AppShopper Social brings networking to the app discovery service [review]

By , Apr 24, 2013

AppShopper Social 1When I first heard that AppShopper was pulled from the App Store for clause 2.25, my emotion could best be described as “outraged.” How it is that Apple thinks their app aggregate service is “similar to or confusing with” the App Store is beyond me. Of course, AppShopper remained on both of my devices and is used on a daily basis to find new apps, discover sales, and find out what is trending.

Yesterday, when I heard that AppShopper was back in business in the App Store, I was overjoyed, to say the least. While there have been some changes made and some of my favorite features are still not available, I’m getting used to the new social aspect.

AppShopper Social is an app aggregation service from AppShopper.com. It automatically updates you with the newest apps, the most popular lists, and all price drops. Instead of simply being a port of the website, this app features a social networking aspect that allows you to follow what your friends are discovering, too…

Design

The first thing I noticed when I went to download this app is that it is not optimized for the iPad. It may not seem like a big deal, but I like using my iPad for the majority of my mobile activities. So, I guess I’ll be keeping the old AppShopper on my iPad for a little longer. According to a message from the developers, an iPad version is coming in the future.

The aggregate lists apps from a feed of the people you follow. To see more of the list, scroll down. Additional apps will appear in sections of 20 at a time.

There are five sections in the social portion of the app. The “Stream” is a list of apps being added by people you follow. The “Friends” list shows you who you are following. Your “Wish List” shows the apps you’ve added to your wish list. The “My Apps” section shows apps that you already own.

Unlike the old version of AppShopper, you are limited in what you can see coming from the website. There is no “Popular” section and the “New” section in this app is not the same as the “What’s New” section in the old app. However, the filters are the same for both.

The filter settings are at the top of the screen and you will be able to view a list that only shows the category you choose, the type of list (updates, new, price drops), and the paid and free filters. You can also change the device listings to show iPhone, iPad, or universal apps.

AppShopper Social 2

App Use

In order to get started, you can immediately add AppShopper to your Stream. Obviously, this is an important move since, without it, you won’t be able to see what AppShopper is adding to the feed. You can also connect the app to your Twitter account and automatically follow everyone that uses the AppShopper Social app on your Twitter friends list.

To manually add friends to your list, tap the “Edit” tab at the top, right corner of the screen and then tap the “Add” tab at the top, left corner. Type in the username of the person you want to follow and hit enter. If they are listed, you will begin following them.

You can alter your Stream by adding filters. At the top of the screen under the Stream section, change the categories by tapping the “All Categories” tab and selecting the genre you wish to view. Alternate between paid, free, or paid and free apps by taping the “Paid and Free” tab. Change the type of apps you will see in your feed by tapping the “All Types” tab. These filtered apps are only listed if people you follow have added them to their “Wish List” or “My Apps” section.

To add an app to one of your personal sections, go to the app’s summary and either select “I want it,” or “I own it.” It will be added to the corresponding section. If you want to download it right from within the app, tap the price tag and you will be directed to the App Store link.

In the app summary, you can also rate it if you own it and see what others have rated it. Plus, you will see the basic description, screenshots, and the app’s activity history.

You can tell others about your app discovery by tapping the share icon at the very top of the screen. Share with others through Facebook, Twitter, and email. You can also send it to Readability, Evernote, Instapaper, and other services with compatible apps.

AppShopper Social 3

The Good

While this app doesn’t have all of the great features that the original AppShopper app has, it does offer an interesting way to see what your friends are adding to their wish lists and owned apps list. It is a decent alternative to the one that Apple won’t allow back in the App Store.

I especially like being able to add my friends to my feed. At the moment, I don’t actually know who else uses AppShopper, other than friends on Twitter, but I’ll be sure to bug them for their username.

The Bad

Fans of the original app are all going to say how much they miss the “Popular” and “What’s New” section. I agree. Hopefully, the developers are working hard to figure out a way to add this feature.

I never had an AppShopper account before. I never felt the need to. However, this app requires an account for you to add friends and share app discoveries. It wasn’t a big deal to start an account, but this is just one more aspect that was not relevant in the old version.

Value

You could almost say that you’d be losing money by not downloading this app. It is free, and there are no advertisements. The Price Drop section shows you what apps have gone on sale, or gone free. You can keep an eye on them in your Want List and buy them when they go down in price.

Conclusion

While it is no replacement for AppShopper in its current state, AppShopper Social is a new way to discover what is happening in the App Store. If the only reason you used the original app was to see “What’s New” and what is “Popular,” then this app will be wasted on you. If you like sharing your favorites with others who also like discovering apps, then this is a great service for finding what you like and telling your friends about it.

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  • http://twitter.com/klouud Timothy Polumbo

    I’ve been a fan since AppSniper went down – I get notifications every time an App I want/own goes on sale or gets an update. Love it!

  • Guest

    POPULAR section is there. Just add “appshopper” as your friend list and the Stream serves exactly as Popular.

  • Eriold Dodaj

    POPULAR section is there. Just add “appshopper” as your friend list and the Stream serves exactly as Popular.

    Compare that with the old Appshopper and you will get exactly the same results.

    Happy to see Appshopper return!

  • s0me

    thanks for the news, i still have the old appshopper app installed

  • weztimonial

    Been using the old appshopper and had been waiting for the new one to hit the store, it’s here at last. One of the best apps, and must have in my iPhone

  • Damian W

    I am still using old appshopper app, it is much better.

  • deepdvd

    It’s nice to have both apps. Now I can easily see what my friends are getting.

  • Kurt

    Appshopper is the best app for saving you money. I’ve been using it since it came out. I’ll probably stick with the old app. Not really interesting in this social feature. But I’ll give it a try sometime. Maybe it will point me to some cool apps I wouldn’t have tried otherwise.

  • Grande PHD

    You must have an account to use all the advantages appshopper can offer since the very first version.

    • lorygil

      No you don’t. I use it every single day and, until I downloaded AppShopper Social, I didn’t have an account. The only thing you can’t do without an account is save apps to your Want List or Have It list.