Despite attempting to convince many of my friends to step away from the cult of Apple, they all seem to criticise one thing. The Google Play Store. While the Play Store is catching up to the App Store in terms of sheer numbers, it's much more difficult to find excellent apps outside the main headlines. Here's where the application Appreciate comes into play. It's a new discovery service that's designed to filter excellent, but unknown, apps into the spotlight. It might be something that we really learn to APPRECIATE! Sorry, that was terrible…
The Application Appreciate:
After a very quick download, install and sign in to Facebook you are ready to go! (For those of you wary about giving away such personal details this probably isn't the application for you.) Appreciate takes a snapshot from your Facebook and makes a small 'profile' of your personality. When it's ready it presents you with a front-page similar to the one I have below. The first thing you see is a recommendation "for you". In all honesty I am quite sceptical when it comes to a computer program telling me what kind of apps I like, but it wasn't half bad. The concept of an 'internet booster' never occurred to me, but since I was introduced to it I thought it would be a good thing to try.
News Feed My Charts
Just below that there is a 'Hot in your country' tab with a few apps specifically designed for where you live (since I live in Australia I got a Tram Hunter and the ABC). I think it's a really good idea, especially in countries that have small populations. It introduces the general populace to very relevant and useful applications that would otherwise be on the bottom of the charts.
The next section I'm interested in is the next tab over, called 'My Charts'. It's a simple layout, no fuss and no distractions (shown above). It's just a collage of applications that suit your needs.
How Does it Determine Ratings?
Finding blockbuster applications on the Play Store is easy enough, the issue is finding something good in a market that isn't particularly popular, like chess games.
Appreciate utilises a completely different method for determining the 'quality' of an app for the user. Indications such as whether or not an app is quickly installed then removed would reduce the desirability of the app. Appreciate also works much better if you do sign into Facebook, but it's still possible to use it without. It finds out what you like and dislike, then tailors the suggestions to your online profile.
Useful or a Gimmick?
The effects of such an application are quite more effective than one could guess from first appearances. Because Appreciate doesn't base it recommendations off ratings and numbers of installs it supplies the less popular apps to the user. This dramatically increases the spectrum which people can view apps; increase user enjoyment and developer profits.
It also has another, more unique effect. There's a large number of people that would love to install new apps (myself included) but they either don't know what's out there to search for, or what they want at all! Providing the user with a bunch of different apps everyday allows them to search without searching! I can just go "Oh! That app looks cool!" and install it, when I never ever would have looked for it before.
So I must end this article with the same terrible joke I opened with. This application will do wonders for the Play Store, and I truly APPRECIATE its existence.