Suzy Kendrick, August 21, 2012
While the App Store is a wondrous place full of cool, helpful and interesting apps to use, it can sometimes be overwhelming. There are a bajillion apps to sort through, and unless you have a lot of time or a lot of patience, you may get fed up pretty quickly.
Don’t throw your hands up in the air and proclaim “there ISN’T an app for that!” There probably is, but there’s an easier way to find it. This week we take a look at apps that help you find new apps… now say that five times fast.
It’s always a great start getting a recommendation for something from someone you trust. That’s what Kinetik had in mind when creating their “social recommendation” app. This free application recommends apps to you based on your Facebook friends and Twitter followers. Once you connect your accounts in the app interface, it will pull in suggestions for apps you may like based on what your friends do.
Personally, while I think this is a cool idea, the recommendations I got for apps weren’t really any that I’d use. Since I have “liked” pages on Facebook like iTunes, the App Store and other tech sites, I found my offering to be more news-centric than friend-based. It also suggested Instagram to me four or five times. Perhaps the developers could find a way to remove suggestions for the apps that you already have installed?
Well, well, I spoke too soon. AppGrooves has answered my prayers. This free app finding app learns from your preferences and detects apps you have already installed! Love it.
As soon as it’s downloaded, AppGrooves immediately asks your permission to detect what your current app roster looks like. Then, by comparing similar apps you already have, it asks you to vote on which you like better. (Let me tell you, it was a tough call between Instagram and Camera+. That’s like asking which one of your children you love more!) The more you vote, the more it learns what you like and can offer you suggestions based on that. If you want to figure things out on your own, you can search, view apps that are currently on sale and also view apps published by the same developer.
Then AppGrooves takes it one step further. You also get a Daily Suggested Apps (one free, one paid), which is computed just for you based on your voting history. Finally, an app that really gets me.
People don’t say “you get what you pay for” for nothing. Discovr by Filter Squad is no exception. While you can get many free apps for finding new apps, this one is definitely worth the $1.99.
Remember those brainstorming clouds you used to make in school to expand on your ideas? That’s what Discovr does, only with apps. You can start with one of your current favorite apps and simply by clicking on it, it will fan out other similar apps that may be of interest to you. The more you click, the more it expands into a never-ending map of the App Store.
From there you can share the knowledge with your friends via Twitter, Facebook or email. Social sharing feels good, doesn’t it?
Everyone loves a good deal. That said, let me introduce you to AppSmart. This free app is your ultimate bargain shopping buddy. Created by Big Ass Ham (interesting company name), this app is key for alerting you when any apps you have your eye on drop in price. You can also save money by viewing recent price drops on popular apps, including paid ones that are temporarily free. Cool, eh?
AppSmart also offers another way to search through the App Store with unique categories like “Improve My Device”, “Kill Time” and “Find Stuff Around Me”. Then it tells you what apps you can get on sale. If I could compare this app to something in the real world, it’d be like finding that ‘diamond in the rough’ awesome shirt at Marshalls or Winners. You have to spend a bit of time sifting through all of the other sale items, but when you find it, you’re on cloud 9.
Let’s take the app search online. I’d like to introduce you to a new e-community called Appsylum. Created by Tamar Weinberg, Appsylum is a hub for app lovers and developers. Weinberg says you should consider it your dedicated support forum for anything and everything related to apps from fellow app owners and the developers themselves.
Like AppSmart, you can use this site to track price changes on apps you want. However, this website also lets you connect more directly with the developers who create the apps you love. Get involved in discussions with them as well as your peers, post your own reviews of you favorites and get support.Follow @macgasm