Tips for Finding the Best iPhone or Android Apps

Clear through app clutter

Check out this new app I downloaded
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With hundreds of thousands of mobile apps available today, browsing for a new app from your mobile phone is really not efficient -- especially since the app markets still need more robust sorting and filtering so you don't have to wade through, for example, hundreds of flashlight apps to get to that one app that may change the way you use your mobile device.

So how do you find the best smartphone apps easily and without spending hours searching?

Check Your Social Circle for Recommended Apps

The most fitting app recommendations would most likely come from the people who know you best. Ask your friends, family and/or co-workers for what kinds of apps they use. You'll surely get back unique lists of apps that reflect the personality of the person doing the recommendation, and, if birds of a feather truly do flock together, many of those apps would also likely appeal to you.

Sign up for a Free Service That Recommends More Apps to Install

If you're an Android person with an iPhone circle of friends, or you just don't feel like asking people around you for recommendations, there are also a few sites that can give you customized apps recommendations:

  • Appolicious is a social app site for iPhone/iPad, Android, and Yahoo! users. After creating an account, you can build your library of apps by scanning your app folder on your computer/device, scanning your Android phone, or manually listing the apps you use. Rate those apps and then you'll get recommendations based on your collection and your activity on the site -- you can view handpicked apps from other Appolicious users and follow other users.
  • AppBrain is a similar site just for Android apps. With less of a social-networking bent, AppBrain helps you sort through Android apps more easily than you can on the phone, and if you install the AppBrain app directly on your Android you can use it to manage your apps, install apps from the Web, and share your apps with others. It too provides broad recommendations for apps you might like.
  • There are other app discovery, sharing, and tracking services available, like Fresh Apps, a Digg-like iPhone app rating site, and AppSpace, which also takes the lists of apps you have (for iPhone/iPod, iPad, Android, or BlackBerry) and, it seems, some demographic and psychographic information you provide to help you find new apps.

Browse Apps Handpicked by Writers You Know and Like

If there are blogs or sites you follow regularly, check out their recommended apps that they post on ​​social networking sites, like Twitter or Facebook. If a site or blogger has made several recommendations in the past that match up well to what you would select or like, then that's a good indication you'll enjoy their selections in the future.