Finding apps is very easy. There are dozens published every day. What’s a lot harder is finding good, new apps. Almost inevitably, we gravitate to the top charts. And how can new apps get into the charts, if no-one’s ever heard of them?
So a little bit of team effort is required, or the ability to grab hold of an expert on the sort of apps you want and get their opinion.
This better process for surfacing good quality apps off the back of trusted recommendations is what Nokia’s new App Highlight Social Beta is all about.
There’s a lot going on in this innovative app, with no fewer than five main screens.
The first is the ‘Featured’ screen. Here you can browse through lists created by other people to take you to the best of every micro-category you can think of, from golfing apps to ‘mobile pet games’ (honest). Thankfully, there’s a search to get you through the dozens of lists that have already been created. You can also ‘thank’ (i.e. vote for) the list and its creator from this screen.
The second is the ‘Apps feed’ screen. You get to follow individuals and teams in App Highlights Social Beta, similar to Twitter, and this screen is where all the recommendations from the people you follow appear.
It’s also handy that you can zoom in to look at the details and screenshots of apps you’re interested in without leaving App Highlight Social Beta – only when you commit to downloading something are you switched to the Windows Phone Store. You can also ‘relist’ apps from this level. You might want to create a personal list of ‘apps to look into’, for example, while you’re browsing App Highlights Social Beta, then download them en-masse later.
You can add your own lists, too, of course, which you do from the ‘My Profile’ screen. The ‘Spotlight’ screen shows off some of the top new finds in the Store. And lastly, the ‘Leaderboards’ screen shows you the most-thanked lists, users and the top apps, based on the number of times they are listed across the board.
App Highlight Social Beta was launched in Beta Labs earlier this week and is available for download via its project page. It is a beta app, so it might not always work as expected, and might change significantly over the course of its future development. Do leave your feedback for the developers on the page.
image credit: U.S. Army