Facebook app center: hands on

Here is a first look at Facebook's App Center, the social network's take on an app store.

By Ian Paul, PC World |  Mobile & Wireless, Android, apps

Perhaps the App Center is just a tool to help you find more things to do with Facebook to keep you connected to the social network, a concept that would be sure to please the company's new investors. Or perhaps App Center and its app approval process will eventually replace Facebook's current wild west approach to apps that has bred many malicious apps on Facebook.com.

Or Maybe Facebook's goals include all of the above. Like I said, it's anybody's guess.

App Center is available on your desktop as well as mobile devices. Here's a quick look at the desktop version of App Center.

Categories

When you land on the App Center, you see some of the usual things you'd expect on any app store: banner placement for featured apps, a list of apps recommended for you, as well as top rated, trending, and top grossing apps. There are also lists of apps your friends are using that tells you how many of your friends are using a particular app and even who they are. Some people may find that creepy, but it is handy if you're looking for a Words with Friends opponent or someone you can trade labor with in Farmville.

The App Center landing page also offers three main ways to view apps in the left column of the lading page: all apps, only Web apps, or only mobile apps. Below that App Center organizes the app catalog into ten main categories: Games, Entertainment, Facebook, Lifestyle, Music, News, "Photos & Videos," Sports, "Travel & Local," and Utilities. You can also find an entire section devoted to Timelineapps, which are basically apps that can post to your profile page and can be featured in the right-hand tiles under your cover photo.

Most of App Center's categories are self explanatory, but two that might be confusing are Facebook and Utilities. Facebook is just a listing of all the Facebook-branded apps that are available such as Facebook for iPhone or Android, Facebook Camera, Facebook Messenger for Windows and so on.

Utilities are a collection of App Center's miscellaneous section including productivity apps such as SmartSync for iPhone that integrates photos and other information from Facebook into your contacts. Utilities also includes so-called communications apps such as Path, TinyChat, eBuddy, as well as Quora, Family Tree, and Match.com.

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Originally published on PC World |  Click here to read the original story.
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