App Store Rankings Are Not The Best Recommendations

How much time have you spent in search of the perfect app for your iPhone or Android smartphone? If you own an iPhone, iPod Touch, or iPad, you most likely have checked out the Top 25 section of the App Store to see the top paid and free apps, and each of the App Store categories also have top paid and free lists. Unfortunately, while the lists are showing what is popular, they may not be providing the best app recommendations.

Chris Dixon has written about how he has found many of the apps he has downloaded from these lists to be “pretty scammy.” An example he provides is an app called Night Vision+, which is included in both the top paid and free lists of the Utilities category, and he says it doesn’t work. He notes that Night Vision tries to get you to download many other apps, which may account for the high number of downloads that got it on the top lists.

Keep in mind that the top lists are generated by the amount of downloads of an app and are are not based merit. My general recommendation is to use the top lists as one piece of information in the process of deciding whether to purchase an app. Really good apps on these lists are going to be written about on the web, so I would run a search on the app name. For example, when I do a Google search on “night vision iphone apps” the first two search results are for a night vision app by Kirill Satchkov rather than the app that Dixon writes about.