Samsung remakes its app store but it won’t make a difference

Oh Samsung.  Did you know the Korean giant has its own Android app store?  The friendly, local Samsung team asked us to put feecha on it and we were happy to oblige.  Just a few hundred downloads later over the next three months, we’ve been neglectful about uploading new version updates.

Perhaps our experience wasn’t the exception, because Samsung recently revamped its app store from the ground up.  It’s called Samsung Galaxy Apps now with a fresh coat of paint.  The cool thing about it supposedly is that it has “hundreds of apps” that are exclusive to Samsung Galaxy devices.

Guess how good those apps will be?  If you guessed “not very,” you’d be right.  The best Android apps won’t limit their potential market by being exclusive to a second-rate store; it’ll be on Google Play.

But the cornerplay aren’t arm chair analysts.  Here’s what we would do if we were Samsung: make it the most highly curated app store on the planet.  The boast is not about hundreds of thousands of apps; but just the best one thousand.  Developers who make it will show off because it’s that special, and will spend the time to keep their store entry updated.

How many apps do people use?  Most studies indicate about 30 to 35.  The problem most of us have today is too many apps; we’re too busy to learn which ones are good.  So why not an app store where Samsung hand picks the best 10 over a wider set of categories than Google is willing to specify because it doesn’t want to overcomplicate its store?  Like “the best 10 apps for technology news” or “the best 10 arcade racing games.”  Like a Wirecutter for mobile apps.

These selections won’t be based on popularity but quality.  They shouldn’t look like Google Play’s top lists; because as experts Samsung will be able to discover excellence before the mass market does.  They become talent scouts prowling bars for the next big music hit.

This way the Samsung store will mean something.  It will complement Google Play wonderfully instead of trying to compete with it.  Search Google’s store to find an app you already know you want; explore Samsung’s to discover what you may not know you want.

Wait, you might ask — aren’t there many app stores that already do this?  Yeah, but as the average consumer I don’t know who they are and I don’t care what they think.  But if Samsung is the curator…it’s Samsung bitch.  The Samsung brand carries weight.

Of course, Samsung won’t follow our suggestion.  Their app store was never about serving customers better, it was about pointless strategic competition with Google.  Oh Samsung.

Note: An edited version of this appeared as The Weekly Cornerplay on e27

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