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Yahoo AppSpot gets to know you, makes recommendations

Yahoo AppSpot is a recommendation engine for mobile apps. Available for Android and the iPhone, it takes inventory of your installed apps and looks at your app-related search history to bring you a personalized list of downloads it suspects you'll enjoy.

Yahoo AppSpot is a recommendation engine for mobile applications. Available for Android and iPhone, it takes inventory of your installed apps and looks at your app-related search history to bring you a personalized list of downloads it suspects you'll enjoy.

Yahoo AppSpot opens up directly to a "Today's Picks for You" page, which consists of three columns of categories and three app recommendations per column. Tap any of the app's icons to get its vital information, with name, description, ratings, price, screenshots, and a link to the Android Market download page. To see more categories (there are 20 in all, including News, Sports, Productivity, and Entertainment) simply swipe left or right. And, of course, to view the picks within each column, swipe up or down.

The browsing experience, while it seems simple enough, is actually a bit tiresome. You can only see three categories at once, which means a lot of horizontal scrolling to see all 20. And, annoyingly, you can only see three out of the four picks per category above the fold, which means you have to scroll down to see the last pick in every column. With only four picks to display in each column, we're wondering why Yahoo couldn't optimize the design to keep them all above the fold. While browsing recommendations is inefficient, the built-in search function is very much the opposite. It spits out instant results as you type, which helps when you're not exactly sure what you are searching for.

Overall, we like the idea behind Yahoo AppSpot and found it a useful tool for discovering new downloads when you don't necessarily want to peruse the hundreds of thousands of listings in the Android Market or the Apple App Store. However, its user interface certainly needs work. The browsing experience needs to be made more efficient, and the swiping could be a bit smoother. If you're looking to discover new apps, it's still a great download; just prepare to be slightly annoyed.

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