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Apple, Google contemplating direct app sharing?

updated 12:05 pm EDT, Wed June 3, 2009

App sharing for iPhone?

Apple and Google are both considering improved methods of sharing cellphone apps between users, reports say. Although it is not uncommon for developers to allow recommendations, there is presently no easy way for an iPhone or Android device user to send an app directly. Hooks for the technology are said to exist in the iPhone 3.0 firmware however, even if they are currently unimplemented. Apple spokeswoman Jennifer Bowcock has refused to comment on any details, insisting only that there are "no announcements at this time."

Google and a collection of other developers, meanwhile, are believed to be investigating changes to the Android Market. Future visitors may be able to gift apps to others, much as music can be gifted at Apple's iTunes Store. The Market may also gain recommendations, something already present at the iTunes App Store.

Sharing may eventually become essential for the App Store, which has more than 35,000 titles and no simple method for browsing through them, except for lists of the highest-ranking ones in general categories. Developers have complained about the scheme, which can make it difficult for underdog companies to gain traction. Achieving bestseller status can be mandatory for sustaining a business.

by MacNN Staff



  1. Bobfozz

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Maybe some of these "easy riders" should take out advertising, blogs, and the whole retinue to let people know of their products like everyone else has to.

    Whine whine. People who know how to do some programming feel like it is their inherent right to be richer than you or me without paying the price.

    If they really believe, spend some money, get it talked up. Good grief.

  1. akulavolk

    Joined: Dec 1969



    It's not that simple. Have you ever developed and posted an app on the App store @Bobfozz? Apple is supposed to list your release date as the date your app was actually released on the store. Sometimes, they s**** up and put the submitted date instead.

    Know what the difference in traffic is between an app that pops up on the new release page for a day, and one that is buried a week old? You're looking at dozens vs. thousands of downloads for the same app. Big difference.

    And the App store doesn't just cater to big developers with deep pockets. Spending a ton of money to get your $0.99 app to "rise to the top" isn't always good business sense for a small guy with a day job, but no funding.

    Try developing and releasing your own app. I think you'll find that there is room for improvement and that developers aren't just a bunch of sniveling weasels.

  1. akulavolk

    Joined: Dec 1969



    And as both an iPhone developer and someone with a marketing and advertising background, I should note that it's really hard hard to get your app noticed above the THOUSAND other apps that get released and submitted to press, blogs, and review sites every day. Know how many apps MacNN passes over every day to list the other handful they do every day?

    Basically, the free exposure is extremely hard to get because of the firehose of content that press are hit with.

    And paid exposure can cost you more than you'll make selling a product at such a low price.

    "Just do it" is easy-said coming from those who haven't.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969



    How is any of this different than music? There are a lot more songs on the iTMS than there is apps on the app store. But everything is done to keep you from doing anything like this with music. But apps are OK?

    And Bobfozz is correct (sorry Bobfozz, didn't mean to apply that stigma to you). If you make an OS X app, how exactly do you get it out to the masses, earn notice, etc? Why should the AppStore be different? (well, except for the obvious one that, as a developer, you could send your app to reviewers, where, with the appstore, all you can do is send a link).

  1. akulavolk

    Joined: Dec 1969



    So we should run the app store like the music industry?

    "If you make an OS X app, how exactly do you get it out to the masses, earn notice, etc? Why should the AppStore be different?"

    Because there is exactly ONE way to distribute iPhone Apps to the public...through the App store. If I'm distributing a Mac App, I can distribute it on CD in retail stores, as a subscription, online download, shareware, heck...I can even include it in a bundle to generate tons of sales (maybe little profit, though) through something like Mac Heist. Some of these distribution mechanisms have great promotion built-in, like bundling.

    Don't get me wrong. I love the App store and what it's done for both big publishers and Indie developers.

    But am I happy that Apple may be looking at improving ways for customers to see beyond the current "Top 25" apps? Heck, yeah. There's definitely room for improvement, and I'm looking forward to how much richer the app store experience becomes when it's easier to sift through the thousands of apps that are there.

  1. Salty

    Joined: Dec 1969


    App Store

    Honestly they do have sub categories and people will look through those. Also developers can create websites with links to their app's location on the App store. I mean it is a good system as is, it'd be nice if you could search for key words in an App and perhaps they'll come up with a more google like way of doing things.

  1. Constable Odo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Apple is not finished

    with the App Store yet. It is still in a transitional phase. Don't you understand that the App Store exceeded everyone's expectations (including Apple's) by a huge margin. I think that Apple usually has fixed time periods on when to proceed with projects. They've undoubtedly been overwhelmed. You people think that everything is so easy to do at the snap of a finger when you've got some major problem that needs to be taken care of. The App Store has been going through minor revisions, but it may need to be redone from scratch. Just give Apple a chance. Less than a year's time is not a h*** of a lot for the type of response that Apple has gotten from developers. The Ovi store crashed the first day and I guess you'd say that it shouldn't have happened considering how huge a company Nokia is, but it did because probably too many users hit it at one time.

    Just give the App Store a little more time for reorganization. Right now it's just a little section growing quickly in a big store. Maybe it needs it's own complete store or something. It will be worked out, for certain. Even in the average department store it's not easy to sift through thousands of items, so tens of thousands of items will be a lot harder to organize.

    Head on over to which will help some of you locate apps. Jeez. Some of you act as if you never had a bunch of work dumped on you by your boss and him telling you to get this stuff done as fast as possible to meet so and so deadline. It's much easier said than done. Believe me.

    Apple is surely going to try to do the App Store right and that will take some time. It's probably going to be their bread and butter for quite a while.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Re: @testudo

    So we should run the app store like the music industry?

    Yes! Unless you think it would be better if the music industry followed the appstore route and allowed you to get music from only one source.

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