The fallacy of timesaving apps: They don’t save you much time

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Fortune

The universe has exploded with apps. There are over 1 million available for Apple [fortune-stock symbol=”AAPL”] products and for Android devices: recipe apps, fitness apps, productivity apps, shopping apps. Many claim they will streamline your life and save that most precious commodity: time.

But will they? Can they?

“So many people are over-busy and overwhelmed. We’re looking for things outside of ourselves to ease our burden,” says Ali Davies, a Vancouver-based personal effectiveness coach who works with clients on time management issues. She almost never recommends a productivity app to a client. In fact, she often recommends the opposite, for several reasons.

First, because there are so many of them, many apps focus on something very specific. “There are no barriers to entry,” says Bob O’Donnell, who studies the technology marketplace as founder and chief analyst of TECHnalysis Research. To make a viable product in a crowded eco-system, a developer…

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