How to find great apps

One of the biggest attractions of owning a smartphone or tablet computer is the huge selection of available apps. Whether you are looking to play games, catch up on the latest news, get some recipe ideas, or just check the weather, there are literally thousands of apps to choose from.

In fact, the sheer volume of apps can be overwhelming. There are 500,000 apps available for the iPhone alone, with thousands more being released each month. Apps for Android devices are not far behind at around 350,000. But while Apple and Google watchers are fond of tracking these app counts, it probably makes no difference to the average consumer if the total is 5,000 or 5,000,000. With those kind of numbers, how can we possibly know what’s out there and what’s worth taking a look at?

Fortunately, there are plenty of people doing the hard work for us – testing new apps as they come out and offering recommendations on what’s hot and what’s not. If you are looking to boost your app collection, here are a few web sites that will help you cut through the clutter and find what you are looking for:

The App Store and Android Market

Although these sites are run by Apple and Google respectively and function as their primary online app stores, they are good places to start. Apple’sApp Store located in iTunes organizes apps by the iPhone and iPad and highlights New & Noteworthy selections, as well as What’s HotApp Store Essentials and Staff Favorites. The App Store features hundreds of free apps and there is no attempt to steer visitors towards the paid variety. Be sure to check out the user reviews before you buy an app, as they can be very revealing about whether a new app is truly market-ready or whether it still needs a little more work.

The Android Market has improved dramatically over the last few months and now offers similar categories to the App Store. There are Featured Apps for both phones and tablets, Trending Apps, and an Editor’s Choicesection, featuring apps selected by the Android Market staff.

AppStoreHQ

Perhaps the best of the independent app review sites, AppStoreHQ tracks dozens of carefully-selected blogs and mobile web sites to discover the latest and best apps for the iPhone, iPad and Android devices. Categories include Hottest Apps – apps that are getting the most buzz among tech bloggers; Latest Reviews –  a streaming feed of every app review the site can find; and Search & Browse – every app in the App Store and Android Market, weighted by AppRank.

Android Tapp

Android Tapp is a great resource for all the latest news and reviews of Android apps. You can browse Android app reviews by category, get Android Tapp recommendations, and even read interviews with app developers to see exactly what the thinking was behind new apps. The site features an Apps of the Month section, Best Android Tablet Apps, and general tips on how to get the most out of your Android device.

AppAdvice

AppAdvice is a colorful and easy-to-use web site featuring news and reviews of all the latest iOS apps for the iPhone and iPad. The AppGuidessection is particularly well laid out, providing recommendations in all the main App Store categories, such as Entertainment, Finance, and Lifestyle.AppCharts lists the Top 100 paid and free apps for both the iPhone and iPad, and Appisodes is an eclectic mix of the latest news, rumors on everything from social networking to future Apple devices.

Life of Android

Life of Android is an Android app review site that covers all the latest releases, in many cases using video to illustrate how an app works. The easy-to-follow reviews include “the good” and “the bad” of each app, and the ability to download an app or add a user review. You can sort app reviews by category, date, price, or review score, which is the number of points awarded out of 10. If you are new to Android, the How-To section features some great beginners’ guides, including How To Set-Up a New Android Phone, How To Personalize an Android Phone, and How To Download an App.

Do you have another favorite app review site? Share it with The Online Mom!

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