Space for a *real* website around iTunes app store

August 11th, 2008

Empty Hall

I haven’t poured hours into it, but I have looked around a bit trying to find good iPhone apps, and I find the conversation frustrating and fractured — echoing and empty. And I think Apple’s its-a-webiste-but-not-really iTunes store is the problem. It is definitely a 2nd class web citizen, and one that has rather aggressively not learned the lessons of Web 2.0.

I’d love to see someone do a full on iPhone-apps-as-social-objects site as a translation layer on top of the iTunes store. It would be easy, and it would be awesome. And if Apple weren’t Apple (say if they were Amazon) you could earn a nice affiliate income stream. As it is you’d probably wake up every morning and check your inbox for a C&D, but still it would be great. You should build it.

Photo from Paul Hammond

9 responses to “Space for a *real* website around iTunes app store”

  1. Seth says:

    It’s even possible to do so from within the iTunes chrome, using a XUL-like layout description language. ‘Course you still have to link someone to it and that’s a jarring and unexpected experience. But possible.

  2. Kellan says:

    Not quite sure what you mean. You can link into the iTunes store and have it launch iTunes, but it sounds like you mean something different.

    But either way, I think getting away from the iTunes chrome would be a key indicator of success :)

  3. Andy Baio says:

    A social component is desperately needed. Simply showing me all the apps my friends have installed, purchased, or reviewed recently would dramatically increase the number of apps they sell. I’m surprised Apple hasn’t done this for iTunes music or video, either.

  4. Rod says:

    I Use This ( have made babysteps towards this, but it doesn’t interface with the App Store directly — it requires humans to create the links.

  5. Kellan says:

    Rod, yeah IUseThis is definitely on the road, but feels off, but that could simply be I haven’t engaged with the site sufficiently.

  6. Rob says:

    Check out in the coming weeks.

    Our goal is to do exactly what you’re looking for. The focus will be on helping you find apps among the 2,000+ in the App Store. We are also focusing on app activity aggregation – collecting content from various resources.

    There will be the ability for users to compare apps, review apps, and more.

  7. Paul Mison says:

    Well, so far it’s just a republishing of the App Store XML as HTML, but does lay the groundwork.

  8. AppBeacon says:

    We’re working on this right now. We hope to launch in mid-November.

    “As it is you’d probably wake up every morning and check your inbox for a C&D, but still it would be great. You should build it.”

    LOL. Hopefully, no C&D’s will be coming. AppBeacon ( and services like it will only help to drive sales on the iTunes App Store.

  9. AppBeacon says:


    Please take a look at AppBeacon now. We’re not exactly in Beta but not exactly public yet either. We’ve still got lots of bugs.

    AppBeacon allows you to walk through all the apps in the App Store. If you’re interested in something, just bookmark it. You can come back to it later. If you absolutely know you’re not interested in something, “Sink It”. You’ll never have to see it again. If you already own something, just mark it as “Owned”.

    AppBeacon puts you in control of what you see. Instead of filtering through the same lists over and over, you only see stuff you haven’t seen before.

    Honestly, not everyone is going to wade through all 6000+ apps. If you want, you can start in a category and “Sink All”. After that, you’ll only see recently reviewed apps in that category. Then, it’s an easy matter of checking once or twice a week to see if anything interesting has come up.

    Let us know what you think via Twitter : or email me directly.

    Thanks, Justin Noel