148 to 180

Some of you may already know exactly what that cryptic title is about, but for those of you that don’t, 148 is the maximaum number of apps you can fit on your iPhone or iPod touch at the moment and 180 is the number this will increase to with the release of OS 3.0.

Now 148 apps probably sounded like more than anybody would ever need when Apple came up with the concept of 9 home screens but that was before the explosive success of the App Store. My nine screens are full, so every time I want to buy a new app I have to choose which existing app I can do without – something I don’t think I should have to worry about.

Since I’ve filled my allotted 9 screens, my buying/downloading of apps has definitely slowed down – I just don’t have the time to delete things to make room for something new, find out it’s not very good, delete it and put what I had before back on. I realise that as a developer, I’m probably somewhat untypical – keeping up with the competition means I’ve got more than my fair share of To Do lists and clocks – but there must be lots of other people in the same position.

Surely this can’t be good for Apple’s business model? If you fill your iPod with music you can just buy a bigger one but fill your IPhone with apps and you’ve no choice but to engage in some Resident Evil style resource management – what do I need most today, a pump action shotgun or some spare green herbs?

Is the solution to just add more pages or do we need another metaphor – maybe an infinitely wide scrolling space with a method of tabbing to user defined areas, so that you could group similar apps together? How about keeping the current page based system but just using it for your favorite apps – dump everything else into a ‘folder’ and use Spotlight to find what you want?

What do you think? Is 180 apps enough for any sane person? How many apps have you got?

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