Is Apple's App Store Getting Too Unwieldy?


Is the Apple App Store getting so big and disorganized that it needs apps such as Yappler Sync to help navigate it? Apple passed the 2 billion mark for App Store downloads this week, but a big question for Apple, as it continues to crash app milestones in less and less time, is how it plans to keep its triumphant App Store organized and user-friendly.

Recent moves by both Apple and third-party app developers such as Yappler would suggest navigating the App Store isn't as streamlined and comfortable an experience as it could be.

Yappler this week became the latest developer to offer an app discovery application, Yappler Sync, which has a social networking flavor in that it allows users to create and share lists of their iPhone apps with friends, post those lists to services such as Facebook and Twitter and make recommendations based on users' favorites.

Yappler Sync joins other recommendation apps such as the popular App Miner (an App Store price drop watchdog) and Fluke (which brings random apps to users' attention).

Apple itself also is attempting to make App Store navigation easier. Earlier this week, Apple launched a redesigned Apps for Everything, a Web page that divides the App Store's offerings into categories such as music and cooking, 12 different categories in all. Apps for Everything joins other App Store navigator features such as Apple's Staff Picks section, and seems to be a response by Apple to complaints by users that it's getting more difficult to find top-shelf apps amid the flood of novelties, bizarre apps and just plain weird stuff approved by Apple.

As milestones such as the 2 billion apps downloaded mark become more routine, Apple will face a number of questions as to the growth directions of the App Store.

A number of analysts have suggested in recent weeks that the balance of paid apps vs. free apps will become more critical if Apple hopes to position the iPhone as a business-centric tool, and that organizing the App Store effectively will be crucial to doing so.

What do you think, iPhone lovers (or dissenters)? Is the growth of the App Store happening too fast for Apple to keep it a manageable experience? Let us know in the ChannelWeb Connect community.