Lost in a sea of apps? Two new services with different approaches, Apptizr and AppButler, want to provide you with smarter ways to navigate the perilous digital shelves of the App Store.
There’s been no shortage of recent commentary about the overwhelming size and growth of the iPhone App Store. On Sunday, the New York Times devoted its investigative muscle to a long article about the revolution that the App Store represents.
But is all this growth getting to be too much of a good thing? Back in the App Store’s stone age (ah, the summer of 2008), when there were far fewer apps, App Store recommendations and reviews gave consumers a way to choose the apps that best served their needs and cravings. But the latest count puts the number of apps over 100,000, so perhaps the time is ripe for a little more help.
Apptizr is a Website that asks you to create an account, provide basic information about yourself, and then walks you through a series of questions about your personal interests. The result of the algorithmic magic is a series of recommendations. You can give a thumbs up or down to apps you already own, or download new apps. You can also browse apps by category or keyword. Each app’s screen provides the information you also see in the App Store: a detailed description, ratings, and reviews. Presumably, the more Apptizr gets to know you, the more its recommendations will entice.
AppButler, on the other hand, is an iPhone app that recommends apps based on a calculated popularity score. It generates a number from zero to 400 for each app in the store, based on its rankings in the eight biggest international markets. You select categories of apps that you’re interested in and also set the threshold score (a higher score, of course, means an app is trendier). AppButler can even send push notifications about apps that meet that threshold in the categories you like.
AppButler claims that its scoring algorithm allows you to identify hot apps before the whole world knows about them. Of course, if the scores are based on rankings, then you can assume that most of the apps are already pretty hot.
Apptizr is a free service currently in alpha release until Wednesday, December 9, after which it will graduate to public beta. Users can participate in the alpha by entering the invitation code “GoMacWorld” (no quotes); the offer is limited to the first 500 users, however.
AppButler is a free and available now at the App Store.