Finding Quality Apps in The App Store Still Sucks

This is another piece on a continuing thought about app discovery:

Lately I’ve been perusing the App Store spending on average 30 minutes in search of interesting, creative, beautiful, and well designed apps. Yes, all those things are requirements that I consider in order for something to be truly great. Playing with some recent apps I found that what appears to be the key to their success is actually all those things that I mentioned, and more…

All of these apps seem to elicit a specific emotion (at least in me), and that is delight. I’m sure this is a feeling that many other iOS device users experience as well. Then why is it so damn hard to find more of these in the App Store?

Last week I bitched about how Apple really does have a lot of work ahead of them to create a much better experience with discovering great apps. I know a lot of people have gripes with the App Store policies and the way the review process is handled, however, I say it’s not curated nearly as well as it ought to be.

What can Apple do to solve this conundrum? I’m afraid I don’t have the exact solution to that (read on for a suggestion). What I do know is that when browsing the App Store I discover far more “101 sex positions” and “how to pick up girls” type apps before I even scratch the surface of the high quality ones. In fact, it’s highly more likely that I would discover a great new app by someone mentioning one on Twitter then me stumbling on something nice.

That really does say something about the state of the App Store though. Clearly it’s not humanly possible to curate the best apps just by Apple employees. Sure they could hire a 1000 people whose sole job would be to weed out the shit apps from the great ones, but a better solution in my opinion would be to deploy a user based up voting/down voting experience similar to sites like Digg and Reddit. Why not let the users push great apps to the top of the list, and conversely push the shit ones down to the bottom? Currently a user can rate an app by giving it a start rating out of five, however, I don’t know how well that algorithm currently works (is there even any documentation on how this works? Sorry if I’m ignorant on this). Clearly it’s not working well enough, otherwise we wouldn’t have a stupendously idiotic discovery issue.