use this app?' If I did, I kept it; if I didn't, it was sent to the great spare app repository in the cloud. Admittedly, I did make a few exceptions, but all will be revealed.
Adobe Photoshop Express? I don't remember the last time that I used it. I prefer Snapseed or Aviary. Gone!
Camera+? Plenty of people rave about it, but I've never got on with it. Gone!
Camera 360 Ultimate? I downloaded it when I was writing the Surreal book; it's served its purpose. Gone!
Loom? Now integrated with Dropbox making the app defunct. Gone!
Luminance? Again, lots of people love it, but I've never been drawn to it in the same way. Gone!
Marksta? An excellent app if you choose to watermark your mobile images, but I don't. I downloaded it when I was writing the Social book, but seeing as I no longer need it, it's... Gone!
Plastic Bullet? In the unusual event that I want to add filters and washes and heaven-knows-what to my photos, Pixlr-o-matic and FX PhotoStudio get the first looks-in.
Water My Photo? Not used it in almost two years. Does it still work? Gone!
And this list doesn't even skim the surface of those that have already enjoyed their five minutes of screen space and been moved on to pastures new. These include DXP Free (I prefer Juxtaposer); NoCrop, Squaready, and Squaregram (out-flanked by Instacrop and Instasize); and blasts from the past Photogram and Flex Photo Lab.
So what's left? Well, with three folders' worth, still quite a lot. I could probably condense it to two folders if I tried hard enough and made a choice between long exposure apps, plumped for either Instacrop or Instasize, and when I've finished off a few things I'm working on that require apps here and there. But I've still plenty of editing options with Snapseed, Aviary, and ColorTime, not to mention the tools that come with EyeEm, Flickr, and Instagram. There's touchReTouch for heavier duty removals, Touchnote for sending postcards, and Flipagram for flipbook-type-videos. Finally for triggering there's Triggertrap (obviously) and Gorillacam.
And there are a few apps that I've kept despite not having used them very much. I'm hoping that by making them more visible amongst my photo app arsenal, I might feel more inclined to tap them. I'm sure that I was suffering from a case of app-blindness with so many unused ones camouflaging ones that I might otherwise be useful. It's certainly been a liberating experience for my phone's memory; I'm hoping it might be an enlightening one for my mobile photography now.
Less is more, I think.