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App discovery is a problem on smartphones. The way I find apps is from friends’ recommendations. Sometimes I’ll peruse the list of top downloads or search for something that sounds useful. But sometimes I don’t know what I want, or could never dream of my phone having a function that an app allows.
Take ShopSavvy, for example, available in the Apple AppStore and Android Market. When you’re out shopping, ShopSavvy lets you scan a barcode with your phone to finds prices on the same item in other local stores or on the web. A friend of mine got a head massager for Christmas. I wanted to know where to find one. A quick search with ShopSavvy led me to a $3.99 product on Amazon.com. This’s something I would never have dreamed my phone could do. And I only found out about it by word of mouth.
But what about when you’re the most app savvy of your friends? How do you discover new apps for your phone? Do you riffle though the AppStore or Android Market and take on an app at a time, looking for the next mobile godsend? The best way to find new apps is to use one of the 20 or so directories out there that try to make sense of the thousands of apps. I’ve thumbed through these directories over the last week. Here are my top picks:
Top Android App Directories
4.) Android.com – An easy way to browse the top apps in the Market, but it has no search bar or any other features besides “Top Paid”, “Top Free”, and “Featured.”
3.) Androidapps360.com – tracks over 5,000 Android Apps, also includes different categories.
2.) Androlib.com – One of the largest Android App directories, also includes a statistics page for what apps are available and have been downloaded.
1.) Mplayit.com – (pictured above) tracks over 100,000 iPhone Apps, 15,000 Android Apps, and 3,500 Blackberry Apps. This is the one-stop-shop. It includes an overview, reviews, videos, and a way to share with friends through Facebook.
Top iPhone App Directories
5.) AppAdvice.com – doesn’t just have tons of app reviews but also includes many “AppLists” such as “Back to School Apps” or “Pocket Music Box Apps” or “Make Your Friends Say Wow Apps.”
4.) Appolicious.com – has many app reviews, as well as video overviews of the apps and a way to share apps with your friends.
3.) Yappler.com – currently tracks over 130,000 apps. Each app has a page for overview, and reviews. You can create lists and share your favorite apps through social media.
2.) Apptism.com – currently tracks over 140,000 apps. Each app has a page for an overview, activity, news, reviews and more.
1.) Mplayit.com – my top pick for both best Android App directory and best iPhone App directory. It includes an overview, reviews, videos, and a way to share with friends through Facebook.