With over 1.2 million applications to choose from, it's hard to dispute that the App Store suffers from a discoverability problem. The degree to which the problem needs urgent addressing from Apple, however, remains an ongoing debate amongst developers and tech observers.
Yesterday, former Apple executive Jean-Louis Gassee published a post making the case for App Store curation.
Instead of using algorithms to sort and promote the apps that you permit on your shelves, why not assign a small group of adepts to create and shepherd an App Store Guide, with sections such as Productivity, Photography, Education, and so on. Within each section, this team of respected but unnamed (and so "ungiftable") critics will review the best-in-class apps. Moreover, they'll offer seasoned opinions on must-have features, UI aesthetics, and tips and tricks. A weekly newsletter will identify notable new titles, respond to counter-opinions, perhaps present a developer profile, footnote the occasional errata and mea culpa...
The result will be a more intelligible App Store that makes iOS users happier.
It's an interesting idea, but one that seemingly ignores what a colossal undertaking across-the-board curation would entail. I'll have an opposing viewpoint piece up soon, but in the meantime, if you're pro- or anti-Apple getting into the app curation game in a major way, feel free to take our poll and speak up in the comments below. Be sure to share your poll answer with your friends using the Facebook and Twitter share buttons on the poll.