Apr 05 AT 12:05 AM Taylor Wimberly 82 Comments

Top 3 sites for discovering Android apps

There are many sites which allow you to browse the official Android Market listings (so many they are hard to keep track of). Only a few of them provide useful statistics that can help you discover apps you might want to download.

Over 9,000 new apps were published on the Android Market last month and about one third of them were junk. That leaves 6,000 apps to browse through or about 200 per day.

Which would you rather do? Browse through the sometimes-slow loading Market on your phone OR bookmark a few sites and see what’s hot in seconds.

Here are a few of my favorite tools to discover new Android apps and games. Which sites do you visit for finding new apps to download?

1. AppAware – Stats

See app installs in real time.

Link: AppAware – Stats

AppAware is the most basic site on this list, but it is the one I visit the most. I normally browse it from my Android phone, but they also have their stats online.

Whenever an AppAware user installs, updates, or removes an application, that information is automatically reported to their server (and Tweeted if the user enables it). I regularly check their last hour report to see which apps are being installed the most. This allows me to instantly see what is hot and I discover something new to download almost every day.

It is also cool to browse the Top installed apps in the last day report. I can see that many of our readers are already using AppAware because when we post about a new app it will get a couple hundred installs.

Another interesting report is the Featured apps page. Apps are ranked by the number of times they are installed vs uninstalled which generates a quality score. This allows some apps that might not have as many downloads (but still has a loyal following) to be discovered by new users.

Make sure you install the matching app if you have an Android phone. Additional reports allow you to see the most popular apps by specific device and location.

Hits: Companion Android app, live data, automatic reporting, Twitter integration, QR codes listed on site, popular apps by device, popular apps by location

Misses: No app details, no way to temporarily “mute” service for privacy or exclude apps from reporting, slow load times on the app, no search feature

2. aTrackDog – Most Popular Apps

Filter apps by category, popularity, and price.

Link: aTrackDog Most Popular Apps

ATrackDog has been a long time favorite of ours. They gather their stats from an Android application that reports the versions of Android apps installed on a user’s device. This data is used to generate a most popular apps list that can be sorted by category, time, and price.

Combining different views allows you to create some pretty cool lists like top 100 apps for the last month, most popular paid games for the week, or new and updated apps.

The Android application is also the best at tracking version numbers of apps. It can track any app including betas, installed, uninstalled, or even those backed up on your SD card (aTrackDog(SD) required).

Hits: Most popular apps lists with advanced filters, companion Android app, keeps apps up to date, tracks uninstalled apps, tracks latest beta versions of apps, export app list for sharing, tracks non-Market apps, download beta apps from developers web site, built-in app manager

Misses: No premium version (non-ad supported), no QR codes on site, no live stats, some app listings are in Chinese, user has to manually check for updates

3. AndroLib – Top of the Day

Track the daily progression of apps.

Link: AndroLib – Top of the Day

AndroLib is primarily used to browse app listings, but they have some interesting stats that no one else provides. I like browsing their Top of the day report which has revealed some real odd apps.

Applications are ranked by pageviews on the site and updated once per day. Since the stats do not come from Market or installation data, this report regularly produces some odd results. These apps might not be always be good, but they are normally entertaining (Night Vision Goggles).

Hits: Extensive application detail, track daily progression of apps, discover weird apps people are viewing, app recommendations

Misses: No Android app, no mobile UI for site, popular stats can only be viewed by day (no week, month, etc.)

Taylor is the founder of Android and Me. He resides in Dallas and carries the Samsung Galaxy S 4 and HTC One as his daily devices. Ask him a question on Twitter or Google+ and he is likely to respond. | Ethics statement

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