Jammbox, the developers who created Discovr Music, now offer Discovr Apps, which focuses its mapping search abilities on the App Store. Anyone who has used Discovr Music before (and if you haven’t, you should) will find that Discovr Apps has the same intuitive and entertaining UI as its musical predecessor. Discovr Apps sets out to help users navigate the morass of apps available in the App Store.
To begin using Discovr Apps either type in the name of an app you like, or pick suggested app from the list of icons that scroll across the screen. The suggested apps include all-star titles such as Flipboard, Wunderlist HD, and World of Goo HD, which may already be familiar to many users.
Two slow taps cause the app to pop open, sharing connections to related apps, the while a quick double tap brings up a description of the app, rating, price, and screenshots. Clicking on the price connects users to the App Store where the app can be purchased.
I tried out a variety of apps to see what kind of suggestions Discovr Apps would generate.
The photos below show the results of two different searches.
When I put in StarWalk, the app gave a range of thoughtful suggestions that connected both direction and indirectly to StarWalk. This search is an example of Discovr Apps at its best.
However when I put in Toca Hair Salon, a recent release aimed at kids, iBreathalyzer — “a fake breath test to see how drunk you are” — was recommended to me.
After repeating the same search with Toca Hair Salon several times I never got any suggestions that were as inappropriate, but I did get very different and equally random suggestions ranging from Bloody Knuckles HD to Mobile Bulgaria.
Discovr App’s ability to generate more than one set of suggestions per app is a strength, but I would have liked to see the suggestions for a child’s game confined to age-appropriate apps. This weakness demonstrates that Discovr Apps is a work in progress, and also proves that even the best computerized suggestions cannot replaced the nuanced interpretations we humans bring to the table.
For an interactive preview of Discovr Apps, be sure and watch the video below. Discovr Apps is available for download in the App Store for $0.99.
What I liked: Discovr App’s interface is unlike any other in available, and it remains a pleasure to use. The app performed best when I searched for well-known apps and didn’t try to overload it by creating giant, cobwebbed maps of interconnected apps.
What I didn’t like: I was not impressed by many of the recommendations the Discovr Apps made, particularly when I used it to generate results based on newer apps. I could not make my map as big as I did in Discovr Music without developing glitches. Frequently apps pop up with only names, not pictures. There were not as many cross-connections as I found in the music app, which was part of what made that app so fun to use. These concerns can all be addressed through updates, and as the app’s database grows, so I expect Discovr Apps to become more useful over time.
To buy or not to buy: Though I still find Jammbox’s style of search a very enjoyable way to search for music or apps, Discovr Apps loose ends lessened its effectiveness as a search tool.