The current hotbed of discussion is about Apple’s iOS App Store for iPhone and iPad. So far as we know, most of the app listings are handled by non-humans; as in various and sundry algorithms which sift and sort apps up or down on a list. Is there a better way to find the best apps?
Math As Judge And Jury
With well over one million apps in the App Store, human curation could become a slow and tedious operation; fraught with all the frailties and issues which make up humanity.
Human curation of anything is an objective effort to determine what other customers may like based upon the tastes and discriminations of a few.
But that’s the nature of humanity. Design is reflective of an educated palate of taste, art, and experience, so curating applications by category may yield gold from among the masses of lesser promoted apps.
The alternative, though, is to continue with math as the baseline for which Apple uses to find, sort, display and promote iPhone and iPad apps in the App Store, and that’s not working too well.
Why not? If a good app is a needle, then the App Store is the haystack.
Human interaction is such that we tend to place more value on information culled from the experiences of others; especially those we trust. Who trusts an algorithm to determine which apps to display to prospective buyers?
As an example, Google displays advertising on Mac360. It’s a necessary evil, but one where Google’s famed algorithms fail miserably. Look at the ads on the articles you read, and then compare that with the article’s content?
Often, when I write about Windows vs. Mac, Google tosses in advertisements about replacement windows for your home. See the problem?
Apple’s App Store for iPhone and iPad is not much better. Enter a keyword to search the Store and the results are often a surprising menagerie or melange of applications that simply don’t match your expectations.
Maybe Apple can solve the App Store problem with better math, but I don’t think so. Like you, I want to know about applications from people who know what they’re doing, understand how apps interact with users, and where value is derived.
How about a People’s Guide for Apps on the App Store? No math. No algorithms. Just a list of apps in various categories from professional curators, each with a check sheet of what’s good and what’s not about an application, and rated accordingly, and with no hint of the size or wealth or influence of the app developer (Adobe and Microsoft would not be given preference).