Personal Opinions

Opinion: There are too many apps doing the same thing

Opinion - There are too many apps doing the same thing
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There are too many apps for the same purposes, only providing a different UI and some unique features. Other than that, if you take a quick look at your smartphone or PC, you'll probably find a few apps doing the same thing; Whether that's messaging, social media, entertainment, or staying organized.

I was wondering why my two-years-old Samsung Galaxy A52s – with Android 13, One UI 6.0, 6GB of RAM, and Snapdragon 778 5G CPU – was lagging so much in the last few weeks. I constantly keep it clean by deleting its cache, stopping apps from running in the background, cleaning cookies and history, removing unnecessary files, and doing a hard reset every 9 to 12 months. But the thing was lagging so often, sometimes it was almost unusable.

For almost 350€, which I paid to get the device, it should at least run smoothly. Yet the smartphone keeps lagging, tends to open apps slower, and sometimes I get weird crashes when using the device even for simple things such as checking my emails. As a freelancer working from my desktop PC, I only use my smartphone to check my emails and messages and sometimes watch an episode of a TV Series before closing my eyes, so nothing exceptional here.

I’m not much into mobile gaming, although the Galaxy A52s has a 144Hz refresh rate, which is supposedly great for gaming, and I don’t even take pictures or videos with it, just because I get much better results with my ten-years-old Nikon D5200 DSLR. I’ve chosen this device because of its CPU and RAM, and it’s still laggy. And if I pay for a device that lags that much, good luck getting me back into the same company as a client or a user ever again.

So I went on a journey to find out what was the best possible way of making my smartphone faster. Resetting it didn’t do much, and even hard resetting it couldn’t do the trick. I refused to spend more money on a brand-new smartphone after only two years of using this one, so I started looking deeper.

Too many apps doing the same thing are showing down on our devices

I thought it was time to reduce the number of apps that I had on my device. When I started looking for which apps I had to let go of, I found out that I had too many apps doing the same thing. And I literally mean the same thing. But here’s a quick look at a list of some of the apps I had installed on my device:

  • Notes & Reminders: Notion, Microsoft To-Do, Google Keep, and Samsung Notes.
  • Web Banking & Payments: Google Wallet, PayPal, Piraeus Bank Personal, Piraeus Bank Business, WISE, Revolut, and Payzy.
  • Cloud Services: Microsoft OneDrive and Google Drive.
  • Entertainment: YouTube, Spotify, TuneIn, Shazam and Netflix.
  • Security: Surfshark VPN, Microsoft Authenticator, and Bitwarden.
  • Social Media: Facebook, X/Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, LinkedIn, Threads, Tumblr, Reddit, Pinterest, and BlueSky.
  • Work Apps: Google Analytics, Plesk, Canva, YouTube Studio, and Grammarly.
  • Chat Apps: Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, WhatsApp Business, and Viber.
  • Fitness & Health: Strava and YAZIO Food & Calorie Counter.
  • News & Reading: Google News, Inoreader, Pocket, Raindrop, and Flipboard.

And I won’t even get started with all the pre-installed apps Samsung is including in their devices without the option for the user to uninstall them. Galaxy Store, Gallery, Autofill with Samsung Pass, Bixby Vision, Bixby Voice, Galaxy Themes, Gaming Hub, Samsung Free, and Samsung Account, are just a few to name. There are even four different apps installed called AR Doodle, AR Emoji, AR Emoji Stickers, and AR Zone, apparently all for some silly camera effects I’ll never use. And no, you cannot uninstall them, but you can disable some of them.

Although you could, technically, uninstall them by rooting your device, most people won’t even bother to go in that direction, and to be honest, it’s just not safe. And because content creators and freelancers like myself would not be able to uninstall many of the social media and chat apps because they need to keep in touch with their clients or audience, limiting other categories should be the first choice.

For example, I had way too many apps for keeping notes, saving articles, and anything that I needed to handle all my bank accounts. Don’t get me wrong, it’s okay to have many options, but using all of them? It’s just not possible with a mid-budget smartphone, even if that means spending almost 350€ to get it.

Uninstalling and deactivating all unnecessary apps

As I mentioned earlier, there’s a plethora of pre-installed apps that Samsung won’t let you uninstall completely, but you can deactivate most of them from running in the background. This happens with most smartphone makers, creating and adding their own apps into people’s devices, and lots of times they end up just using resources rather than providing anything useful.

Apart from the company’s pre-installed apps, I had to uninstall a whole bunch of other apps that I had installed for my own use. I started with to-do and note-keeping apps, from which I only kept Notion as the go-to app that can do almost anything. For the bank apps, I decided to keep all of them as I need to receive the notifications in time for any payments, with one exception; PayPal, which the company blocked my account for no apparent reason (I’m still in contact with them), so it’s now gone.

I also kept all three entertainment apps, cloud services, and security apps. Social Media was way too much, so I only kept Facebook, X/Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest. I visit all the others from their websites when I need to. I did the same for work apps too, and went ahead and uninstalled Plesk and Canva, which I rarely used. I deleted WhatsApp too, and kept only WhatsApp Business, as it works great for my personal contacts too.

Making your Android smartphone a whole lot faster

After uninstalling almost anything that I didn’t necessarily need, I went and cleared the phone’s cache, cookies, and history, and restarted the device. The phone was faster, smoother, and didn’t lag as much as it used to. Unfortunately, it wasn’t as fast as I wanted it to be, and I was avoiding at any cost by proceeding with changing the whole ROM with a third one such as LineageOS.

So I kept searching until I found a simple trick to make your device a whole lot faster, just by changing three basic hidden settings any Android device already has:

  1. Open your device’s settings.
  2. Click on the About section.
  3. Find and click 5 times (or more) your device’s model number.
  4. A notification will pop up saying that “you have enabled the developer’s options”.
  5. Go back into your device’s settings and click on “Developer Options“.
  6. Change the Window animation scale from 1x to .5x.
  7. Change the Transition animation scale from 1x to .5x.
  8. Change the Animator duration scale from 1x to .5x.
  9. Your phone should run faster now!

What did you just do? Well, simply put, you reduced the time it takes for any of your operating system’s effects to load and finish, making everything a whole lot faster. From changing windows, opening and closing apps to basic changes to your device’s settings, everything should load faster, but not smoother.

If you completely disable the effects, there will be no “smoothness” while doing simple tasks, but that will make your device as fast as it can be when it comes to loading and using effects.

Taking the minimalistic way of keeping things simple

There are too many apps doing the same thing, and that’s a fact. But making sure that we’re taking the time to truly see what actually matters to us is important when it comes to apps. Too many apps can cause clatter and easily decrease your productivity levels, and they’re also consuming too much of your device’s resources anyway.

So I did the same thing on my desktop PC; Not to speed things up, my little custom-made PC is a beast that can handle anything, but I liked the idea of keeping things simple. The results amazed me, because I could feel my PC actually being faster and smoother, it was like I had just formatted it. Although it was a small difference, it was something. Plus, I actually saw a big difference – both in my creativity and productivity – when I took further steps at cleaning and organizing my whole PC and smartphone, but I’ll leave that for another future blog post.

Keeping things simple is important, and you can use the same method for almost everything, from your home office to your car, house, etc. But because I am kinda of a tech freak myself, searching for any new apps, AI technologies, and whatever tech-related, I decided that it would be in my best interest to use another, maybe cheaper, device to do my tests and use all the apps I want to check for my reviews.

Best apps for dealing with too many apps doing the same thing

So here it is folks; There are hundreds of apps for keeping notes, organizing your schedule, keeping your device secure, uploading files to the cloud, checking your emails, bank accounts, social media accounts, and everything else you may be using. There are ways that you can easily get rid of all this “bloatware” which is reducing the speed of your devices and decreasing your productivity.

I searched and found the best apps that can do many things at the same time and within the app itself, so you can reduce the number of your installed apps, but keep using all the important features that you need. There are more alternatives out there for everything you may be looking for, but keep in mind that not all-in-one apps are always a great idea.

Application NameBest For:
NotionBest for keeping all your notes, to-do lists, and schedules, tracking your tasks, organizing your whole workflow, and many more. I’m also using Notion Calendar, which is a really powerful tool for keeping everything organized.
Microsoft OutlookA free and powerful app to read and send emails that lets you connect to any third-party email service, including your Gmail accounts, and server accounts (IMAP/POP3), putting an end to managing multiple email accounts from different apps.
Microsoft EdgeWith Microsoft Edge (both for PCs and smartphones) you can actually install any website as a PWA on your device, so you can always have it one click away. Instead of installing apps like Pocket, Inoreader, Raindrop, and Google News to keep track of news and read my saved-for-later articles, I can use them as PWA apps that won’t consume so much resources and they’ll never run in the background.
SpotifyInstead of using different apps for listening to your favorite songs and podcasts, you can use one app that has the all, and what’s better than Spotify? The streaming service has almost anything that you may search for, and there are tons of available podcasts to listen to.
InoreaderThe best way to keep your browser’s bookmarks a bit emptier is by using a tool to keep updated with all your favorite blogs. Inoreader is a great app that lets you follow multiple websites by subscribing to their RSS Feeds and getting automatically every new post they publish.
FranzInstead of having a bunch of social media apps installed that do the same thing, I use Franz, which lets me connect and manage multiple chat apps, including WhatsApp, Messenger, Telegram, WeChat, Skype, Zendesk, Slack, and many more.
Surfshark VPN & AntiVirusInstead of using a third-party antivirus, an anti-malware software, or a tool to track my passwords online and notify me if any goes on the black web, I’m using Surfshark VPN with its robust but simple antivirus to keep things safe and secure on all of my devices. This is the only app that I’ve set up to automatically start on every device I use.

There are many ways you can decrease the number of apps that you’re using on your devices, keeping things simpler, faster, and smoother. It’s better for productivity, you won’t miss anything, and you’ll stop getting so many notifications from a plethora of different apps. Plus, if you don’t like an app, there are always great alternatives out there that are designed for specific needs and personal preferences, so go ahead and do a quick research.

Summary: How many apps that do the same things are installed on your device?

What are your thoughts on this matter? Do you also think that there are too many apps doing the same thing on your device? Have you ever encountered a slow smartphone because of the number of installed apps that it had, even if it was a high-end smartphone?

I’d love to hear your experiences and stories, and even take a look at the apps that you’re using to handle all the app clutter that we’re living in this digital era. As always, you can leave your comments down below and any recommendations will be much appreciated!

Panos Sakalakis

Meet Panos Sakalakis, a web wizard, blogging buff, podcasting pro, and SEO sorcerer with over 15 years of enchanting experience. When he's not weaving digital spells with his keyboard, you'll likely spot him conquering mountain trails with his trusty Hard-Trail MTB bike, in hot pursuit of the ultimate adrenaline rush and the perfect blog post inspiration.

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