The Yahoo partner, which originally debuted back in fall of 2009, has consistently offered a useful service that digitizes "word of mouth" recommendations, allowing you to connect with friends who share your interests in order to find new apps. Now that process is even easier, thanks to the new website, its improved search engine an the new Android app.
Much Needed: Android App Recommendations
The Android platform is growing fast - it's currently the top platform in the U.S and the third most popular in the world - and the number of applications housed in its official app marketplace has grown as well.
Recently, AndroidLib.com, a third-party Market tracker, reported that the number of Android apps available tops 100,000. Google disputes that number, however, saying that official count is actually closer to 70,000+ (the discrepancy being that AndroidLib counts all apps submitted, perhaps?). Regardless of the app-counting methodology, the increases in available Android applications have been dramatic. In February of this year, for example, the Android Market had 19,297 apps (according to Distimo), making it then the second largest and fastest-growing application store. Now, it has more than triple that number.
As any iPhone user will tell you, though, more is not necessarily better. It only makes finding the good apps harder to find. This is where Appolicious and similar recommendation services can help out.
The New AndroidApps.com
The newly revamped and rebranded AndroidApps.com (nice name, by the way) and mobile application introduces the social networking and recommendation features formerly available only to Apple device owners. Now visitors to the website will be able to access features like ratings, reviews, profiles, recommendations, the app library, and even curated app lists.
Thanks to the new site, I've already found several "new-to-me" Android apps to try: the receipt scanning/Foursquare mashup, Fourcash, the xkcd Reader app for the popular web comic and the bare-bones AutoFriend which apparently automatically accepts Facebook friend requests. (I'm going to download all three today - so don't count this as an official recommendation just yet.)
Also new on Appolicious is a federated search function which lets users search all three Appolicious properties - the Android site, the iPhone/iPad site and the newly launched Yahoo app site, which list all apps that run on the Yahoo platform, including Yahoo Pulse and the Yahoo front page.
According to Appolocious CEO Alan Warms, this news hints at Yahoo's continued interest in app discovery, the first being the original deal Yahoo did with his site to begin with. Yahoo is one of the only major players with no "dog in the fight" he says, when it comes to mobile. Will app discovery and recommendation engines be its way into this game? If so, that's not a bad business to be in, considering the number of apps today's mobile application stores house. Services that makes finding the good apps easier are definitely ventures worth taking note of.