Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The Best iPhone App Review Site, Reviewed

Actually, it's not just the best iPhone app website, it's also the only one I've seen that's any good at all. One might imagine that anyone setting out to help users sift through the 85,000+ programs now available via Apple's app store would take a cue from the gadget itself by creating a website that's reasonably simple and intuitive. Instead, pretty much all of the dedicated app review sites available are bloated, hard to use, and ugly.

In contrast, First & 20 takes a simple idea and executes it beautifully: it has asked a growing collection of "designers, developers and tech writers" to provide a pic of their iPhone home screens and to write a little about some of the apps they use most. The website's simple design also takes many cues from the iPhone's user interface. But most of all, it answers the first question if want to ask anyone with an iPhone: what apps do you like and use the most?

Of course, it would be even better if the net was widened a little to include people from some other, less techie industries. Judging by the choices up there right now, you'd be forgiven for thinking that everyone who uses an iPhone is also obsessed by Twitter (the two most popular apps are Tweetie and Birdfeed). And the running count of white/black phones seems rather superfluous. But, these small grumbles aside, I love it simply for introducing me to a bunch of excellent apps people with brains actually use.

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