Healthful Apps represents an interesting new trend for 2010. Created by Apps for All, the product recommends customer-reviewed iPhone health applications in a variety of categories including autism, relaxation and memory. Although the company's first effort is focused on health, the larger industry-wide question remains - will this year's branded iPhone app be a recommendation app?While maybe not the most visually compelling product,
Last year ReadWriteWeb covered Appsfire as one service that allows users to bookmark and share their favorite iPhone apps. While it's certainly a useful tool, recommendations are made by individuals rather than influential groups. As seen with Healthful Apps, there's opportunity to extend these recommendation-based applications to special-interest and location-based communities.
Imagine investment communities trading and reviewing stock and news apps, or Oprah Winfrey's community recommending shopping and reading apps, or New Yorkers sharing transportation and amenity apps.
The personalization of applications by politics, lifestyle, locale and community may prove more useful in making app recommendations than any automated Genius system that Apple could hope to cook up. Additionally, because providers can monetize recommendations through paid app referral fees, it's entirely possible that influential communities can earn money simply by weighing in with their app preferences. It's honestly so meta that it hurts, but if social media has taught us anything, it's that community influencers are tastemakers.
If this is in fact the future, then my question to you is this - Which communities would you take recommendations from, and would you pay for the app?