On organizing your apps in iTunes

Kirk McElhearn wrote a nice little rant on the limited organization options iTunes give you when it comes to apps.

There are a few ways to view apps in iTunes. You can view in a list, or see only those apps that work on an iPhone or iPad. But that’s it; you can’t view them grouped by genre (though you can sort them by name, date, genre, etc.), or by any other way. You just get one big grid of apps.

I agree. The problem is, apps and music are two very different beasts. Music, like books, have several different handles we can use to find them. We can organize music and books by artist/author, genre, title, and purchase date, all of which work for us at one time or another.

Apps are not quite the same. One of the basic handles used for organizing apps is the icon. This works for a small collection, but is not so much for a large one. Imagine if your thousands of songs were only sortable as a big grid. Not so useful, right?

In iTunes, you can currently sort your apps by name, kind, category, date and size, the types of handles you’d expect to see in the Finder. But apps are not simply files, and they are not quite the same as music or books. For example, you likely don’t know the names of the companies that created most of your apps.

How about smart playlists for apps? You could have a playlist of apps you’ve downloaded in the past month; another for games; another for apps that you’ve rated with a certain star rating (because, hey, while I’m at it, star ratings, as for other types of media in iTunes, would be useful too), and more.

I totally agree with this. I’d also like the ability to retire apps that I purchased but know I will never use again. This one step would significantly reduce my iTunes app clutter.