There’s been a lot of discussion lately about how apps are ranked in the iTunes App Store and the Android Market. These rankings are tremendously important to developers as being in the top 10 or 25 lists can lead to rapid growth in sales. The app stores’ ranking algorithms are not transparent and are frequently changed in response to new market trends and new ways in which app developers try to optimize for visibility. For free apps, the ranking algorithms are believed to include data on download counts (including recent downloads), usage, and user ratings.
At AppStoreHQ, we use a combination of numeric data (such as download counts), social media traffic, and analysis of app reviews by traditional publications and bloggers to create our AppRank rankings. These rankings can give a very different picture of what is hot and interesting from what is reported in the official marketplaces. Below is a snapshot of the hottest free apps for devices running Google’s Android platform as we’ve calculated them.
Alternate launchers are a big deal in the Android world. Browsing workspaces, creating shortcuts, and removing widgets have gotten a little bit more fun with Regina’s 3D effects and unique features, like separate wallpapers per space, secret workspaces, 3D widgets, and direct application installation.
Skype – in case you’ve been hiding in a forest for the past 5 years – provides free IM and calls between its own users and free or low-cost calls to landlines. You can instant message one or many friends at a time. Since the app itself is free, it’s a great way to stay connected with friends and colleagues around the world. A data plan or Wi-Fi connection is required.
New from BigPlayAR… the Dallas Mavericks Augmented Reality game is the world’s first virtual interface for a professional sports ticket. Celebrating the Mav’s 2011 Play-Offs, home game tickets magically reveal a 3D free-throw competition when this app is installed.
Access the files you’ve backed up with Mozy online backup. Browse files in their original folder hierarchy or search for a specific file on the fly. Quickly view photo thumbnails and previews, and download the full high-resolution photo right to your device. Additionally you can email any of your backed up files to friends and family, and share files and publish photos via your installed applications. A Mozy account is required.
LinkedIn for Android puts your professional network just a touch away. Walk into any interview or client meeting with the ability to look up the details and connect with over 100 million professionals worldwide. Get the latest updates and messages from your network and keep them up-to-date with your status in real-time.
It’s fast, easy to use and completely customizable. And it’s built on the same great platform as the desktop version. So you can take your Firefox anywhere you go.
With Firefox for Android, you can synchronize your history, bookmarks, tabs and passwords between all your computers and mobile devices. Type less with the Awesome Screen, which gives you one-tap access to your bookmarks, history and custom list of search engines. Tabbed browsing allows for easy navigation and fast switching between Web sites with just one swipe of your finger.
Access all of your ESPN Fantasy Baseball teams with the ESPN Fantasy Baseball Android App. Manage your rosters, set your lineups and follow your teams all season long. In this application, team owners have access to live scoring, transactions, league standings, league chatter, rules and settings, plus up-to-the-minute fantasy news.
Features include: team management, fantasy baseball news, access to league message boards, and more.
Test your mobile service and compare results to other carriers using RootMetrics. Coverage information in the market today is incomplete and gathered infrequently – often no more than once a year – resulting in soft advertising claims of network reliability.
RootMetrics tracks signal strength, dropped calls and data throughput speeds by capturing millions of real-world results directly from participating mobile users’ devices. Then, the data is brought to life through easy to understand maps and ratings that show the true picture of each carrier’s performance down to the most granular levels.
Free, simple, and intuitive to do list. Now you can add tasks by speaking to your mobile device. Taskos to do list allows you to add, edit or delete tasks, write notes, set alerts and even make calls.
New features include Google task sync, home screen widget, customized categories, improved sorting, swipe completed tasks, and quick edit of tasks information.
zMooth lets you use gestures to mimic your device’s hardware keys (back, home and menu). zMooth is unobtrusive and uses a minimum amount of screen space. After you install the app you will see a blue area at the bottom of the screen, swipe left on this area to go back, swipe right for menu and gesture a up-arrow(^) for home. Note: zMooth requires a rooted android device.
For comparison, at the Android Market, the top ten free apps are:
- Google Maps
- Flash Player
- Pandora Radio
- Live Holdem Poker
- Vaulty Free Hides Pictures
- Bubble Blast 2
– Scott Blanksteen, AppStoreHQ, @sib1013