Learn About a Specific App
While browsing in the App Store, any time you see an app that looks interesting, simply click its icon to access complete information about it, including a detailed description, its price, information about various versions of the app, screen shots, customer ratings, and customer reviews.
The description offered for each app is written by the developer. It should provide an overview of what the app does, who it's designed for, and what key features or functions the app offers. Keep in mind that these descriptions are written to hype up and sell apps.
The price of each app is also listed here, as part of the "Buy App" icon located under the app's graphic icon. As you scroll down, you'll see actual screen shots from the app itself. This is extremely helpful for determining how professional the app looks.
You can preview the quality of the graphics, the layout of the menus, and sample what the user interface of the app looks likeall of which is very useful information when deciding whether or not to purchase a particular app.
Once you purchase an app (or download a free app), you have the ability to rate it between one and five stars. When you look at a specific app's ratings from other users, pay attention to the overall average rating, as well as how many people have rated the app.
If an app has hundreds or thousands of user ratings, and most have four or five stars, chances are the app is pretty impressive and functions exactly how it's described, with few or no bugs or problems. Beware of apps with very few user ratings or with very mixed ratings.
In addition to paying attention to the star rating for each app, spend a few minutes reading the detailed reviews of apps written by your fellow iPhone or iPad users. Again, watch out for apps that only have a small handful of very positive or negative reviews (as they could be written by the apps' developeror its competition).
You should also be wary of apps with lots of extremely positive and negative reviews. This often means the app is good, but doesn't function exactly how it's being described.
At the bottom of each app description is a section called "Customers Also Bought," which lists a handful of similar or related apps you might also be interested in learning more about.
Unless there's a specific app that you know by name and are interested in purchasing and downloading, as you browse through various apps, don't purchase the first one you encounter that boasts it will do what you want or need. Chances are, you'll find a handful of similar apps from different developers that offer similar functionality. Some of these apps may turn out to be better than others.
If you can't decide which app to buy based on the description, screen shots, ratings, and reviews, purchase and download several similar apps and test each of them in order to discover which best meets your needs.
Since most apps cost under $5.00, purchasing two or three apps in order to find the perfect one is a small investment in a tool that could potentially improve your productivity, save you time, keep you better organized, or allow you to more efficiently communicate or surf the web, for example.
As you become a more savvy iPhone or iPad user, and the device becomes a more relied upon tool in your personal and professional life, you'll probably discover you will reply heavily on a few key apps. So investing some time learning about the different apps that are out there, and testing out a few of them first-hand, are worthwhile in order to help you ultimately get the most use out of your iPhone or iPad.