You can tell a lot about a person from their mobile app library. Are they avid Doodle Jumpers, or do they prefer to challenge their wits with a few rounds of Civilization? Do they stretch their vocal chords to the beats of T-Pain or Glee’s background choir? You get the idea.
Given how much time people spend building out their app libraries, it doesn’t come as much of a surprise that they love to share their collections with friends. In fact, Bump — an app that makes it easy to swap contact information, music, and other data between mobile devices — says that users have been asking for an easy way to share lists of their favorite apps for ages, and that it’s the second most popular request overall (behind music sharing, which has already been implemented). Today, all of those users are getting their wish granted.
Bump has just launched a new version of its iPhone application that makes it easy to share apps with your friends. Fire up the new feature, and you’ll be shown a list of apps that have been installed on your phone (more on that in a moment). Tap the ones you want to recommend to your friend, Bump your phone with theirs, and they’ll immediately receive a list of your recommendations along with links to the App Store for each.
Now, Bump isn’t the first application that lets you get a list of your iPhone applications. We’ve seen others like Chomp and Appolicious, which let you share app recommendations with friends and can also suggest applications based on your previous ratings. Update: Appsfire allows you to detect the applications on your phone and share them over the air.
The difference, says Bump co-founder David Lieb, is that the app exchange using Bump is more personal. You aren’t posting your recommendations to followers on Facebook, or through the application’s internal social network — you’re tapping your phone together with a friend and swapping recommendations immediately (assuming they have Bump too).
Now, Apple doesn’t actually let developers do this through a native API — every service that generates a list of your installed apps has to find a workaround. Lieb believes that Bump’s is generally better than the competition’s, and while he wouldn’t get into details on how it works, he says it involves looking at the list of applications that are currently running on the phone. The only catch: apps that you don’t run frequently won’t show up. Of course, if you’re recommending an application to your friend, then it probably isn’t sitting dormant on your phone.
Bump isn’t just available for the iPhone — it has a strong Android presence as well. Lieb says that the Android version already supports basic app sharing, and it’s currently working on an overhaul due out later this month. This new version is going to allow users on iPhone to recommend apps for Android and vice versa (assuming, of course, that the same application is available for both operating systems).