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Monday, June 27, 2011

2011 Tech update: Top Five (5) Sites to Discover iPhone App (Auckland Apple iPhone 3GS 4 Repair)

Anyone searching for the perfect app for, well, anything, can attest to the fact that iTunes is not the first place you're going to want to go to find it.
The iTunes App Store is fantastic, in that, as those ubiquitous commercials say, no matter what you need, there's an app for that, and you'll find it there. Thing is, if you're not quite sure what you're looking for, it can be a bit hard to wade through the thousands and figure out if you can go with a free app or need to pony up for a paid app.

Fortunately, there are several websites dedicated to sorting through iTunes for you, and we've taken a look at five of them to help you weigh the pros and cons. We considered including the visual search in our list, but you need to have Microsoft's Silverlight installed. No one here felt like downloading it, so you're on your own with it, though we've heard it's quite nice.
See individual reviews after the fold.
The Review Grid
Click on image to enlarge
The Sites

Full index + community reviews
In beta, the site is "currently tracking, 91,132 apps."

Besides searches, Apptism gives you several default searches: Recent Activity, Most Activity, Popular Apps, Newest Apps, Updated Apps and an alphabetical listing. You can search by Free apps, and by seven different pricing categories for paid apps, in addition to category searches.

But what takes Apptism to the next level are all the other community-driven aspects.

First, there are the reviews. The site allows you to search user reviews, critics reviews or both, so you can determine before buying it whether it really has what you want and if the interface is what you're looking for. Then, it also has hundreds of thousands of screenshots and thousands of videos in the "Media" tab. The News tab has links to the latest news about iPhone apps, so you can read up on the latest from the blogosphere.

You can even build a custom Watch List, so you can track apps you're thinking about buying or apps you've built and the App Store has released.

AppStore HQ
Full index + blog reviews feed + discovery engine

The first thing you'll notice about AppStore HQ is the big feed down the middle of the home page - the latest blog posts about iPhone apps from around the blogosphere. On a recent day, the feed was topped by posts from The Unofficial Apple Weblog and Download Squad from just 10 minutes earlier. A few spots down, there was even a link to a Spanish-language post from Esfera iPhone.

Like Apptism, you can look through the apps based on pricing, category and the hottest and newest. You can also search according to how many stars the community has given an app and create custom searches. Perfect place to find and dicover iPhone apps

Full index + forums

The gimmick here is that you can always find out what the top 148 iPhone apps are.

The home page is a compilation of the latest app reviews. Each review gives the site's star rating, as well as a one-word descriptor from the reviewer, in addition to the beginning of the full review. The one-word descriptions, however, aren't just "good, poor, fair" - they include "mediocre," "complex" and "solo delight" - more telling, in fact, than even the star-based reviews by the site. The nice thing about giving both the site's stars and the user review is that you can see both sides of the story and decide if you need to do a little more research.

This weekend, for example, the first app review on the site was for  IMP: Surf the Music - it showed 3 1/2 stars from 148Apps, but the user review was "Mediocre." In reading the user review further, it seemed she didn't have anything really bad to say about the app, just that she couldn't get hooked.

The site also has a full forum, blog, a listing of the apps with price drops.

App Shopper
Full index +update tracker

App Shopper doesn't have the forums and some of the other community features the other sites have, but it has a variety of RSS feeds and keeps track of all changes to apps.

The home page lists all the latest changes to apps, whether it's an update to the app, a price drop or something new. You can create wish lists and keep track of all the apps you own on custom lists. It has all the same sort of search capabilities of the other sites, as well as a "price drop" search engine.

The site has its own blog, too, but it's not updated every day and is not a listing of all the latest news about apps.

It does have a listing of the top 100 paid apps, which can be sorted by price, rating, its peak position on the list, how long it's been on the list and, of course, its current position on the list. So you can get a handle on what the iPhone community at large thinks are the best apps to shell out the cash for.
Search engine + "unlimited trials" bills itself as "The solution to a flawed App Store."

In beta, the idea behind is to fix what it sees as the main problem with the official App Store: Lots of crap applications getting approval that users spend good money on and then don't use. The site allows users to gain free, unlimited trials to apps before purchasing (illegally, we may add). The creators say they are not making any money off the site and it's simply to give both the quality developers and consumers a leg up. Quality developers are more likely to sell their apps if people can try them out first, and consumers won't waste money on a Soduku game "submitted by a 14-year-old writing his first program."

In short, this is a repository of cracked and pirated apps. Not much improvement over itunes, unless you cannot pay a buck for the real app and wanna get it for free.  Use this site to find iPhone apps, but make sure to support developers.

iTunes web mirror

Like the App Store just as it is, but don't want to launch another application? Search no more. AppSpot is a web-based mirror of the App Store. It gives you everything the App Store does (or doesn't) with the benefit of being on the web instead of through iTunes.
That's it. Nothing fancy, but some folks like original recipe. Even so, if you want to purchase an app, you still have to launch iTunes. They have limited app finding ability

While each site has its own little tweaks that make it a little different from the others, most of the sites listed above offer more or less the same iPhone app finding options: The ability to search through apps based on several different criteria. If we had to rank them, however, this is what we'd say: AppStore HQ, 148Apps, Apptism,, App Shopper and then, finally, AppSpot.

This post is sponsored by:
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