App Discovery Tips and Tricks

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App Discovery Tips and Tricks

We remember the days back when discovering apps was a chore to begin with. The Android market back then was unintuitive and very unruly. Finding the best app is really difficult, and reviews were few and far in between. Everyone was simply testing the waters and trying to see which one works.

The Android Market quickly grew from just 50 usable apps to about 700,000 before it became the Play Store. Now, we are looking at around 800,000 apps and growing. The truth is, probably just about 20% or less of these apps are actually usable and worth people’s time. The rest of the apps are rubbish or simply not usable enough to hit mainstream acceptance. This is true even for the Apple App Store or the Windows App Store. Store App counts mean nothing in the face of the true number of quality apps you can use.

With so many apps to see, test and rule out, we cannot do what people did back in the day when we can practically test out all our alternatives. It is time to find and unearth the gems in the Play Store without doing everything yourself. So what can we do to find these hidden gems? Here are some tips we can share:

Use the Play Store Filters

The first and foremost thing you should use is the default filters provided by the Play Store itself. The Play Store has grown since it was rebranded and it can now effectively group apps depending on category. There are also app suggestions like Editor’s choice, Staff Picks, as well as recommended apps depending on your previous selections.

The Play Store has grown so much that you can now filter Tablet optimized apps, search only though games, or filter reviews by time as well as device used in the review. There are plenty of ways to discover new apps if you look hard enough through the list, but it still gets cumbersome as most of the apps on the top of the list are the same top selling apps from the well-known brands. What about the gems created by indie developers who built Android’s market from the ground up?

There is certainly some value in the “Majority Rule” where a hundred thousand satisfied users cannot be wrong. The thing is that the Play Store usually filters apps by the “Majority Rule”, so most apps that may be great but undiscovered are left in the dust by other development teams with more cash to market their apps through ads and sponsorships.

Use App Discovery Tools

Something else that you can do to find apps to try and enjoy are Play Store curator apps. These apps were designed to plough through the Play Store and look for great new apps or budding undiscovered apps that have the potential to be great.

Some of these discovery tools are useless too, so you may want to really scrutinize how they rank their best apps or how they present new apps to you. If it is automated, or obviously based on the same majority rule used by the Play Store, you are wasting your time. For your first try, take a look at the app called “Best Apps Market”.

Of course, there are other app discovery apps that may have a more social approach to the problem. These apps tend to have a team that checks apps themselves while they provide a recommendation and ranking system from apps used by other Android users. Other users who found gems themselves may recommend new and exciting apps to explore, while a low budget team with a great app can market their products at a fraction of the cost.

Other app discovery tools are very useful for other things than simply finding the best out there. I personally use an app called “AppSales”, which allows me to track the latest sales going on in the Play Store. It alerts me every day if there is a sale, while at the same time, I discover new apps that I may not stumble into during the regular course of checking out the Play Store.

Blog Reviews

Blog reviews pretty much work like some App Discovery Tools, except this time, they actually provide you the reason why they liked or hated the app so much. This may sometimes be a little biased, but there are plenty of honest works out there that may just point you to that app you never knew you needed.

This can also be a great way to figure out if a paid app you are about to buy is really worth the cash. You can check out the reviews that blogs posted on the web about it, or simply review it yourself for the next 14 minutes and spread the love or hate around the net.

App Forums

While professional blogs written by professional app reviewers may sound impressive, sometimes, the best way to get the real scoop is to get it from the ground up. I am talking about the actual users. Forums provide a great avenue for people who don’t professionally write to express their opinions. Most often, these opinions are more realistic than some money charged review. In a forum, you feel real hate and real love for an app.

Forums are also a great way for newbie app developers to promote themselves, which usually leads to scoring free paid apps and review editions. There you can discover new apps and participate in its positive development. If you like a new app and want it developed your way, the forums are also a great way to persuade your new favorite developer.

Trial and Error

Sometimes, the best reviewer is yourself. If it is a free app and it intrigues you, first, look it up and see if it is not a virus, then go and try it yourself. If you want a free app, you have 14 minutes to make up your mind, which is plenty of time. It is important to just have fun with it and don’t stress with it. If you find something you really like but it is not up to your standards, nudging the developer a bit might get you somewhere. Just make sure it is more of a positive criticism than a degrading destructive criticism.

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