Finding apps can be a headache. Apple has done all right with its various App Store rankings, but the e-tail frontend isn’t always the easiest to navigate. As for Android Market, that’s just a straight-up mess, especially if you happen to be among those who search outside the usual channels. Yahoo! is looking to make things easier on you with the launch of two new services designed to ferret out apps that you may not have found otherwise: AppSpot and App Search.
AppSpot is a literal app that you can download and use to find other apps. It sounds confusing, if only because that’s what the iOS and Android store front-ends are for, but streamlining is what’s key here. The first time you load AppSpot, it asks if it can be allowed to look at what’s on your device. Say yes, because it will then use that information to make recommendations based on your tastes. Picks are largely pulled from what’s popular, which probably explains why I received the Justin Bieber Revenge rhythm game as a recommendation, but your own tastes and searches help color the selection as well.
Yahoo! also launched the companion App Search, a browser-based tool that pretty much does the same thing AppSpot does. It can’t look at the apps you have installed and build recommendations from them of course, but all of the basic search features are there. The big advantage you get with using this tool over AppSpot is the added screen real estate. The mobile app is easy to use, but the home screen feels a bit overcrowded with too-large app icons. That’s not an issue on the browser side.
As mobile growth numbers have proven again and again, you can never have too many top seller lists. With low price points on many of the most popular downloads, a sale usually comes down to waving the latest cool, shiny thing in front of a potential buyer. App Store and Android Market already offer that in some form, and now Yahoo! is doing the same for both.