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When did our phones become WWW Junkies?

While analyzing my battery usage today, which is sort of an obsession, I started thinking of the apps I use on a daily/weekly basis and then considered if the were Web dependent or independent. Not so long ago in the earlier days of Pocket PCs, even though devices had much less storage capacity, information was saved locally in databases for easy access, and we relied heavily on Syncing with our PC’s to upload/download information. With limited Wi-Fi accessibility, the only option to access the Web was via BT through a feature phone, definitely not a pleasant experience. But today, we have become almost totally dependent on the Web to use our Pocket PC Phones for almost everything.

Setting all the built-in apps and games aside for a moment, I did a check of my 140 current third party apps and came out with the following breakdown; 78 Web dependent apps, 8 Web important apps, and 54 Non-dependent apps. Web dependent are easy to define; You Tube, Yelp, eBay, basically anything that won’t work without a connection. Web important apps include; Handyscan, Voice2Mail & SkyWallet, apps that can do something on their own but need a Web connection to finish the task, like sending an email or syncing data. And Non-dependent apps; Flashlight, iLighter, Level, Unit Converter, Stop Watch, Add it Up. You know, all the apps we used to load onto our old devices to keep busy and seem important, because we couldn’t connect to anything.

Combining Web dependent/important and comparing to Non-dependent apps, that worked out to a 61% – 39% split. About what I would expect in our more mobile world. But when I considered how I use my device and if I include the built-in apps, which are almost all Web dependent, I estimate my usage split is more like 90% – 10%, favoring Web dependency, and would be closer to 95% – 5% if it were not for a stand alone shopping app that I open several times a week. Email, Twitter, Facebook, RSS Readers, Board Express, Dropbox, Zune Pass, YouTube, Sports Scores, Marketplace, Mobility Digest, IE, Weather, Cartoon TV, Break Videos, Concerts, Home Depot, Resco Radio, SPB TV, Stocks, Traffic Cams, Radar, Wikipedia, the list goes on and on. Not ready to part with my 54 Non-dependent apps, but it does make you wonder how much time these endangered species have. Oh, and it also helps to explain why my little battery that could (or try) struggles through the day and night. It’s the Internet stupid! So thanks Tim Berners-Lee and Robert Cailliau for the World Wide Web. And Al Gore, never mind.

So how about you. Do you find yourself more and more dependent on the Web while using your phone? Oh, and those under 25 need not comment, as you have most likely always been part of a connected world and don’t understand what the hell I am talking about.