August 24, 2011, 12:09 PM

Two much of a good thing

Nextag may have a couple too many apps.

Lead Photo

Nextag's third app, dubbed Radar.

Comparison shopping engine Nextag just released a new app based on its Radar web site feature that combs the Internet searching for the products a consumer wants and updates the selected products’ prices (click here to read the story). Nextag now has not one, not two, but three apps. I think that’s two too many.

A consumer would have to sort through all sorts of unnecessary functions to find the one he wanted if one app included all of the functions of the three Nextag apps, says Bahman Koohestani, Nextag vice president of product and technology.

I respectfully disagree. I think the more powerful the m-commerce app, the more likely a customer is to use it. Pack it full of tools and rich media and GPS and augmented reality and QR code scanning. You can have graphical representations for each function on the app’s home screen—including the common app button bar at the bottom—that take the customer to the feature or function in just one touch. A shopper looks at an app like that and says, “Man, this thing is unreal!” It excites them, and it offers them many practical tools.

But perhaps more important, having more than one app leads to mobile desktop clutter. Many smartphone owners like to have some semblance of organization on their phones. I have five pages of apps. And I like to keep my most important apps on the home screen. Fortunately, Apple awhile back created the ability to put apps into folders, that way one can have more than 16 apps per screen. I have folders for News, Entertainment, Social, Reference, Finance and Doctor Who (what can I say, the British sci-fi series is that important to me). Each folder contains multiple apps. So, yes, I could create a Nextag folder and put all three apps in the one folder, but why would I want three apps for the same company in a folder when just one on the main desktop would suffice?

Nextag has some great features in all three of its apps. But there’s no reason it can’t combine them all into one mighty powerful app. If you are thinking about having more than one app, you should give serious thought as to why a consumer would download more than one app, and why you wouldn’t simply put all your features and functions in one beauty of an app.

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