Although Google is the market leader in web search, it fails miserably when it comes to integrating search in their own products. Example: Chrome webstore and Android Market. With limited options for filtering and sorting, it’s hard to find what you want unless you know exactly what it is.
The Official Android Market recently crossed 400,000 apps, and hundreds, if not thousands, of apps are being added each week. 68% of these apps are free and even a greater number of them are junk. Not to mention, there are several marketplace from where you can buy or install Android apps. The Internet can help, but the more you search the less helpful it becomes.
Recently, a new search engine called Appgravity was launched that allows for a more refined search of Android apps using keywords, publisher, category or app name. But Appgravity is browser-based that’s difficult to use from the phone, although I’m pretty sure the developers are working on a fix. Meanwhile, here are 4 apps that serves as search and/or recommendation engine that you can use from your phone to discover great Android apps.
AppBrain provides an alternative way to search and browse apps on the Android Market. You can sort apps by hot apps for today or this week, highest rated apps, latest apps, popular by country, etc. and filter apps by free or paid, price reduced apps, app2sd enabled apps, and more.
AppBrain has a free membership feature wherein you can make lists of apps, install apps with a single click, and sync their AppBrain account to their mobile devices.
Best Apps Market is a great way to discover useful apps. There is a ‘Top apps’ and ‘Top games’ category that’s grouped further into sections titled ‘Critical Apps’, ‘Fun at a Party Apps’, ‘Organize Your Life Apps’, ‘Save Money Apps’ and so on. You can filter by categories, paid/free, ratings and number of installs/downloads. You can also combine several filters to further drill down the list.
Best Apps Market has its own community who rates and reviews apps. A cool feature is the ability to see Pros and Cons of any apps and the number of users who voted for or against it.
Chomp is a pretty good search engine for Android apps that uses a proprietary algorithm that “learns the functions and topics of apps, so you can search based on what apps do, not just what they’re called.” For instance, you can try searching for "puzzle games", "kids games", "expense trackers", "tip calculators" or "chat" and start finding relevant apps.
Chomp’s layout looks very much like the official Market app for Android: big colorful tiles highlighting random apps or different categories. You can filter apps by price, sort by relevancy or price, find trending apps, get suggestions, etc.
With Appreciate: Find Apps & Games, you can connect to your Facebook account and see what apps your friends discover. You can send applications directly to your friends’ device to install. You also get personal application recommendations based on what you like.
You can also use the app without connecting with your Facebook account. Appreciate’s recommendation is quite decent but the interface is too cluttered.