The Web Apps
Here’s a list of apps that I’ve deleted and replaced with home screen bookmarks to their relevant mobile website or web app with comments where appropriate:
- Twitter – including setting up text alerts for mentions from users I follow and direct messages to replace the lack of notifications.
- Facebook – a very similar interface with the added functionality of displaying today’s events/birthdays at the top of the screen.
- Google+ - I’m not a huge user so I’m not even sure I’ll notice I’ve made the change!
- GMail – I’ve been using the GMail app rather than the native Mail app on the iPhone because I prefer being able to use my labels in the Google-intended way. The biggest downside to the web app as far as I can see is the lack of badge icon for the unread count (although this may turn out to be a positive!).
- BBC News - With their recent move to a responsive design I’ve got high hopes for their mobile site.
- Met Office - This is the one I’m most worried about. No location-finding services so I’ve had to resort to a bookmark to the local 5 day forecast.
- Dropbox - This was a tough call as the offline-sync for starred documents is something I’ve used in the past. However, their web interface seems to be well thought out so I’m going to give it a go.
The Native Apps
The apps that survived the cull and why (excluding the Apple default apps which you can’t remove):
- Path - They don’t have a web interface at all, mobile or otherwise, for interacting with your account, only for viewing individual posts.
- Google Authenticator - For two-step verification of my Google account
- Spotify - No alternative web app. I’m not even sure if they could successfully provide the service they do using HTML5 and the browser? (Anybody out there with any thoughts on this?).
- ESV Bible – They claim to have a web app on their website but it just seems to forward to their default (not responsive) desktop website. The need for full offline access also helped swing this one.
- Prompt - SSH Client. Even if it were possible I’d be concerned about the security of using a web app to SSH into things.
- South East England OS Maps - No mobile web alternative and offline access an issue here too.
- OnSong – Offline access to chord sheets (and there’s no mobile web alternative anyway).
- Kindle - No alternative, although this is less of an issue since I got a Kindle.
- TubeMap - For the obvious reason of offline access. I considered download a PDF but the app updates when stations are closed etc. without me having to remember to download the updates PDF.
- Skype - For obvious reasons…
- Sky+ and Sky Cloud WiFi - No alternative. Accessing the desktop versions of these services on a mobile device is painful.
- QR Scanner - To my knowledge there isn’t a web app alternative? I’m happy to be proved wrong though.
- Move the Box and Flower Board - I couldn’t quite bring myself to remove all the games from my iPhone and these are the only two I play regularly at the moment anyway.
I had a *lot* of other apps installed but I really didn’t use the other that often, if at all, so they’ve gone. Quite a few of them have alternative web apps or mobile websites so if I find myself needing to use their services I’ll give them a go as and when but I didn’t feel that any of them need to feature on my home screen(s). If nothing else, I’ve gained nearly 2gb of storage back!
My Rightmove friends will notice that the Rightmove app or mobile interface doesn’t feature in either of these lists. Most of my Rightmove searching tends to happen on a desktop with the occasional iPad use so I’m going to see how I go with just using the web interface in Safari on my iPhone as and when I need it.