Pros: Video reviews are helpful; Reliable expert reviews save time searching
Cons: Android version is clunky and uninformative; Too much text; Recommended apps don't give much detail
Verdict: Video and expert reviews make this third-party app-finder helpful on iOS devices, but useless for Android ones.
Before downloading any app to your smartphone, it's important to get a sense of how good it is. However, sifting through written reviews can quickly become tiring, and it's nearly impossible to judge the quality of the reviews, too. Appolicious looks to remedy both of those issues by providing not only expert reviews, but video reviews as well.
Appolicious's home screen on Android is cluttered and ultimately less helpful than its competition. Like Yahoo's AppSpot, Appolicious scans your device for installed apps so it can make recommendations based on what you already have. However, Appolicious only displays tiny icons of recommended apps on its home screen that don't even include their name.
To search, you have to click a small button at the top. Once you've entered your search, Appolicious displays the results in a list with only the name of the app and a rating (out of 5) next to it. The bar chart rating doesn't show how many people reviewed the app.
The iPhone version of this app is better organized. Next to each search result is the category (such as games or lifestyle), how many users have downloaded this app, and the average user rating. However, the star ratings are not shown visually and are instead written out as "4.0 out of 5 bars."
When we tried searching for cooking apps on Appolicious, we mostly got the type of results we wanted. But as far as searching for apps on Android goes, this search engine does not have the organization to make it more worthwhile than the Android Market. There aren't even any sorting or filtering options to make looking for top rated apps easier. And although you do get recommended apps based on your existing library, the browsing interface makes this feature less accessible because it does not provide information next to the recommended app icon. You can also log in to Facebook to see your friends' apps.
Fortunately, Appolicious' iPhone version is better, letting you browse through news and reviews about apps. The best feature of this version are the video reviews. They're usually only about a minute long, but that's just enough time to explain the gist of the app, critique it, and most importantly, give users a preview of how the app works. Appolicious's iPhone app also allows you to filter searches for free or paid apps.
One other unique feature is the advisor reviews. This is handy if you want to be sure you're getting a detailed evaluation, but there was no way to find out who the reviewer was, what else they've reviewed, and how he or she was qualified to be an advisor.
The one thing that makes the iPhone Appolicious app worth downloading is the video reviews. Otherwise, its search features and interface--especially on the Android app--are sub-par compared to Appspot and Chomp.