How to be good at apps

A friend of mine was upset last night that he had 3 diff not-particularly-good alarm clock apps and mapping apps. He was disappointed that he couldn’t unlock the coolness of his sweet smartphone.

So I’ll give you the same advice I gave him. If you want to find some good apps for your smart phone, try an app ranking website.

These sites differ from your regular app marketplace because they rank apps by their quality and popularity. This is much better than the typical marketplace approach of knocking apps upside the head with a shovel if they have even one open bug and then burring it where no one will ever see it again. Unless it happens to be an important app, in which case the marketplace may artificially inflate it because it’s good for their own business.

Android Apps

AppAware – An app discovery website. They also have an Android App that tells you what the newest and hottest apps are. They recently redesigned their website with a Pinterest style layout, which I haven’t seen before for apps.

AppBrain – Another discovery service for apps. They even let you install/remove apps directly from the website, so you don’t need to pickup your phone every time you find a neat app on there. They have some cool utilities to check your phone for unwanted Ads and stuff.

I like both of these sites because they provide tools for people that make apps as well. AppAware provides an API that lets developers find apps in the marketplace, filling a gap created by Google. AppBrain provides tools to help developers make their apps better and to earn more money.

iPhone/iPad Apps

AppVee – Video reviews good for finding a new game. Like a calm and soothing version of reviews by Yahtzee.

148Apps – An app discovery/review site. Pretty good roundup. They have a price-drops feature like AppBrain, so if you are looking for Steam-like sales deals for iOS apps this is it.

Windows Phone Apps

I haven’t seen a worthwhile app discovery service for Windows Phone 7 or 8 yet. They all seem to just recycle the existing Marketplace data. If you know of a good one, let me know!

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