Appstream released "just to get a reaction from Apple", proves a surprise hit

Appstream, a simple visualisation tool to help iPad owners discover new apps via a matrix-style wall (perhaps inspired by Apple’s own efforts at its World Wide Developer Conference), appears to be resonating with users.

It’s currently hovering in the top 50 of free iPad apps in the U.S. App Store, while in France (the iPad’s second biggest market), it’s doing even better, currently sitting at number two.

That’s not such a big deal in itself but what makes this case study a little more interesting is that the company, also behind the much more fully blown app discovery service Appsfire, created Appstream as a sort-of side project while it grew more and more frustrated waiting for Apple to approve version 2.0 of its main app.

They then submitted Appstream to the App Store “just to get a reaction from Apple” and waited to see which would be approved first, if at all (fearful that Apple might want to keep app discovery all to itself). Both Appsfire 2.0 and Appstream have since been accepted, although as noted, Appstream has been a surprise hit.

So how exactly does the app work? Basically it surfaces and aggregates real time results of apps being discovered through the company’s main service Appsfire (rather than the deeper catalog) in a matrix wall-style visualisation, which can be filtered by free/paid iPad apps only (more filters are coming, says the company). Users then click on any app for more information, and then click to download.