Underscore David Smith proposes 14 steps to a better App store:
The App Store has (in part) driven the wild success of the iPhone. Having a great user App Store experience helps everyone. It helps Apple sell more iPhones. It helps customers enjoy their iPhones. It helps developers sustain their development.
Agreed. The App Store is in dire need of improvement.
From where I’m sitting (which is at home, at my desk, if you’re curious), the two biggest issues I see facing the App Store are search/discoverability (for customers) and financial incentive (for developers).
Regarding search, I almost never use the actual App Stores to search for an iOS or Mac. Rather, I use Google. If I’m looking for a specific app, I can find it faster through Google. And if I’m looking for the best within a category, Google will help me find reviews and roundups that have already been written. The App Store is just the last step for me — it’s where I land when I’m ready to buy the app I’ve already found.
Another cool idea along the lines of search and discoverability is an App Store-centric social network of sorts. A way to follow folks and see the apps that are on their home screen. Because, honestly, the vast majority of apps I find are thanks to the word-of-mouth recommendations of my friends.
Secondly, regarding financial incentive for developers, I’ve said before that I think apps like Diet Coda, Editorial, 1Password, Fantastical, OmniFocus, Day One, 53’s Paper, PDF Expert 5, et al. are some of the quintessential examples of apps that really push the boundaries of what iOS devices can be capable of doing. I sometimes worry if the financial incentive will remain for a developer to spend the hundreds, if not thousands, of hours it takes to build a powerful, thoughtful, delightful app. And, what is Apple doing to educate its user-base that these apps are worth their “whopping” $3 price tag?