By Jim Karpen on Thu, 10/29/2009
Apple's App Store has been a rousing success, given the nearly 100,000 apps. Yet it's also been a headache for developers, and many iPhone users also complain about it. In my opinion, its function is changing. Whereas initially it was a way for consumers to find apps and for developers to get noticed, that function is not scalable. After all, how can you possibly shoehorn 100,000 apps into 20 categories? In my opinion, the App Store is simply a mechanism for buying apps, like a shopping cart. Consumers need to find other ways to locate useful apps, and developers can no longer pin their hopes on making the top 10 or top 100 in a category. To this end, my article in the forthcoming issue of iPhone Life talks about websites and apps that help you find the best apps to meet your needs. I've already mentioned most of those resources here. But not yet iusethis.com. It's a lot like Digg, which is the most popular social news site. People Digg items of interest, and the ones with the most Diggs make the front page. In a sense, it uses crowdsourcing to identify the most interesting and entertaining content on the web. (I love Digg.) iusethis.com uses a similar crowdsourcing approach. Visitors to the site vote on the apps that they’ve used. You can sort the list by New Apps, Interesting Apps, and Top Apps, which shows you the apps that have gotten the most votes. Users can also write reviews. The site also has user-generated tags, which gives more functional categories than the App Store's arbitrary set.