iPhone Life magazine

Angel's Choice -- free game app for finding apps uses "prediction market" approach

This is such a cool idea — I hope it becomes a big success. Angel's Choice (free) is a game, an app for finding apps, and an information market all in one. I loved the book The Wisdom of Crowds, which is a good intro to how information markets or prediction markets work. Two of the most popular are the Hollywood Stock Exchange and Intrade. The idea is to create a mechanism that gives everyone an opportunity to predict which apps will be a big success. And research shows that if the mechanism is well structured, and participation is fairly broad, then the crowd can accurately predict what will be a success.

It's different from App Store ratings, in that you're placing bets. If your bets are best at anticipating the wisdom of the crowd, you'll perform well in the game. Might sound complicated, but you can simply use the app to discover new apps. Here's the description from the email I received:

"Part recommendation engine, part game, Angel's Choice takes place in a virtual venture capital firm, where players are challenged to invest virtual currency, called Angel Dollars, in apps and games they recommend or think will grow in popularity. Just like in the VC world, if players make smart investments, their investment portfolios grow, they get promoted and earn more Angel Dollars, and their reputation as angel investors improves. The idea is that by making the process of app discovery fun, more people will actively help unearth the best apps, while those winning in the game, will become trusted sources of recommendations for app seekers. 

"Angel's Choice can be likened to the Hollywood Stock Exchange of the app world, combining game mechanics with sophisticated app ranking algorithms to determine who's making the smartest investment decisions and predictions for the app market. With more than 250,000 choices in the App Store, discovering the best apps is becoming a hot issue for app developers and consumers alike. Angel's Choice makes the process of app discovery fun and engaging, while offering a complete app discovery service within the game."

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Jim Karpen's picture

Jim Karpen holds a Ph.D. in literature and writing, and has a love of gizmos. His doctoral dissertation focused on the revolutionary consequences of digital technologies and anticipated some of the developments taking place in the industry today. Jim has been writing about the Internet and technology since 1994 and has been using Apple's visionary products for decades.