For many users, the process of search, find and engage an app is done automatically with minimal cognition. Checking habits were found prevalent among smartphone owners, according to the study “Habits Make Smartphone Use More Pervasive” (A. Oulasvirta, L. Ma, E. Raita, Helsinki Institute for Information Technology HIIT, Aalto University, Helsinki, Finland; 2011). The report noted that quick access to dynamic content can induce habits and give users a feeling of being rewarded after consumption. A sensation develops for wanting to return for more, spurring a cycle that results in increased phone use.
When I spoke with research participants for my project they did not voice many concerns about sifting through several apps throughout the day, despite using only about 15 or so. I think this is because there are many tools available to help smartphone owners manage their apps. For instance, Advanced Task Manager manages app systems and how they interact with the phone’s ecosystem. Another option is the Samsung Smart Switch Mobile app, which allows users to move content from one device to another. During the early stages of doing a competitive analysis the closest consideration to the proposed MultiManager project was Switchr - App Switcher (Figure D), which is designed to give users a better experience of switching between their favorite apps, using search or gestures from the navigation bar.
An advantage to this interface is that several apps can be managed under a single setting rather than having to find and manipulate app settings individually. In addition, the app touts to have several interface designs to choose from to access apps.