If you’ve read any of my posts, you’ll realize I’m not a big fan of the Windows Store in Windows 8. It is clearly one area where I believe MS has dropped the ball in Windows 8. Thankfully we have 3rd party developers to come along and fill the void. I have reviewed a previous app of that nature (Great Windows Apps) and now I present another very worthy app to help in finding the gems hidden in the rubble of junk apps.
App Stars approach is to separate the apps into charts. You can still find categories within those charts, but it uses the data from the store to provide a more organized method of discovery for new apps. I enjoy the charts provided, I think there are some great variations available and possibly more types to add later. What I would like to see though is the use of semantic view. Each category would show a few of the apps contained therein rather than just one app. It could make better use of typical Windows 8 UI styling.
Each chart will show all categories free & paid by default. You can then narrow the choices using the drop-downs to pick only those categories you are interested in at the time. To do the same thing in the Windows Store, you have to go find the category, click on its title, then change the drop-down to sort by newest (and hope it doesn’t crash as mine seems to do quite often). Here you click on the chart you want, choose your category and hit “Get Apps”. To switch app categories, in the Windows Store you have to go back, find the next category and do all the sorting, etc all over again. Here you just pick the new category and “Get Apps”. Very easy. True now you can’t switch Charts easily, but even without that option, this is a better way to enjoy looking for new apps.
If there is one chart that rules them all, this is it. Price Drop! You simply don’t see this in the Windows Store. It might be the perfect time to pick up that app you have always wanted to buy now that it is cheaper. Not only does this app help with finding new apps, it helps find apps you may want to pay for. Great for developers and end users alike. As with all chart views you get the app’s rating and here it just adds the former and current price.
The view of individual apps within this app is similar to the Store but missing the reviews. The reviews might be unnecessary considering the rankings, but they can be a helpful tool in your decision to buy an app. Thankfully this information isn’t far away because you can click on the button to open the app within the Windows Store. The description for the app is given, and while it doesn’t indicate it, the app will only show you apps pertaining to your device. If you use an RT device you won’t see x86 only apps and vice versus – another nice way to minimize the clutter from the Windows Store. You are also provided with buttons for the developer’s website and to share the app.
Search – no search as you can easily do that in Windows Store, no need to duplicate it. Share – as you can see above, it will share the web address for the app (even though there is not currently a web-based store for apps, links exists for developers) and an image is provided. Settings – none.
This app does not currently support being snapped. The Windows Store doesn’t either though, so no reason the app should support it.
Currently this option is available, but the notes on the app indicate it is coming.
I’m not sure how the developers manage to get the information for the listings and frankly I don’t care, the app rocks. I’ve made a couple of suggestions in this review, but one I might add is the ability to add favorites so categories you check more frequently could be favorited and perhaps provide views for the charts you want to check the most. It is just an idea, frankly the app works quite well as it is and can help you find good quality apps more easily. You won’t be sorry to use this free app.
Download size: 666 KB