How many apps do you use?

How many applications that you have installed on your phone do you regularly use? I have installed 31 applications on my T-Mobile myTouch phone, of which I probably use 6 on a regular basis. The counts do not include the Android built-in applications that I also use on a daily basis. Like most people, I have installed many applications that at the time I thought sounded like something I would use, but after trying them out I hardly ever use again.

The New York Times has an article titled…

When Phones Are Just Too Smart

…that cites research finding iPhone and iPod Touch owners use 5 to 10 apps regularly. Apple has put a lot of focus on mobile phone applications by touting the iPhone’s catalog of more than 140,000 applications available in the iTunes App store, but the study suggests that while a huge catalog is nice most of us want a small number of quality applications.

I suspect that most of you are like me in that it really doesn’t matter how many applications are available to download, what really matters is whether the applications I will actually use are available to download. The challenge for users is going to be with finding applications, and for developers to have their application known.

While the search function in app stores helps find applications that one knows about, I think the stores need improvements in informing people about new applications they might be interested in. For example, what if the stores tracked the type of applications I download and when similar applications appear in the store it sends me a notification? As more applications are available, the focus is going to shift from the number of applications available to the features of the application stores.