Update: Someone on Twitter objected to this post. He missed the point. People who don’t have iPads would do this search, which is the entire point. For the longest time, Android apps could be searched for only on an Android phone or tablet. Google got smart and allowed web access, all of Google Play is now on the Net. You can also search for iOS apps and books via the Net now too. This post is valid (why else does iTunes still allow search?) and your shortsighted objection is why you fail — and also why the App Store is a mess.
Today I decided to play a little game.
It’s called Let’s Pretend I Finally Decided To Buy An iPad.
So I went to the App Store to look up one of the functions I need to carry out on any tablet: Photo Editing.
To show you this was not a trivial effort, here’s a screensnap of all the listings I went through. The punchline is at the end — and worth it, trust me.
Those aren’t all the search results. I gave up there.
Why did I give up? It wasn’t the quantity.
But it was the quantity.
In the first few screens, I noticed this app:
And a hell of lot of screens later, I noticed this app:
Which shows I really wasn’t paying much attention, because at the top of the list there was this:
Yes, right next to each other, just like that.
This is bad.
Apple is making customers claw through duplicate listings of apps.
Stop. Don’t tell me these are legitimate demo versions. That doesn’t matter. It’s still two listings.
And iTunes doesn’t have any filters.
There should be three filters:
1) Free apps (which are free, full apps)
2) Demo apps (which are lite, free version of paid)
3) Paid apps
Or, if Apple insists on being a pack of cruel amateurs when it comes to information arrangement, they could at least do this shortcut (warning crap graphic editing skills ahead):
I am trying to mimic Apple’s convention of app icons that provide some sort of notification.
Anyway: BAM! Done. Just one listing for that app with the circle-D informing people there’s a free demo version of that app too.
Why do it that way?
1) Each app gets just one listing.
2) People know the price of the app upfront, instead of later
I’d really like to know how many of these duplicate app listings bloat the count of apps that Apple likes to toss around.
But that’s beside the point.
Customers shouldn’t have to wade through duplicates like that. It’s a waste of time and it also prevents developers from getting needed visibility.
Think about it.
If I’m given a list of say, one hundred apps, that’s a lot. But if each of these apps also has a demo version, that list is cut in half to fifty.
The list is shortened but the information density is actually increased.
Apps stand out more.
Customers have less of their time wasted and their patience isn’t tried as much.
Apple, do this.
Or do something.
It’s a mess as it is now.