By Tara Lane, Staff Writer
This year’s Apple “Rock and Roll” conference welcomed the return of CEO Steve Jobs. Rumors had been swirling for weeks prior to the event regarding the next Apple innovations. While Steve Jobs rolled out several major tech upgrades in the keynote address—a camera on the iPod nano and iTunes 9—one announcement that has made Apple fans especially excited is the addition of Genius for the Apps store.
The Genius feature is a way for users to find new music, and now apps, based on previous downloads. The tool can recognize interests and can create a unique, personalized, experience that is relevant and unique to each user. Previously, Apple provided the Genius feature within the iTunes store for MP3s only. The brilliance of bringing the feature to the Apps store has to do with the vast quantity of applications available. There are currently 75,000+ apps available for download, with the number growing every day. With all of these apps, it was difficult to sort through the clutter and find apps of interest quickly and easily.
The Genius feature will break through the clutter that has amassed in the Apple Apps store. Whereas many apps are left in the dust because they couldn’t be found, users will now have the chance to discover thousands of new apps, and developers will benefit as well. This will also bring about the return of many previously popular or “undiscovered” apps, an effect evidenced by the Chris Anderson’s Long Tail theory. When apps first debut, their popularity is at the top. As time goes on, customers lose interest, and the apps moves into the long tail. The Genius feature will help users discover relevant, buried apps they would not have found otherwise.
Apps downloads have surpassed 1 billion and are approaching 2 billion in the coming months. With the addition of Apps Genius, there is no doubt that that number will continue to grow. Apple’s following will keep the company on top, and they’ll only become more popular with each new product. What will they have in store for us next? Perhaps there will be an entire social network within iTunes, something that might have been a pipe dream years ago, but is entirely possible. No matter what, Apple will have always have something fresh and exciting—it’s what they’ve built their brand on, and what customers have come to expect.
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