Matt is the former News Editor for The Next Web. You can follow him on Twitter, subscribe to his updates on Facebook and catch up with him Matt is the former News Editor for The Next Web. You can follow him on Twitter, subscribe to his updates on Facebook and catch up with him on Google+.
Apple’s App Store is huge – even with the best will in the world, it’s hard to browse, discover and share your favorite apps or the deals you might come across. Launching in 2009, Appsfire has attempted to bring a sense of order to the marketplace and today goes one step further with the launch of Appsfire 4.0, hitting the App Store today.
Until today, Appsfire offer two iPhone applications — Appsfire and Appsfire Deals. The main app helped users find new apps and build collections that could be shared with friends and family, while Appsfire Deals monitored the App Store to alert users to the best app deals and the times where cool apps went free.
With the release of Appsfire 4.0, the two apps have been merged and offer the same features as before, but it has been given some significant improvements that not only make it easier to use but deliver results in super quick time.
Appsfire co-founders Ouriel Ohayon and Yann Lechelle and their team have rebuilt the app from the ground up, focusing on three major features: speed relevancy and quality.
Upon launching the app, you’ll notice that the Appsfire logo has been given a nice refresh, with the app asking you to connect your Facebook account in order to share app recommendations with friends and family.
However, it’s the speed at which the app is able to produce results is simply staggering. Hitting the search icon, you will be presented with a list of trending terms, but also a a Chrome-like Omnibar that auto-suggests the application as you type. Enter “An” (for Angry Birds) in the search bar and marvel at how quickly the whole range of Rovio apps are displayed.
You can also browse through the streams of recommendations, which are listed in “Best Deals Today”, “Staff Highlights”, as well as a number of categorical sections (Productivity, Photo & Video and Utilities).
Click into an app, and Appsfire presents you with the description and screenshots, tells you which Appsfire users have installed it, as well as providing a Summary section, which provides data on when it was first launched, the number of apps it has received, the number of price drops it has seen and more via its impressive Timeline feature.
Relevancy and Quality
Appsfire has also re-tuned its recommendation engine so that the apps it suggests are suited to your tastes and interests. To do this, the app can conduct a small poll to gauge what you like, asking the pricing levels that you wish to be notified of and leaning on Facebook integration to help you see what your friends are sharing and installing.
As you can imagine, with over 700,000 apps live on the store, pricing changes all the time. With the new recommendation engine, apps are only listed if they are suited to your interests, and you’ll never be presented with an endless stream of apps that are suited to international users.
The focus on relevancy means you will notice better quality apps, where only the best apps are recommended whether they are deals or not. Appsfire takes the ranking of the app on the App Store and then uses more than ten additional parameters to give it its own App Score, which ensures only the highest rated apps are sent your way.
Appsfire says it is one of the most important features it has, “because we’ve been trying for the past two years to build trust with our users. We want to be perceived as a reliable recommendation engine and not just another catalog.”
Allow the app to display push notifications and you’ll be notified instantly on app news and important announcements. Want to know when a high-priced app you love gets a price reduction? Add it to “My Price Alerts” and be notified the minute it goes on sale.
If you find yourself frustrated with the state of Apple’s App Store portal and associated search, you need to give Appsfire a try (and if you have already, update to the latest version). Version 4.0 not only makes it easy to keep on top of the thousands of apps that are available, you’ll be floored by how quickly it does it.
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Image Credit: LeWeb/Flickr
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