The concept of crowd-sourcing is not new and was introduced sometime in 2005. Apple has been tinkering with approaches to provide app recommendations to users for some time now.
The idea is to leverage crowd-sourced localized app usage data to provide app recommendations directly to your devices. Patent 9510141 featuring this thinking from Apple was approved today.
The number of apps in the app store has grown exponentially over the years. Most people either read about a new app or learn about it from their friends and family members before trying it out. Given the large number of apps available, it can be difficult for users to discover the most useful apps.
Assume that you are visiting the ball park with your friends to watch your favorite team play in the playoffs. Based on the apps that other fans are using on their iPhones to track game statistics or find out the best watering hole closest to the ball park, Apple could provide you with appropriate App recommendations.
Location based App suggestions currently exist in iOS 10. The problem is that most of the suggestions suck big time and users generally try to turn off this feature. In iOS 10, Siri app suggestions show up on the lock screen and can be easily turned off by scrolling down and tapping on the Edit button and deleting Siri App suggestion from the widgets.
The suggestion feature was part of the spotlight search in iOS 9 was not popular even then. Either the suggestions are less than relevant or the interface is not conducive to app discovery.
By enhancing the localized app recommendation engine to identify apps that are statistically relevant to particular locations and make real good sense for using them, Apple could make the feature more usable in the future. The power of machine learning combined with improved features in next generation Siri can really make predictive app suggestions feature more useful and relevant. Consumers expectations for personalized experiences and highly tailored content are only going to increase with time.
By using app usage statistics from crowd-sourcing to identify the most attractive, relevant and used apps for the geolocation, Apple could improve upon the predictive feature. Furthermore by making the user interface attractive and intuitive for relevant app recommendations, it can encourage users to use these features. There are currently more articles out there that show users how to turn off Siri App suggestions as opposed to making the best out of this feature.
Last year, Apple’s revenue share from Appstore topped $6B. Revenues were up 19% this year. Revenues from Appstore have become a bright spot for Apple in recent times given the decline in sales of iPhones.
If Apple is able to provide a mechanism where it makes App discovery easy for users by thinking outside the box, it can generate additional revenue stream and provide a more relevant personalized app discovery platform to its users. This will also be a benefit for third party app developers as the chances of their app discovery become greater and more relavant.