Who among Apple watchers does not have more than their fair share of apps for iPhone, iPad, and Mac? It’s an app world. Billions downloaded. Billions of dollars distributed to app developers. Well, to a few app developers with major titles; those that are also good at promoting their wares. The rest of the App Store community is starving, hence so many orphaned apps in both stores, and so many new apps at free or cut rate prices vying for attention.
Capitalism presents a major problem for the app stores. App developers come up with ideas, write code, sell their apps on the app stores. Designing, building, and publishing an app does not a successful business make. Many developers rely on Apple to do the promoting, and, for a precious few apps, that may work. App developers who are bankrolled by investors have the money to hire marketers and promoters and pay for advertising, which further segregates the haves from the have nots.
Have you ever wondered why you can’t visit the App Store and do a search for most popular apps on your search keywords? The best the App Store can do with your search keywords is display matches. You’re required to search through each listing to determine popularity, relevance, and so on. That’s no way to run an online store so why does Apple do it that way?
Why not have search results in the iTunes App Store that includes a sort option by user ratings? The Mac App Store is a little better, but not much. Enter a keyword, then sort by Relevance, Most Popular (whatever that means), Release Date, or Customer Rating. That’s or, not and.
When it comes to app store content it’s obvious that Apple wants to bridge quantity (number of apps) with quality (apps that people buy and use). The app stores promote, but not very well, which leaves developers to worry about how to promote better what they develop.
Why doesn’t Apple provide better search results and more sorting options?
That would create a huge divide between the most popular apps, as judged by users with their money, and the vast majority of apps which are free or low priced, and either not found by users, or not worthy of being found. And that would bite into Apple’s desire to have a large and growing number of apps in the App Store to compete with Google Play.
One day Apple may fix the App Store with better search and filter options, but until then it’s trial and error, hit or miss, and a growing dissatisfaction among app store customers who buy what turns out to be a worthless app.