With all of this AppStore growth speculation being reported today, I’ve been spending some time trying to figure out how the heck are we going to separate the crap from the awesome applications in the AppStore. Sifting through 15,000 applications back in January of 2009 wasn’t all that difficult, but if the projected numbers for December 2010 are correctly estimated at 300,000, we’re going to need to rethink the application discovery process.
I’ve spent the better part of my day thinking about how we might be able to transform the application store to something a little more discovery friendly, but I couldn’t come up with one solution that would highlight both up and coming applications, and the most popular applications.
The only thing that came to mind was adopting a Digg like system, but instead of users voting for applications, it would be based on rewarding the applications that are presently active on iPhone and Touch devices, and punishing applications that get installed and then removed within the course of a week.
What if Apple Inc weighted the home screen, through to the 15th page of the application menu, and then somehow created an algorithm that would then calculate what applications are actually the most popular, and the most used.
The key problem with the current set up is that the focus is on how many times an application is currently being downloaded, instead of focusing on the utility of an application, and its frequency of use.
You want to know how many applications I’ve downloaded based on hype and then subsequently deleted after a day or two? I’d say about 80 percent. If we could figure out what 20 percent are staying on the devices, and which of those are being accessed most frequently, we can start to put together an effective recommendation system.
Failing to address this is going to be catastrophic, the time for over night success might be long gone, but, people are using iPhones more and more, and if we can’t find out what applications are the best, we’ll eventually get fatigue and give up. Apple Inc. has been adopting social media services at a snails pace, but it’s starting to look like the power of the people is the only way that this AppStore mess will get sorted out. If Apple Inc. finally decides to put their mobile users to work, it would solve a lot of the problems we’re facing. But that would mean Apple would be relinquishing some control of their recommendation engine, and historically speaking, that’s not something that the folks in Cupertino do, is it?
Graph Via The Apple Blog