Thursday, April 11, 2013

Application Overload

There are more apps than anyone could possibly review, so how do you choose? Most people probably hear about new apps from their friends or colleagues, others may read about an app in the news. A few brave souls may go so far as to scour app review sites, and you can too.

Here are a few ways you can find cool apps to impress your friends.

Search Is King

Just like the web, app discovery is overwhelmingly done through search. Most of these searches are done within the App Store or Google Play. Last year Apple acquired app search startup Chomp in order to improve the App Store search results and user experience. The impact of the acquisition was almost immediate.

While the “king of search” is, naturally, Google, another Eric Schmidt-backed company is making significant headway in the world of app search. Quixey is “The search engine for Apps” and you may already be using their search solution without even knowing it. Quixey is a functional search for applications across platforms and is integrated with 3rd Party app distributors, OEMs, and search solutions like Duck Duck Go and

App-Discovery Apps

There are a few of these services, but my absolute favorite is Discovr Apps. If you have ever tried the Visual Thesaurus (if not, you should), it is basically the same concept. When you click on an app, a bunch of related apps pop-up around it. It’s endlessly fun, stream of consciousness search. Discovr is a huge hit with Music, Movies, and now People too.

Of course, this genre could disappear in 2013. Apple has recently “cracked down” on services like Apps Fire and App Gratis (not the same as Discovr, but app-discovery-apps nonetheless).

High-class Reviewers

There are a ton of app review sites, and most of them are paid... meaning app publishers pay to get reviewed by them. However, there are three sites that I find outstanding. They are:

#1 Overlapps

The best of the lot. Overlapps has an inspired, engaging and beautiful design, just a wonderful browsing experience. You can browse apps based on categories (there are many and the icons are brilliant), or see the latest for iPad and iPhone. Another neat feature is you can “love” an app and see which apps are getting the most “love.” Subscribe to Overlapps to add apps you are thinking about buying to your Wishlist or Favorites.

#2 Appolicious

Wow, just an immense database of information about apps. Appolicious is probably the leader in terms of sheer volume of information, and it is very well organized. Recently partnered with Yahoo, the site is filled with Recommendations, News, and Video Reviews -- they own a video review service called AppVee. Also, when you create an account for Appolicious you can “Build your library” of apps.

#3 AppAdvice

AppAdvice features news about Apps. However, there are also some pretty killer mashups of apps they call applists. These applists are based on seasons or holidays, as well as interests, games, etc. Some examples: “life solver” (like health or wedding planning), “empower your device” (apps for productivity, utilities). There are also daily video reviews, and App Guides which are really cool.

App Guides are probably the best review format available. Basically, the best apps for any category have been curated here with subcategories. For example, within Lifestyle you will find “Baby Monitoring Apps” or “Best Goal-Setting Apps.” When you click on any of these sub-categories there are reviews for several apps within that sub-category ranked as “Essential,” “Notable,” Decent,” and “Other Apps.”

App Advice

Overlapps App search "powered by Quixey"