People frequently complain about the lack of storage and poor battery life of their mobile phones. The cause is apps. Apps occupy storage space and they consume battery power. Can you live without them? Maybe you can.
Facebook is a typical example of an app that you have to ask yourself whether you actually need it. Can you live without it?
It is important to realise that removing the app, or not bothering to install it in the first place if you have a new phone, does not mean that you cannot access Facebook. You can, and here's how.
Facebook has a perfectly good mobile website that can be accessed using the web browser on your phone. Take a look at the two screenshots below. One is the app and the other is the website in the phone's browser.
Which one is the app and which is the website? Can you tell without checking your phone? Here’s how you can tell – the website uses no memory, no storage and no battery when it is not running. It uses the phone's browser and nothing more.
The Facebook app offers more features than the website and you can more easily share things from other apps for example. Do you really need this though? You can still post comments and images, and check in and so on through the website. It is integration with other apps that suffers - you cannot use the share button within another app to post to Facebook, you have to open the browser.
Twitter also has a very good website and it works well on mobile phones. Here is the Twitter app and the Twitter website in the phone's browser. Which is which?
There is a big difference here and the Twitter app shows images in the news feed whereas the website does not. You must tap a link to see an image. I actually prefer the website version because more tweets are displayed on the screen and there is much less swiping to view the latest items.
The Twitter website uses no memory, no storage and no battery power when it is not running.
There are a million apps that don’t have websites of course, and so running them in a browser window is not an option. However, even if you only remove half a dozen apps from your phone, you will have increased the storage space and the battery life.
So what other apps can you remove? The Outlook.com website works well, so remove the Outlook app. Trello works well in a browser and the app can be removed. Microsoft OneDrive works in a mobile browser and you don’t need the app.
Lots of news sites work in a browser and you don’t need an app for them. I have browser shortcuts to The Guardian, Telegraph, Reuters, Metro, Mirror, and others on my home screen. Google News works in a browser too and you don’t need the Google News and Weather app.
You do miss out on a few things and you might not get notifications for instance. They are possible and Facebook notifications still work if you remove the app and just use the website, but generally you don’t. I don’t miss them. In fact, I had notifications turned off for most apps anyway. They are a distraction and most are unimportant. Posting on Facebook is not the best way to get my attention and there are better ways like text messages, email, Messenger and so on.
The Microsoft OneDrive app will auto-backup your photos, but if you are backing up elsewhere, such as to Google or Flickr, then there is no need to duplicate this at OneDrive. Remove the app and just access the website in a browser.
You can remove several apps on both Android and iOS devices. To make it easier to go to the website in a browser, just save a shortcut to the home screen. One tap and it opens like an app.