Home App Classics: The App Store’s Missing Hall of Fame

App Classics: The App Store’s Missing Hall of Fame

Despite Apple’s recent addition of the “Apps for Everything” section to their website, a new feature that makes it easier for iPhone owners to find great apps by category, the sad truth is that app discovery is still a challenge that needs to be solved. Thanks to some 75,000 applications now live in the iTunes App Store, there are just too many to sort through these days. Numerous startups have sprung up, offering their own solutions to this problem, including AppBeacon, Freshapps, 16apps, Appsfire, Appolicious, AppShopper and others. However, no one site has figured out the perfect formula just yet. Now another online catalog hopes to succeed where others have floundered. The brand-new App Classics aims to be the “App Store’s missing Hall of Fame,” featuring only the apps that have stood the test of time and are worth the download.

A Virtual Bookshelf of Classic Apps

Created by gaming site Nimblebit’s Ian Marsh, App Classics analyzes iTunes rating and sales information to determine which applications have remained popular over time. The apps that make the cut are then awarded either a gold, silver or bronze medal based on their status.

The interface to the site is similar to that of the social network for bookworms, Shelfari or the iPhone app Classics (iTunes link) which displays classic novels as books on a bookshelf. Like those, App Classics features a wooden bookshelf where the icons for the applications are displayed and labeled by name. A drop-down menu at the top lets you filter the shelves by category (games, business, social networking, etc.). The “Games” category is even sub-divided into further sections (strategy, board, card, etc.).

Video Reviews Rock, but Missing Apps Don’t

Click on any of the apps and you’ll be taken to the app’s page where you’re provided with information similar to that which the App Store provides – screenshots and descriptions.

However, the best part about the app subpages is the video reviews. Using videos pulled from YouTube, you can actually see the app in action. Watching YouTube videos is something many users often do before buying a new application – this just makes it easier. 

And, as it’s rapidly becoming par for the course these days, you can also share your findings via Twitter and Facebook

So how does App Classics stand up in terms of selection? For the most part, OK. The apps featured on the site do seem to reflect those that are deserving of “classic” status, but there are some glaring omissions as well. For example, under social networking, Facebook isn’t listed. Under news, there’s no Wall Street Journal. Under weather, there’s no Weather Bug. We find it hard to believe that these apps weren’t worthy of inclusion – were the reviews really so bad?

We’re Watching this One

It could be just a case of new launch bugs – after all, App Classics was only unveiled yesterday. Given time, they may work out these kinks so true “classics” don’t get overlooked.

Again, this is another site that hasn’t mastered the perfect formula, unfortunately, but definitely one whose concept and implementation is to be admired. We’ll say it’s worth watching for now, but it’s not there just yet.

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