Apple’s App Store Needs Librarians

October 3, 2009

I’ve been going through the Apple App Store today as research for a possible post about certain aspects of digital books.

What I saw was so un-Apple-like bad, I had to do this post.

Look at this mess:

Click = big

What the hell do the four apps I’ve highlighted in red have in common?

Nothing! — other than the fact they’ve been plopped under the category of Business.

There are people who are absolute specialists in placing things in their correct categories, Apple. These trained experts are called librarians.

For God’s sake, hire some!

And while I’m harping on the App Store, let me also say that I don’t see how it’s possible for anyone to make a worthwhile amount of money there without being pimped by Apple or without having a large real-world ad budget.

Right now it’s just about impossible to browse. I’ve had blank pages come up, preventing me from browsing a category completely. And the nonsensical placement of things is too distracting and adds too much clutter.

In addition, Search is broken. Recently I searched for “pdf” via the iPhone App Store interface and got only a fraction of the results I got from the same search term via iTunes on my desktop. How many possible sales is that alone costing people?

Finally, everything that’s being offered for free should be dumped into a FREE uber-category. People who are trying to build businesses and have put some amount of capital into their wares should not have to compete against some naif who wants to see his name in lights under the Apple banner.