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Apple Genius. It could be genius.

By on September 10, 2009
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In amongst a lot of ‘meh’ announcements from Apple yesterday might have been one that could change the fortunes of the AppStore.

Genius is a recommendation engine for the AppStore. It looks at the Apps you have bought before and makes recommendations on what else you may like – based on the buying habits of all the other App Store users.

Amazon is the master of “recommendations”, and it uses its knowledge of its huge audience to send out emails or litter a user’s homepage with relevant purchases. In my experience, Amazon has been spot on, and their recommendations have definitely increased my average spend.

Apple has realised that running the AppStore as a directory won’t cut it now that the categories are getting so crowded: With over 21,000 games, it’s pretty tough to find one that is right for you.

Genius is the first step towards a proper sense of “discovery”, and that will be a great thing for anyone making Apps.

Of course, real discovery will only happen when the AppStore becomes fully open, there is a search function with all the power of Google and the closed eco-system of the iPhone migrates to the mobile web.

Until then, we’ll have to make do with Genius.

About Nicholas Lovell

Nicholas is the founder of Gamesbrief, a blog dedicated to the business of games. It aims to be informative, authoritative and above all helpful to developers grappling with business strategy. He is the author of a growing list of books about making money in the games industry and other digital media, including How to Publish a Game and Design Rules for Free-to-Play Games, and Penguin-published title The Curve: thecurveonline.com
  • That's pretty poor. I thought that it was supposed to enable “off-phone” discovery too, which is also critical.

    Oh well, maybe I should go back to being an Apple hate-boy.

  • Great idea in principle but it doesn't work very well yet – lots of random recommendations – and as far as I can tell you can only get Genius recommendations on your Iphone/Touch, rather than through the more powerful interface of ITunes.

  • That's pretty poor. I thought that it was supposed to enable “off-phone” discovery too, which is also critical.

    Oh well, maybe I should go back to being an Apple hate-boy.

  • Great idea in principle but it doesn't work very well yet – lots of random recommendations – and as far as I can tell you can only get Genius recommendations on your Iphone/Touch, rather than through the more powerful interface of ITunes.