Where to Find Apps in Stores, Markets, Websites, Reviews and Updates
While the number, type and function of apps available on Apple and Andoid devices has exploded recently, app-specific search engines, reviews, stores and places where you can go to quickly find what you are after, has lagged behind in their expansion.
Apple’s App Store, tries to keep up to date with the torrent of new apps arriving daily, but struggles to cope. Apple have improved their tools but they are far from ideal.
Android users the benefits from several new search developments such as launch the Amazon Appstore for Android (that only covers Android apps) and improvements to find and review services like Appbrain.com and Appolicious.
Google's own Android Market Web site has significantly improved recently.
You can sort search results by popularity or relevance to what you want the app to do or the service it should provide.
The way the site calculates 'relevance' has been greatly improved and it now produced much better results that are much more effective is delivering outcomes for its users.
For example, users who searched for apps specifically created by Google in the past were provided with huge list of apps that simply mentioned Google.
However, now Google's own apps appear first in the results.
The images for the apps and the application summaries, are much more informative about what the app does and how it does it.
Also when you click through a list of app descriptions, Android provides a relevant list of suggestions for similar apps that other users have bought or browsed at when looking for something similar.
Amazon was the real pioneer in providing comprehensive data on its Android Appstore, but its reviews are very limited with only 22,000 apps included compared with around 300,000 top apps on the Android Market.
This has benefits and disadvantages because unlike Google, Amazon does test each Android app listed to ensure the app meet Amazon's standards for performance and quality.
This means that you get shorter lists for comparions that have some quality assurance.
Appbrain.com is a great way to find new apps and it includes customer reviews and popularity summaries as the site tracks the apps that are getting the most attention among users.
Appolicious.com is quite similar to Appbrain. It also as has lost of user reviews and a search engine that you can use to find apps.
In some ways Appolicious is better because it has more useful information and it includes Apple apps as well as those for Android devices.
For Appolicious that information on apps comes from staff and users of the site.
The service, which is also used to provide information for Best Buy’s App Discovery Center (at apps.bestbuy.com), includes data on nearly 1 million apps - about 600,000 Apple apps and roughly 200,000 Android apps.
Users can search those by phrase or individual keyword, or browse through an excellent index that includes literally hundreds of categories and sub-categories.
For example, a user can find a range of task management apps and planning tools, by selecting the 'productivity' category, which is listed as a sub-category within of the 'business' category.
Appolicious employs a total of five editors to provide its service and also uses a lost of expert freelancers who review various specific apps in their area of expertise and experience and offer up-to-date category reviews and roundups.
The service now has more than 100,000 user members who write reviews for the site.
Appolicious is a wonderful companion to Apple’s App Store, which often struggles to cope with the huge number of new apps that arrive daily.
Apple’s editorial staff turns out new category roundups every few weeks, but it’s difficult to find these features once they have been removed from the front page.
© 2011 Dr. John Anderson
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