Despite being THE MOST PROFITABLE app store in the world, you’d be surprised at the number of BOGUS apps listed on the iTunes App Store. With over $10 Billion in total app store sales last year (2013), one would expect that Apple would tighten its standards and demand exceptional quality from its App Developers; and although they’ve taken steps in recent years to eliminate some of the low quality apps from being approved and listed on the iTunes App Store, it’s still not enough. Every once in a while, you’ll notice that bogus/low quality template based apps like Flappy Bird find their way to the top of the iTunes charts, outta nowhere, thus leading unsuspecting users to believe that because this app is #1 on the Top Free Apps list or the Top Paid Apps list, it might be the BEST app on the iTunes App Store; which is simply NOT true. There are a million ways to get an app to rank #1 on the iTunes App Store. The fact is, the iTunes App Store is not perfect, and smart App Developers game their ranking system all the time, by generating fake (paid) downloads, and paid reviews. I’ll do a blog post on this, in which I’ll explain in more detail how the App Developers/Sellers game the system, and make millions off of unsuspecting users; but that’s a discussion for some other time.
The point that I’m trying to make is: With thousands of apps being approved and listed on the iTunes App Store every day, it’s become really hard to find good iPhone apps. A large number of the apps listed on the iTunes App Store, the so called “FREE APPS”, are not really FREE; they are loaded with a Zillion annoying Advertisements and In-App-Purchases, which makes it really hard to use these apps. Now, I’m not saying that all “FREE APPS” are Bad; there are some really good ones out there that respect the privacy of their customers and have non-intrusive Ads; it’s just that they are a bit hard to find, since the App Developer is honest and doesn’t know how to game the system. Usually the good apps are lost in the plethora of bad apps that have essentially taken control of the iTunes App Store.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Paid Apps > Free Apps.
And the reason I say that is because, Paid Apps usually don’t have Advertisements and have little to no In-App-Purchases, since Paid Apps are usually Full-Versions with all the features Unlocked. Yes, in some cases, if the app is really complex, you’ll need to buy some extra features to take full advantage of the app, which is perfectly fine, as long as you’re getting your money’s worth. But to have an app listed for FREE, and then essentially force the user to make those additional In-App-Purchases in order to unlock key features and disable annoying advertisements, is simply WRONG! The appropriate word for this kind of shady business practice is “FRAUD”.
In conclusion, I’ll just say this:
Finding good iPhone apps, at least on the iTunes App Store, IS HARD!
And the problem is, you can’t even rely on the reviews these days, since a lot of bogus apps have paid reviews. So it’s still a crappy app, but all the 5 Star reviews make it look the best app available on the app store. Don’t fall into that trap.
The best way to find good iPhone apps is to search on Google, as opposed to the iTunes App Store. So let’s say you’re looking for some good cooking apps; go to Google and search “Best Cooking Apps For iPhone”. There are numerous websites and blogs out there who make a living off of downloading and testing iPhone apps. Their lists are usually very accurate and genuine.