Pros: Useful recommendations; Personalized recommendations in app; Fun interface;
Cons: Home screen sometimes slow to load; Doesn't have its own reviews
Verdict: Yahoo's app-finder app isn't pretty, but it recommends downloads well and provides helpful information.
How meta: Yahoo's new search engine app, Appspot, is not for finding restaurants, movies, or web pages, but apps. This homely interface, with an owl as its icon, offers recommendations based on what you already have installed, and pulls in reviews from both the Android and Apple marketplaces.
Ironically, Appspot is good for browsing for apps without searching. When you launch the app, it scans your device to see what apps are installed. You're then presented with three columns of apps it recommends, organized by category, and shows the name and star rating of the middle icon at the bottom.
Icons in each column rotate in a fun slot-machine style. Search results are organized in list form with star ratings along with how many people reviewed it. This app's list form does not show as much information in the initial search results as Chomp's large window results do, but it's more than Appolicious, which merely gives you the name of the app and its rating. We sometimes had to wait a few seconds for the app to load, though.
When we searched for "cooking," the first six results were games. After these general search results, the rest were divided into categories, such as Arcade & Action, Entertainment, Lifestyle, and Tools. This proved very helpful, as we found the apps that were most relevant were in Lifestyle; the Entertainment category listed a Dane Cook soundboard. You can also sort by free or paid apps. Also helpful, the name, the price, and the star rating were all in the same place in each search result, making it easier to quickly browse through apps.
Clicking a search result launches screenshots, a description, and a button to get more reviews. While the reviews are from the Android Market and not Yahoo user reviews, we liked that it shows how many people reviewed the app, so you know whether 100 people gave it an average of 4 stars, or if just one person gave it a 5.
With Appspot, Yahoo shows that it still knows a thing or two about search. The recommended apps on the homepage of the app are organized and present enough information without being overwhelming. We slightly prefer how Chomp presents details about apps, but Appspot is worth a look.