Unfortunately, because there are a lot of new apps added daily, and a small percentage of them are A-class applications, I eventually gave up on checking the Androd app market regularly. Now, I identify a need first; and then find a free Android apps to meet that need.
Then one day on my news feed, I read about AppAware; and it sounded like the solution to my problem. What AppAware does is grab your location, and pool you with a ton of other Android users who are downloading and trying applications. Every time you download and install an app/game, it adds you to a cloud of people that are doing the same thing.
This results in, essentially, the ability for AppAware to statistically group the best Android applications, most removed, most installed…you get the point. What this means for you as an AppAware user is that you can save the pain of endlessly scrolling through insane amounts of applications to find a gem. Instead, AppAware does this for you –let’s take a closer look.
Head over to the Android Market and search for AppAware, or you can scan this QR code to download it. There’s really nothing to configure and install; the application seems to really just be a frame that accesses a webpage that does all the hard work. In retrospect, this is a great idea (though it requires internet) and the application runs very smoothly.
When you start the app, you’ll see a nice little feed describing the activity of other Android users.
Now believe me; the app is in no way confusing, and I trust you have the intellect to understand what you’re seeing. However, far be it from me to leave anything unsaid, so here’s a quick explanation of what you see:
- Red – The app was just removed
- Green – The app was just installed
- Blue – The app was just updated
- Check mark(next to any color) – You have that app already
What I use this screen for is a quick 30 second scan of what people have been up to. Do I see a lot of updating, did Google Earth finally come out (yes), did they finally make an app that clones my better qualities (trick question, I have none)? The home screen feed does a good job with this. But let’s say that I really want to do some digging; let’s get some statistical relevancy going here! That’s where the real power of AppAware comes in.
Okay, What Else?
Click the little icon in the bottom-right that looks like a sideways bar graph. You should be at a screen that looks something like this:
Here we get the real meat of the application. With just a tap you can see what’s been popular in a specified time frame. Scrolling down, you’ll notice that you can see the top apps installed, removed, and updated in the time frame you choose. Click an app, and you’ll be greeted with the following screen:
Now, before you go all crazy and assume that the meter refers to popularity, let me set you straight. Remember the colors we saw earlier (red, green, blue)? They referred to the activity taking place, whether the user had just installed, removed, or updated an application. The farther to the right this meter is, it’s actually indicating that people tend to keep the application when they get it. Since the Google Maps arrow is as far to the right as it can go, we can surmise that that application must have some redeeming quality; we might want to try it out!
To me, this feature is indispensable; it’s like an application-quality lie detector; it tells me what the app is really worth. Since it’s not limited to free Android apps, this allows me to figure out whether a paid application is worth getting! Oh, and if you end up really liking something, there’s obviously three methods for sharing your excitement built in to AppAware.
Okay, hit the back button to go back to that awesome statistics page, and click “Featured Apps”. This will give you an awesome list of the most popular, commendable, straight up honest Android games and Applications in AppAware history.
Think of this list as a base list of quality applications for a new or existing Android user; and let’s face it–they’re all free because free Android apps tend to get more downloads. I really, really liked this feature, because it’s not based on someone’s opinion, and it’s not based on a crowd of people trying to promote a product. This is simple statistical data telling you what the Android community likes and finds useful. You can’t really go wrong with this list; check it out.
AppAware Website: Just like the App
Okay, okay, I know you’re going to kill me now. Remember earlier in the article where I said it looked like the application was actually accessing an online feed? Well, it turns out that the application is literally a webpage. This webpage.
On the AppAware website you’ll find literally the same content as you do in the app. Literally. This means that you don’t necessarily have to install the application on your device (but c’mon, it’s a great app!). Anyway, do what you must with the AppAware website, but I still recommend downloading the application. It’s free, it’s handy, and you’ve got nothing to lose. Go for it.
Now that I’ve finished rambling, I’d like to hear what you use when you’re finding new stuff for your phone. I once heard someone say that a smartphone is only as good as the applications installed on it–and I think there’s a fair amount of truth the statement. How do you keep your Android phone on the cutting edge of the software world? Let me know in the comments section!
Image credit: vvvracer