At the time of writing, there are 18,335 apps for the Android, and 160,531 apps for the iPhone and iPod Touch.
Finding applications that matter to you is hard, especially in stores that are strongly controlled by Google or Apple. You see the applications favored by those companies, or those that have proven most popular.
It’s not a quick chore to hook your smartphone up with a few personalized application choices. Until recently, the only option was to browse entire categories, thousands of pages to find a score of free mobile apps. With the fear of sounding cheesy, here comes. No more!
appSpace is what you get when you lock StumbleUpon, Last.fm, Jinni and a bunch of mutated pheromone strands in the app store. It’s easy to set up, and is here to create order out of the current mobile chaos.
The video above gives a pretty good idea to the goals of appSpace. By eyeing your previous, current and future application choices, appSpace will gradually get to know you better than your own mother. Before you know, you’ll receive suggestions of new applications to take for a spin.
Signing up for an appSpace account is as easy as it gets, save for two particular issues. You don’t even need to wait for the classic confirmation mail to arrive.
Watch out with the device selection. Any error, be it an empty field or email typo, will revert this back to the default option: iPhone. Although you can change this later on, there’s a particular bug that will keep you from getting new recommendations.
Secondly, you need to provide your postal code. Another typical assumption that everybody lives in the US. Just fill something in here, it shouldn’t greatly influence your recommendations.
App Browsing & Recommendations
There are two ways to browse interesting applications. Default is by using the recommendation engine. As soon as you sign up, appSpace will suggest up to 100 applications deemed interesting. You can tweak the algorithm by letting know your choices, but more on this later.
Second, and luckily not left out, is the typical category browsing mode. It’s not too obvious, but you can find the option in the top right corner. Using categorical browsing of course offers a much wider range of apps, and might be most interesting if you’re looking for something very specific, but it also comes with a bulk of superfluous apps.
Both the recommendation and categoric view can be slimmed down by using the filters at the right hand side of the screen. This allows you to filter by category, sort the results, and limit the search to paid or free mobile apps.
In said lists, you can hit the application title for a longer description and the occasional review. Without switching pages, you can bookmark or mark an application as owned or favorite. Bookmarking is especially handy in a read-it-later way, allowing you to check back on interesting ones later.
At the top left side of the screen, you’ll see your discovery strength percentage. This is the efficacy estimated by appSpace, and tracks back to the number of applications you’ve already added and rated. In the options, you’ll find a more detailed overview of the algorithm; including a pie chart showing your personal influences, like ratings, friends, and demographic information.
It isn’t too hard to improve your recommendations. There are a number of things you can do.
Most importantly, and quite obvious, is to rate applications. Try to add most (if not all) of your favorite applications to your profile and rate them. This will give appSpace some standing ground to ‘calculate’ your likes and dislikes. If you’re using an iPhone and iTunes, be sure to check out the appScanner below.
In your profile, you can specify very specific topics you’re interested in, including subcategories of arts/history, music, regional and sports. Also in the settings, you can mark your interest in the default application categories (as specified by the Android and iPhone app stores).
If you’re an iPhone junkie, you needn’t add all of your applications manually. On the website, appSpace offers a cross-platform Adobe Air app that will scan your iTunes library, and synchronize with your appSpace profile. Happy hunting!
Do you know any other ways to find interesting Android and iPhone applications? Tell us your personal picks in the comments section below.