When it comes to numbers, the App Store boasts the largest mobile app repository out there. With close to a million apps available for iOS users, it makes sense that Apple has divided the App Store into various categories so that you can discover apps of interest with ease. However, with the passage of time, all the categories have become so saturated that it is now close to impossible to come across a good app that hasn’t been able to gain popularity yet. The revamped iOS 6 App Store features enhanced recommendations and an interface modeled after that of the popular app discovery engine Chomp. Having said that, app discovery is still a genre that merits apps of its own. You might think that an app focusing on letting users find new apps for their smartphone can’t be too different from others of its kind, but Hubbl for iPhone proves this wrong. Despite being a really useful and social app discovery platform, Hubbl comes with a rather unique interface and discovery methods. The app also has an Android variant available on the Google Play Store.
To get the most out of Hubbl, you have to link your Twitter and Facebook accounts with the app (although it’s not mandatory). You can also sign up for a separate app account using your email ID. Once the registration procedure is complete, you have to allow the app to access your phone’s app list. If there are some apps installed on your iPhone that you’d rather not have on your Hubbl profile, simply deselect them before hitting the Next button. To list all the apps that you want to try, but haven’t downloaded yet, there is a To Do section in Hubbl. You can add new apps here via the search option, or you can mark suggestions from others to be added to the To Do list. If there is an app that you want to recommend to other Hubbl users and your friends, hit the big ‘+’ icon in the bottom bar and enter the app’s name and tag. The tags in Hubbl specify the genre of apps so that others can browse through suggestions more easily.
The main menu, where all the app discovery takes place in Hubbl, is the App Sky. Rather than listing the recommendations the old-fashioned way, Hubbl shows them like stars in the sky. There are separate sky views for suggestions from your friends, suggestions from other users of the app and recommendations generated by Hubbl based on the apps you already have on your iPhone. Tapping any app in the sky view will take you to its details page, from where you can navigate to its iTunes page, or add it to your favorites or To Do lists.
As beautiful as the App Sky in Hubbl might look, it does not show that many apps. If you want more recommendations, you should check out the Stream section. The Hubbl Stream shows recommendations by the most active users of the app (the Appstronauts menu in Hubbl lists the users who have contributed the most to the suggestions box), or you can switch to friend mode to see what apps are currently popular in your social circle.
Hubbl is a free iPhone, iPod touch and Android app. If it’s been a while since your current app discovery tool provided you with an interesting suggestion, you should try Hubbl; it’s unique methods might yield a surprise or two.