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How to Efficiently Browse The Apple App Store

Updated on February 12, 2012

Introduction

So you've just bought a new iPhone, and you love the easy to use interface. You browse for a bit, then decide you need some apps. You open up the app store...and WHOA. You are confronted by hundreds of thousands of various apps competing for your attention. How do you manage through this giant mess? I'm here to teach you.

Using The Built In Features

Apple has done it's best to make the app store as easy as possible to travel. However, it can still be confusing to new users, or even iPhone veterans. The following list will show the best ways to find apps you'll like, no matter what your specifications.

Use The Search Feature!!

If you already have a specific app or idea in mind, the easiest thing to do is search it! On the iPad, the search bar is located at the top of many pages. On the iPhone and iPod it has it's own section. Searching is the way to go if you have a specific idea. But what if you just like a certain category?

Using The Categories Tab

If you like a specific category, say, games, the category tab is the place for you! They have most everything, from games and entertainment to finance and medical. Just select and browse away! The store will show you apps featured by them, special galleries of apps, and the newest apps in that category. But lets say you have nothing in mind about what you want, and just want to find a random app. There are three main ways to do this.

Genius!

The best way to find apps you like is by turning on genius. Genius automatically selects and suggests apps you'll like based on apps you already have. However, genius needs your apple ID to enable and sometimes has problems with loading. *WARNING: Genius is almost useless if you don't already have a number of apps. If you are a new user, I recommend using a different method.

The Top Charts

The top charts tab is another great way to find good apps. Apps don't get top rated and downloaded for no reason! While the top paid and top free sections are good, you might want to stay away from the top grossing section, as those apps tend to be moneysuckers with lots of hidden IAPs (In app purchases).

Featured

Apple has made this section just for people who want to browse. It shows hundred of apps that are newest, featured by apple, or highly rated recently. If you need an app, and you're not sure where to go, featured section is the place for you. If you get through the specific apps that are featured, then check out the many awesome galleries of apps that are changed almost daily. All in all, in my opinion, featured section is the best way to find quality apps that you may like.

Tips and Tricks

Some tips to make sure you are getting good apps, and to avoid possibly shady apps.

  • Check the Ratings: While not all apps have to five stars to be good, its a pretty good idea to avoid apps rated one or one and a half stars without checking further into the app first. It might be a scam or just not be what you expected.
  • Read The Reviews: This goes hand in hand with the ratings. If you have an iPad, this job is even easier. Simply press "Sort By" then "Most Critical" and see the bad side of the app. Then check out the "Most Favorable" section to see whats good about it. If you aren't the lucky owner of an iPad, you will have to browse throught the reviews manually- and hopefully find a good mix of negative and positive. If people claim that an app is a scam or that it has problems, look deeper to see if anyone else encountered these issues. If they did, you might want to find out more before you spend any sort of money. Remeber, don't believe everything you read, but the reviews can still provide valuable insight on a potential purchase.
  • Look at The Age Range Suggestion: This is a good way to stay away from topics you might not want to view.
  • Ask Your Friends!: You don't have to find all your information about the app in the virtual world. If you know someone that is an experienced iOS user, ask them about some apps to get and which ones to avoid.

Conclusion

Apple has made it as easy as possible to navigate the endless supply of amazing applications that are out there. Hopefully this guide has made it easier for you to transverse the sections and come up with some apps you'll like. Happy browsing!

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