Business

Demo: Orange’s Open Mobile App Directory wants to be the Wikipedia of apps

The Open Mobile App Directory (OMAD), a new site by Orange Silicon Valley, aims to be the one app directory to rule them all.

The site boasts a cross-platform directory of mobile applications — including iOS, Android and BlackBerry apps — that’s put together with proprietary search technology and crowdsourced information. OMAD aims to be an alternative to typical app stores, like Apple’s App Store or the Android Market, where it’s easy for quality apps to be ignored, and which don’t allow for community participation (aside from rating apps).

“We constantly hear from developers that they are drowned in the sea of apps,” co-founder Srinivas Chervirala told VentureBeat. “At OMAD, we want to put developers in charge of discovery. We provide tools for developer to do just that. In addition, the Open Mobile Application Directory employs machine-based algorithms, granular taxonomy and a community approach to ensure relevant classification and underlying metalayer of information describing applications.”

For consumers, OMAD will help them easily find apps when they’re juggling multiple platforms. It can also be used by cellphone retailers to easily recommend apps to new phone buyers based on their interests.

OMAD will be competing with other app directories and discovery services, such as GetJar and Chomp, but Chervirala tells us the technology could also be used by those sites to improve their own app listings. He notes that its competitors don’t offer the same community management features as OMAD, which help to flesh out app details and ensure they’re classified properly.

The directory began in 2009 as a project of the Silicon Valley arm of the French telecom company Orange. There are currently three people working on OMAD: Chervirala, Satya Mallya and Wencheng Li.

OMAD is one of 80 companies chosen by VentureBeat to launch at the DEMO Fall 2011 event taking place this week in Silicon Valley. After our selection, the companies pay a fee to present. Our coverage of them remains objective.


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