Discovery can be a problem for smartphone app developers and one neither Google nor Apple have effectively solved. However, a new tie-up between Apple and Pinterest might go some way to improving the situation.
With well over a million apps now in the Apple App Store, it can be easy to miss apps that might be useful but which aren't, say, in the top 10. Meanwhile, as developers of lesser-known apps have complained before, using search on the App Store can result in potentially relevant apps being buried beneath a long list of irrelevant ones.
As of today, Apple is tapping into Pinterest's way of curating the web, and applying to it iOS apps. Now, along with dedicated pins for places, products, articles, movies, and recipes, Pinterest users can pin iOS apps and share them on the platform.
The new tie-up also allows Pinterest users to install App Store apps from Pinterest's own app.
"Let's say you're Pinning workout inspiration to your Marathon Training board. If you see a fitness app that helps you reach your goals, you can download it right from Pinterest," Pinterest said on its blog today.
"When you come across an app Pin, tap Install to download the app right to your iPhone or iPad without ever leaving Pinterest (you'll only see app Pins when you're using the Pinterest app on your iPhone or iPad)."
Pinterest has launched its own board of apps favoured by staff, while Apple's App Store has set up its own account on the sharing site.
So far, Apple has set up five boards containing 34 apps, which, for example, showcase favourite fashion and food apps. Apple is kicking off its Pinterest account by pinning snaps from New York's Fashion Week, which showcase what apps (and of course Apple hardware) different models and designers use to tell their story.
The Pinterest deal follows efforts last year by Apple to make it easier for users to find apps through a new Explore tab, as well as trending searches. Apple also acquired Chomp in 2012 to help users search for apps on the basis of their function rather than their name.
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