3 startups trying to find the right mobile app for you

Even with a glut of app discovery services and search engines available and improved features coming in Apple’s App Store, there are still more and more startups looking to solve the app recommendation problem. We take a look at new entrants: Xyologic, AppHero and AppAide.

Today in Mobile

Today’s must-read is this thought-provoking post from The Wall Street Journal that compares the app industry to the early days of the U.S. music market. The massive inventories in Apple’s App Store and Google Play have created a market where supply far outpaces demand, the piece argues, and “the power of scale, expertise and efficiency will eventually exert itself” as it evolves. That’s probably true, but the analogy to the music industry fails to recognize that the surfeit of apps includes countless pieces of trash and copycats made by shady developers out to make a few easy bucks — not to strike it rich. A shakeout may be on the horizon, but I’m not expecting any seismic changes in the app market anytime soon.

Is Windows Phone finally turning the corner?

Windows Phone has spun its wheels since its launch 18 months ago, but the operating system is beginning to show signs of life. And Microsoft is positioned to build on its mobile momentum later this year with the release of Windows 8.

Today in Connected Consumer

Facebook gave potential investors something more to worry about yesterday than Mark Zuckerberg’s hoodie. According to its amended S-1, Facebook is seeing a shift in how users access the site from the desktop client to mobile devices. Unfortunately, the company said, “We do not currently directly generate any meaningful revenue from the use of Facebook mobile products, and our ability to do so successfully is unproven.” The problem is that the social network is unable to serve up as many ads to mobile users as it can to those using a desktop, which means its ability to monetize its user base through advertising is eroding. At the same time, Facebook announced a new app store to make it easier for users to find and access apps, which could eventually emerge as a new profit center to supplement ad revenue. In any case, it’s yet another reminder to investors that Facebook’s business model is still very much a work in progress.