Along with new iPods, today Apple CEO Steve Jobs announced App Store Genius, a recommendation engine for the iPhone and iPod touch that suggests apps you might like to download from the App Store.
Genius, which works similarly to the iTunes music recommendations engine, looks at your past purchases, as well as at other people’s purchases to figure out what additional games, e-books and productivity applications you might like. And it could go a long way in boosting consumers’ App Store purchases and reviving interest in the App Store among software developers.
Before Genius’s arrival, some developers have begun losing interest in the Apple App Store. One software company exec I’ve talked to last week said her company is considering cutting its iPhone app development budget, and for good reasons: With more than 75,000 apps in the App Store, it’s increasingly hard to rise above the noise. Most developers’ App Store revenues are down dramatically year over year, even though they now offer more applications through the marketplace, and there are more iPhone and iPod touch devices out there to take advantage of them than in 2008.
Many consumers are frustrated as well. The number of apps an average iPhone or iPod touch user downloads today isn’t dramatically different from last year’s, even though there’re a lot more interesting applications available. Part of the reason could be, consumers don’t know which apps they might like. Many consumers still find out about cool new apps from Apple’s TV commercials.
Will Genius turn the App Store into a better place for developers and consumers to be? That remains to be seen.
Have you tried Genius yet? Did you like its suggestions? I’d love to hear about your experience with the technology.