One major issue that Windows Phone 8 users face is the lack of apps, or so say many. The truth is being a new platform the number of apps is limited but is growing at a pretty steady rate. Often the official store is not the right place to discover apps due to clutter with countless apps being added daily. How then do users discover useful and interesting apps? The traditional way is search on the internet for the top 5/10 apps in a particular category.
Well, Nokia has taken an offbeat approach by launching App Highlights Social, which is similar to the Nokia’s App Highlights which comes preinstalled on Lumia Phone. The App Highlights Social app adds a social element to app discovery while improving on the previous app by adding new functionality and a more advanced interface.
The app is currently in beta and present only in certain countries including India.
User Curated Lists are Key
The app basically allows users to browse and create curated lists of apps and games. These lists can then be shared with the community, both within the app, and on the web.
One can show appreciation for the app by “thank”ing a user. This helps users discover better lists which are popular.
The social elements goes further by allowing one the ability to follow a user, so you can keep track of their app recommendations in the app feed.
There are various ways to browse and find list. There is an excellent search function, a featured page and also a leaderboard which shows lists, which have been thanked by most users and users that are most followed.
Creating an app list is simple. By default three lists are created for every user, but one easily can add more naming the list accordingly and easily adding apps to it. One can also add a cover image to the list to make your list look more attractive.
The app even has Live Tile and Lock Screen support which displays app recommendations without even opening the app.
Once one finds an app, you are interested in, you can view screenshots and description of the app within the App Highlight Social app itself. You can also see which lists the app is listed in. You can then relist or share the app. Clicking on the download button will take you to the Windows Phone Store and you can download it.
Even though the app has been around for less than a week, there are already quite a number of app list (commendable seeding by Nokia team). Nokia has taken the first step by adding various lists from its official country IDs. These lists are similar to those found on the App Highlights app.
By adding a social ranking element, Nokia has definitely given a boost to app discovery and this app could soon a powerful and diverse app recommendation service, even replacing the Windows Phone Store for many. We wish other platforms would copy this so that we would not have to rely on just editors choices to discover apps.
If you have a Nokia Lumia, this is one app we definitely recommend downloading straight away.
Download: App Highlights Social for Lumia Phones only