As an avid user of a smart phone and tablet for the past few years, I have spent more hours than I care to remember browsing through app stores, downloading, testing and uninstalling apps. There are millions of them and trying to find ones that are well made and useful from the thousands of others can be hard work. Many you download turn out to be poor but every now and again you find a little gem.
This happened to me a few weeks ago, I came across an app that allows you to enter in your gas, electric and water supplier and all your tariff information. It was developed by an individual, only had 30 reviews and was 69p to buy.
Once installed, you can enter your meter readings at any time and it will calculate your exact bill. Given the way suppliers charge differing rates for the first x amount of units and then another rate over and above x units it is virtually impossible to try and estimate a bill manually but with this great app, I can easily see at any time by updating the current meter reading exactly how big my bill is getting and given the cold weather in the UK and astronomical cost of gas and electric, bills can be very big.
Hard to find great apps:
This led me to wonder how many other really useful apps are actually out there that you will never see or hear about that really are very useful. Everyone knows about news apps, angry birds and all the others that have millions of downloads but at the end of the day, are not going to make much difference to you other than waste a few more minutes of your life.
We now have numerous app stores from Android, Apple, Facebook, Blackberry and many more. This just makes indexing and finding the best ones even more difficult. This is something Facebook have clearly realised and have now launched a solution – The Facebook App Centre, launched on the 7th June 2012. The developers claim their market place will be for both free and paid apps. Figures suggest that 900 million people globally, regularly access and use apps so to provide a single central platform could bring you 900 million regular visitors if you do it well.
The Aim of App Centre:
From reading up on the developers notes, it seems like the Facebook App Centre will be focusing on listing apps not just by popularity but by a number of other factors as well including feedback ratings, usability and engagement by users. This should mean that a lot of the lesser known apps that are of good quality will have more of an opportunity to be seen and not overshadowed by apps from big companies that actually offer very little other that promoting their brands.
And if there was any doubt as to Facebook’s ability to pull this off and eventually host a single platform that all users, globally go to for apps, you only have to consider a few of Facebook’s current stats. It is estimated that Facebook users spend 700 billion minutes per month on Facebook and more than 250 million of those users access the site from an app.
The author is a keen blogger on emerging technologies and also runs a website that specialises in reviewing online dating sites allow using to read all the reviews and comparisons to discover the best sites for them.