∞ Is Apple bringing Genius for apps to the iPhone?

Apple has given us some very useful technologies over the years, but one really stands out in my mind–Genius. This is a technology I think Apple will bring to the iPhone to help us with app purchases. iPhone appsIntroduced as part of iTunes to allow users to create custom playlists based on the type of music they are currently listening to, Genius has become a way for users to find music they have completely forgotten about in their libraries. But what if Apple could expand Genius and make it even more useful.

Currently Genius gathers information about your current music selection and then puts together a playlist based on that song. The technology also has a small section on the side that recommends music from the iTunes Store that you may not have.

That works well for music because most people have thousands of songs in iTunes, many that have been forgotten for years. But the technology would need to change a little if it were to be adapted to work with applications.

First, Genius for apps would need to make recommendations for other apps currently in the App Store, instead of focusing on what’s on your iPhone. Let’s face it, that’s where we need the help–actually finding decent apps to download.

With 50,000 apps currently available, it’s become nearly impossible to find an app using the current iTunes setup. It is going to take a technology like Genius for users to continue buying and downloading useful apps.

It’s also going to need to be part of the iPhone, iPod touch and iTunes. I want to be able to find apps when I’m out and about, not just when I have my computer with me.

The App Store is certainly successful, there is no doubt about that, but the continued success of this model relies heavily on people being able to find what they are looking for. To a large extent, that’s difficult to do these days.

I’ve pretty much stopped trying many new apps simply because it’s too difficult to sort through everything. However, if Apple had a technology to do that for me, I’d probably try some new apps again.

More importantly, if Apple were to implement Genius for apps, I’d probably trust the apps I was downloading to be decent and what I was looking for in the first place.

I have a difficult time trusting the reviews and ratings on the App Store. Maybe I’m just cynical, but sometimes I think the best way to look at the ratings and reviews is to flip everything–make the good reviews bad, and the bad reviews good. That will most likely give you a better view of how the app actually rates.

Genius could easily do away with that frustration. With its secret algorithm, Genius could actually recommend apps that we want to buy, based on an incredible amount of criteria all weighed and calculated by Apple.

Personally, I find Genius for music incredible. It matches songs that I’ve completely forgotten about and it always works. That’s what I want for apps.

If Apple wants to continue selling apps like it has over the past year, it is going to have to give users a better way to sift through the mountains of available applications. If the past year is any indication, the amount of apps is going to continue to grow by huge amounts.

Genius will help developers because users will be able to find their apps; it will help Apple show the choices available and be able to sell apps; and it will allow us, the consumer, to trust our purchases again.