How many Apps are out there? Difficult to say and their number grows any day more. If at the beginning of 2010 the Apple Apps store had some 120,000 apps and the Android market 20,000 in November the Apple store has exceeded 300,000 and the Android market 175,000. And, of course, they are not the only ones. Facebooks is credited with close to 500,000 apps and then you have the Nokia, Microsoft, RIM and many others.
Once you are confronted with all theses apps it gets difficult, no, impossible, to keep track of what is going on and be able to take advantage of what is becoming available.
We are going to need a search engine to get the apps but, and here it gets interesting, differently from information where syntax and semantics basically coincide with apps a semantic search is really what is required and what we are missing.
The article “Top trends of 2010: App Stores” published by ReadWriteWeb, http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/app_stores_top_trends_of_2010.php makes for an interesting reading. It reports of a poll on App stores customers on their liking/disliking of App Stores in terms of usability. Take a look.
What is also interesting is that the difficulty in keeping abreast with new apps being released and finding the one that might serve your whim (or need) is generating a number of recommendation sites, like Appoke, AppStoreHQ, Appolicious, Chomp, AppsFire, AppBrain, Appboy, AppAware, SmoingApps, iApps.in, 16apps, Apptism, Freshapps, ScatterTree, Frenzapp, Sidebar, Chorus, Appsaurus…and may be it is better if I stop here. You can search for more using Google.
Most of this recommendation sites are leveraging n crowd sourcing to review (and discover) new apps and to provide the guidance that can be transformed in semantics.
I feel that we have just started. This is Web 2.0 come to life and we have to learn to use it. Many enterprises are now creating their own app as a way to access their products so we can expect a further increase in numbers and consequently a bigger problem in finding the right app. The solution to this problem is not easy and will bring us into the Web3.0 where semantics will dominate the landscape. But that won’t happen in the next 2 to 3 years. My bet is on the second part of this decade.