In an apparent effort to help its users find more interesting apps in its cavernous digital stores, Apple today made an interesting tweak to its iOS and Mac app stores. Both now feature a “free app of the week” and an “editor’s choice” section. As Apple’s official App Store Twitter account announced yesterday, Cut the Rope: Experiments is Apple’s choice for this week’s free app in the iOS store. Editor’s Choice apps include Extreme Skater and Facebook Camera for iPhone, Sketchbook Ink for iPad, and Cobook and Deus Ex Human Revolution in the Mac App Store.
Other app stores, including Amazon’s Appstore for Android, of course already feature similar free apps programs. The iTunes Store, too, offers a free single of the week.
Even though this isn’t the most original promotion, free apps are always welcome and it’s no secret that Apple’s App Store has a massive problem when it comes to discoverability. Unless an app appears in the various stores’ top 10 or at least top 25 lists, chances are that most users will never see it unless Apple decides to feature the app in its “new and noteworthy” section.
Earlier this year, Apple acquired app store search and discovery service Chomp. Chomp, which is still up and running, allows users to just say what kind of app they are looking for and goes beyond the easily gamed keywords and app names that are the hallmark of Apple’s own limited app store search feature. For the time being, though, Apple hasn’t integrated Chomp’s features into its own app stores and it still remains to be seen if it ever will.