Even before AppGratis was famously removed from the iOS App Store earlier this month, AppShopper, a similar app discovery service, had already been there: it was removed from the App Store late last year for similar reasons. It had been so long that I thought I would never see an updated version of the native AppShopper app back on my device again. But I was very happy to find out that AppShopper has recently returned to the iOS App Store with a completely new app titled AppShopper Social (free on iOS).
The team behind the app announced the news in a blog post on Sunday and sent an email out early this morning.
This is a brand new app, so it is a separate download (not an update). You will be able to keep your existing AppShopper app on your device as well.
AppShopper Social has a very familiar look and feel to it when compared to the original app. The app name has changed, which means I can continue to use the new app and the older version of App Shopper to find new apps to download. But the big difference in this version is that is no longer lists every app in the App Store in ranked order, which was too similar to what Apple does with its own App Store lists.
New Social Features
The main view is now composed of your Friend Stream which shows you apps that your fellow AppShopper friends have added to their Wish List or My Apps lists.
With AppShopper Social, you can maintain a Friend/Follower list. When you add a friend to your list, your personalized stream becomes composed of apps that that they have added to their own lists. While you can add any other AppShopper user to your friends list, we’ve created a few special accounts for you to get started with.
Same Old Features, Some Coming Back
Long time AppShopper users will be happy to know that the core Wish List and My App features remain in place. You can still get Push Notifications for updates and price changes to your apps. You can also search for any apps. Following the AppShopper user will get you a list of the AppShopper Featured apps.
A few features didn’t make the first cut. “What’s New” and “Top 200″ were temporarily dropped while we sought re-approval. We will see about returning those features in a future version.
Also, in the interest of time, we haven’t yet updated the iPad version yet. In its present form, AppShopper Social is not a Universal app. We will be working on a Universal update soon.