July 13, 2008 |
One thing I quickly noticed when browsing the App Store, both in iTunes and on the iPhone, was that there seemed to be some bizarre method of listing the apps. I like finding things in neat categories and alphabetical order within the categories, but there seemed some anomalies in the sorting that placed apps out of order.
Apparently, some of the developers feel the same way that I do about success or failure being presence in the App Store, and also feel that getting to the top of stuffed categories (like Games, for instance, with 203 listings at the time I’m writing this) will ensure even more success, and are gaming their application names in order to get to the top.
Jirbo appears to be the worst offender, placing spaces before their game names on every game. Others like Digital Smoke, Phase2 Media, and TeemSoft have done the same thing, and others have added apostrophes to bump their apps to the top. It seems like this should have been anticipated by Apple, and the code for the App Store written to strip any leading characters to ensure a fair shot to all the apps.
Loopt, however, is a company making full use of the iPhone App Store and platform just using hard work, and may be overtaking other popular location-based services like Brightkite in the process. I’ve been a Brightkite fan for months, but in order to use it on my iPhone, I have to use Mobile Safari, hit the web site, and enter all my information just like I was on my laptop. Loopt takes advantage of the GPS capabilities of the iPhone 3G, simplifying the process by utilizing the phone’s features and built-in audience. It’s ad-supported, which makes it a free download, and Loopt’s dedication to the platform has paid off, with a mention by Jobs himself at this year’s WWDC, as well as a feature in the New York Times on launch day.
Were it not in the App Store, I’d most likely never have given Loopt a second glance, since I was happy with Brightkite. But now it’s become my location sharing app of choice, and many companies who didn’t put the focus on the iPhone early may find themselves racing to catch up, with worldwide sales figures estimated between one and three million for this weekend alone.
Thanks to Rob Felberbaum at Gaming Shenanigans for the screenshot help!