The Android Market, now Google Play, has never been great for app discovery. You’ve got the top app lists and some editorial recommendations, but finding goodies beyond the most popular big name apps has always involved some digging.
Well, Google has now introduced a “Recommended for You” section. As you can see from the screenshots it pops up when you load Google Play on your phone and recommends a list of apps you might like. It appears to be basing them on what you have already downloaded and what your friends have been +1’ing on Google+. In fact it gives you a wee explanation beneath each recommendation that tells you why it has been recommended. You can also tap the cross out icon on the right of each app recommendation to remove it if you don’t like the look.
You’ll find the “Recommended for You” section appears on Google Play online as well, as long as you are logged in to your Google account. It includes movies and books you might like alongside apps. If you haven’t bought any content yet and your friends aren’t recommending anything then it looks like it just defaults to best sellers.
I guess like most of these systems, the more stuff you download and rate, the better it will get at recommending other content you might enjoy. What do you think? Are your recommendations looking good?
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Just updated the app and no recommendations yet, so I tried the web version.
So far, not so good. The only recommendation based on my G+ friends was for the second book of the Hunger Games. Not a fan. It’s also not a stretch to imagine that being like one of the “sponsored stories” constantly showing up on my Facebook wall because “20 of your friends liked Outback Steakhouse!” etc.
The only app it recommends is Flixter because I have Netflix installed, and the rest is just best sellers. It recommends that one Gotye song every radio station plays, whose album I’ve had since about xmas and which I’m starting to get tired of now that I hear it 20 times a day in the office. Interesting album, but that one song is overexposed… thanks, Glee. Anyway, that’s the closest they’ve come to anything I’m interested in.
But I’m not too avid of a G+ user and don’t go out of my way to let Google know what I like, either.