It’s not uncommon to hear criticism of Apple’s App Store even from fans of the company, as many have said in the past that the store makes it much harder than it should be to find relevant high-quality apps from smaller publishers. Cult of Mac points us to a new post from Jean-Louis Gassée, who worked at Apple throughout the 1980s and who has some intriguing new ideas for improving the App Store, which he refers to as an “impenetrable jungle.”
“Instead of using algorithms to sort and promote the apps that you permit on your shelves, why not assign a small group of adepts to create and shepherd an App Store Guide, with sections such as Productivity, Photography, Education, and so on,” Gassée suggests. “Within each section, this team of respected but unnamed (and so ‘ungiftable’) critics will review the best-in-class apps. Moreover, they’ll offer seasoned opinions on must-have features, UI aesthetics, and tips and tricks. A weekly newsletter will identify notable new titles, respond to counter-opinions, perhaps present a developer profile, footnote the occasional errata and mea culpa… The result will be a more intelligible App Store that makes iOS users happier.”
In other words, Gassée thinks that Apple’s hugely successful App Store needs more of a human touch to really succeed at its mission of helping users find the best apps for them. This makes a great deal of sense since — after all, human beings are the ones who are actually using apps and thus they could stand to get recommendations from other human beings and not algorithms.
In fact, Gassée is so confident that this idea would be a smashing success that he says that he’ll help Apple implement it completely free of charge just because he wants the App Store to be better for everyone. We have no idea whether Tim Cook will take him up on this idea but it couldn’t hurt to give it a look.