Editor’s Note: Patrick Jordan is the founder of Just Another iPhone Blog. If there was ever a group that could turn us on to some great applications that we’ve never heard of before it would be these guys. Patrick was kind enough to share some recommendations with us.
There’s An App for Finding Good iPhone Apps
Apple recently announced that the number of available apps in the iPhone App Store has passed 100,000. As the ginormous numbers associated with the App Store have grown and grown – tens of thousands of apps, billions of downloads and so on – I’ve started to feel a little numb to them.
The store’s a massive success, no doubt about it – and as the TV ads remind us, there’s an app for just about everything by now. As most of you likely know though, that does not mean that it’s easy to find a good app when you want or need one. Well, unless you’re a huge fan of ‘Put any word in front of bikini girls’ type apps that is. I run an iPhone apps-focused site, I follow RSS feeds devoted specifically to new apps – and even I still find I want some help finding ‘hidden gem’ type apps, bargain apps, and similar.
Luckily, as you may not be shocked at all to learn, there’s an app for this. In fact, there are quite a few apps for this. So when Joshua asked me to do a guest post here, I thought I’d share some thoughts on some of those as ways to discover good new iPhone apps.
Here’s a quick rundown of some of the apps and services that I’ve used to help me find worthwhile iPhone apps (all of these are free):
An app recommendations service that offers a website, a native Mac app, and an iPhone app that make it easy to share your recommendations with friends, or anyone else you want to share with. Between the iPhone app and the site, you can share your sets of picks via email, website widget, or just via a direct link.
Pros: Easy to jump straight into – it sees all your apps and you just start sharing whichever ones you want. You can make as many sets of apps as you like – just one big list, or sets for Games, Productivity, Media and so on, however you like. Also offers a good Discover section – where you can browse lists like Global Top 15 Clicked Apps, Top 15 Grossing Apps, and ‘VIP’ selections from a number of web ‘experts’ (including yours
Cons: There’s no easy way to edit an existing list you’ve created. You pretty much have to just make a new one, but then titles become a little dodgy. Does not recognize jailbreak apps, and can be a bit thrown off in its display of all apps when your phone is jailbroken.
iPhone app that focuses on helping you find apps that have gone to free, are on sale, or have had price reductions.
Pros: Offers push notifications – so you can set a target price level on an app you fancy (say $6.99 for an pp currently at $9.99) and receive an alert when it hits your desired level; as well as getting alerts for all apps that go to free and similar. Filters that let you see just free apps, just sale apps, or all.
Cons: Not the nicest of UIs in my view – very busy.
Highlights apps on sale as well as new and top rated apps.
Pros: Lets you browse through all new apps / top rated apps / apps on sale, or look at each by category. Lets you choose which store (US or others) and which categories to include. Has a Watch List for apps you want to keep an eye on. Nice UI.
Cons: No push alerts yet.
Nearly identical focus as AppMiner has.
Pros: Very clean, nice UI.
Cons: No push alerts yet.
A ‘social’ discovery app – that wants to have you sharing app recommendations with your friends from Facebook and Twitter and similar, and also within the app.
Pros: I didn’t use this one enough to get to know its advantages – see below for why. I my need to give it another shot at some point and allow the Twitter and Facebook elements.
Cons: Forces you to create an account with them as Step 1 before you can do anything at all with the app. That put me off right away to be honest. It then wants you to provide your Twitter and Facebook login details as well (I declined). Its initial recommendations for me (after taking time creating an account and answering a set of initial questions) were way out in left field.
Apple’s feature they added to a recent iPhone firmware update. Genius for music, applied to apps. If you haven’t already noticed this new feature, it is a tab on the Features tab within the App Store.
Pros: I was not super impressed the first few times I tried this out. It has definitely improved with time though, and when I last checked its recommendations a couple nights ago there were several very promising ones. As its built right into the App Store it certainly has a major leg up on learning your app preferences and buying habits.
Cons: No push alerts, does not do anything in the area of bargain or sale finding.