App Browsing and Recommendations Are Not EnoughOctober 5th, 2011 | Posted by in App Trends | Functional Search
Here at Quixey, we often ask our friends, “If you didn’t have Quixey, how would you find apps?” We usually get one of two answers: browsing the app store and asking friends for recommendations. And, in both cases, discoverability is limited.
A number of startups make it easier to see what apps our friends like. For example, one company uses the notion of a friend’s “stamp of approval” to influence our behavior. This startup is betting that you are more likely to download an app if your friends have already approved of it. This is the same logic behind Google’s +1. They both bet that you are more likely to chose a search result if your friends “like” that result.
Although social recommendations play an important role in app discovery, they have one critical shortcoming: you only know as much as your friends know. This is especially a problem when you are looking for a utility app, one that does something specific.
Unless you have a friend who is already using the exact app for what you want to do, chances are slim you will find what you want. Have you ever turned to your friend and asked, “Do you know if there is an app for tracking medical records?” only for them to reply with a semi-related app or a shrug?
In the case that your friend doesn’t know the app you’re looking for, you set out to find it on your own. At your disposal are the categories in the app store, and Top 10 lists as well as review sites. But the app store is large, and narrowing down categories to your exact needs is cumbersome. Further, trying to find valuable information to help you decide on an app can be so unwieldy that you often don’t even bother.
Luckily, there’s search. A good search is quick to use, and gives you all the relevant apps instantly, regardless of whether your friends know of them. It also helps you decide which app is best. It does this by providing all the information you would have found had you browsed through apps and read their reviews. This is exactly why we scrape blogs, review sites, and other social media to learn about each app and put this data in one place.
Ultimately, social recommendations and app categories are great features, but are not enough to depend on for discovery. Quixey develops a comprehensive picture of what an app is capable of doing, and draws on the collective knowledge across the app space. As a result, we are able to return the best possible results, no matter the query.