Exploding App Store could be developers’ worst enemy

Apps for Everything.The App Store is growing at alarming rates, something you might assume to be a great thing for developers. It could turn out the other way, though. As more apps come pouring in the store becomes harder and harder to organize, leaving great apps to fall through the cracks for no reason other than that they’re hard to find.

Apple’s attempts to remedy the situation have been half-assed so far. There was the “revamp” featured with iTunes 9.0, which was nothing more than a reorganization of utter chaos. Apple also implemented Genius features for apps to help you locate new apps based on the ones you already have. For me, the service has been terrible. I’ve not found anything through App Genius that I wouldn’t have found otherwise.

Cupertino is launching a new app discovery service called “Apps For Everything,” a website that highlights apps in categories like cooking and music. It’s a decent idea, but the fact that the site is run by Apple almost certainly dooms it for failure. Apple usually showcases apps that do a good job of showing off the iPhone or have that special quality only Apple can see. In my experience, those apps aren’t things I use daily. Typically they’re flash-in-the-pan style apps that work on a young platform but will diminish in use as the App Store continues to grow.

For the App Store to continue to be a success, Apple needs to dramatically improve organization or turn that organization over to the consumers. Give us access to a database of all the apps including ratings. Let a couple enterprising web developers put together a community to encourage exposure. And for god’s sake, give iTunes the complete overhaul it needs.


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