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We're headed deep into meta-land today, kiddies, with a review about which app is best at finding new apps for you. Apps about apps? Is there an app for that? You bet your app there is.
The simplest of our selections this week, AppsGoneFree from AppAdvice.com cuts through the chaff. Open up this puppy and you're presented with just a handful of apps. Their icons, short descriptions, their star ratings, and previous price are all listed. Tap the app to learn more.
A short list, so they can give you tons of info
Why such a short list? @freeappalert on twitter regularly lists over a hundred a day. Because AppAdvice.com has curated the App Store to only bring you quality free apps. See, they have standards they're upholding.
A snap to use and usually pretty good stuff
To make the cut you need to:
A) be free
B) have a rating of three stars or higher
C) not have repeatedly cut your price to free in the last six months, and
D) have no ads in your app
A tall order, and you can see how that winnows the field. AppsGoneFree is high quality stuff but it is limited, meaning you'll find great deals but you won't find a lot of new apps.
From the site of the same name, 148Apps took its moniker from the original limit on how many apps you could install on the iPhone. Their app too is simplicity, but where our previous app fixed on high quality freebies, 148Apps is more like a dedicated, high powered RSS feed of the site reviews.
They are thorough, we'll give them that
On opening, you are a list of apps. Each item on your list has the app's name and icon, the reviewer's name and rating given, and a short synopsis.
148Apps, dedicated to reviewing all the apps
Tap a list item to be taken to a fuller review. Like what you read? Tap the sharing button to buy the app, to save the review for later, to share with friends, and to watch (if available) YouTube previews of the app.
How can you do us like this, 148?
Four buttons at the bottom navigate you through the Featured reviews, Search the review archives, collect your saved searches, and to provide more settings options. Again, essentially just their site's home page done up in mobile style as an app with a few bells and whistles attached.
"Busy, busy, busy," to quote every Bokonist everywhere. That was our first thought on opening App Deals from appsfire, which promises to find us the daily deals and price drops. There's a lot going on on the screen when you fire up this baby.
Whoa, that's a lot going on there, people
A search loup, a settings gear, a number badged notification button, then three buttons for apps currently free, the top free apps, and the latest price drops (all of which are themselves badged). And that's just the top 20% of the screen.
Below that, broken into categories are the apps. We've got names, icons, star ratings, prices, badges if they're new. Flick your screen across a row to see more. Flick the screen upwards to see all five categories and the button at the bottom that lets you personalize this stream. Don't care for games? Chuck it out and replace with news or music or books and so on.
Customize your busy home page
Tap an app to go to its dedicated page. This brings up the description and screenshot from the App Store, along with original price, buttons to share or favorite this app or mark it as yours. Whether that meant you owned it already or not we couldn't tell. In fact, after favoriting an app, we couldn't figure out what became of that list.
Get your T-Pain on, pronto
There's lots of apps to find and lots of ways to configure what you want to find, but App Deals is so busy we got lost in all the flash and a little put off by the UI's hyperstimulation.
Frankly, this is one of our favorite apps to find apps, though it isn't particularly helpful in tracking down deals. No, what Discovr Apps from Jammbox does is what Genius recommendations should be doing. A blank screen and three tabs at the bottom await you. One is Recommended apps, one is your library of apps already installed, and the other is a wishlist of apps you want to buy at some point.
Discovr helps you do just that
You like an app you have already and either you want more like it or a better alternative. Tap its icon in your Library tab and it appears on the white screen above, surrounded by six apps similar in nature attached by lines. Tap one of those and it sprouts six more.
Like Genius but better, way, way, way better
In this way you can stroll through the App Store, making discoveries of apps even better than the ones you have. The more apps you tap, the bigger and more complicated your web becomes. Tap a new app from your Library to wipe the screen clean and start fresh. You can also pinch and zoom to see the scope of your map or to focus in on one area.
Everything you need to know about the apps you find
Like the looks of one of these icons? (We'll admit, it's not a lot to go on.) Double tap it to open its page. This opens an optimized view of the app description from the App Store. A second button at the bottom of the screen takes you to screenshots of the app, while a Wishlist + button lets you flag this app for later consideration. Tap the price button to be taken to buy the app. You can also share your app discoveries or send the makers feedback.
Now you want an app packed with power, this is where you come. AppShopper by the folks at AppShopper.com, LLC bring you an app version of their popular website, but one with nearly all the functionalities intact. Open it up and you're immediately taken to a list of apps.
What's up with apps?
Five buttons at the bottom navigate you through Popular Apps, What's New, your Wish List, My Apps, and More for other popular searches. From any page but More, you have access to the Settings button to configure notifications and select categories of apps you're interested in and more.
Navigate using the bottom buttons and you'll find the screen title changes, but you can still break your app lists down by categories, whether they're paid or free, and whether you're looking at price drops, updates, or new apps. Still want more? Tap the All button to limit your search to iPhone or iPad only joints.
Limit things that you see to what you want
Apps are tastefully laid out in a list without crowding or clamor giving you star ratings, prices, iOS device compatibility, how long it's been on price drop or when the update came out. Tap an app to see its page.
Get the 411 on the apps you want
Screenshots, App Store descriptions, options to tap and send it to your Wish List or to your list of apps you own, it's all here. Tap the price button to be taken to buy the app or the share button to do just that. Best of all, the app syncs with your AppShopper.com account so you can be sure that apps added to your Wish List on your desktop at work, will be ready to find and play with on your iPad at home.
Well, it all came down to what you were after. You want to cut to the chase on high quality freebies? Then AppsGoneFree is your bet. You want to explore and leave things to serendipity? Then the two bucks spent on Discovr are going to be dollars well spent. But if you're looking for the premier app finding, deal scouring, super app search engine app, then look no further than AppShopper. It has evereything you're going to want when searching for apps, it's free, and the layout makes the best use of the space to really pack everything you need or want inside. It's our go-to app almost every time and every time is nearly every day.