Appsfire Launches New Website, iPhone App For Much Improved App Discovery

(This is a review of one of the 7 startups who are presenting today at Techonomy 2010 in Tel Aviv. To read about the others, browse all posts tagged ‘techonomy’.)

Appsfire, the startup behind the eponymous mobile app discovery and sharing platform, is today launching a totally new website and iPhone app, vastly improving its usefulness. Because Apple’s iTunes ratings and Genius recommendations only travel so far, really.

The company, which has recently raised a seed round from a number of French angel investors, makes it a lot easier for iPhone owners to browse, discover and share great apps, not an easy feat anymore if you consider that there’s more than 200,000 of those little software programs on sale in the App Store nowadays.

The best way to use Appsfire to install both the desktop app (which automatically syncs the apps you’ve purchased on the App Store with the service) and the iPhone application.

On the website, you can search for apps much like you would on your iPhone, but it also gives you the opportunity to discover apps by checking out lists compiled by specialized publishers, or collections of apps installed by tech pundits and thought leaders (dubbed VIPs and featured users).

There’s also a tab to check out which apps you have installed, and which ones you might be interested in downloading and/or purchasing based on your App Store history. You can even easily fetch code for a cool-looking widget that you can place on your blog or website.

The renewed iPhone app (update: which is awaiting approval) not only lets you discover and browse apps in the same way as the web client, but it also makes it real easy to compare apps with your friends. Simply connect through Bluetooth and you’ll see which apps you have in common, and which one your friend or colleague has installed that you haven’t yet discovered. If you’re surrounded with like-minded people with iPhones, this is a great way to get to know great apps without having to weed through the huge selection of apps available on the store.

It also looks amazing on the iPad, by the way.

One of the judges on the panel at Techonomy asked Appsfire what they intend to do when Apple decides to get to work on iTunes and improve the way apps get recommended and shared. The company didn’t have a straightforward answer to that question, though they said they have a great relation with the Cupertino company at the moment. Also interesting: the startup aims to expand to other platforms (i.e. Android) in the near future.