The winners for the Appys Awards 2012 have just been revealed online, but the “long and star-studded night” might as well have been named Mobile Awards For The Usual Suspects. As someone who sees a lot of mobile apps and games, the final list is flat-out depressing, simply awarding big brands and seemingly entirely ignoring everything else. Regarding the nominations, the Appys site states:
What our staff don’t know about smartphones isn’t worth knowing. Naturally, we harnessed their expertise to bring you a shortlist of nominees across 12 categories in February earlier this year. All that was left was for you, the British public, to vote for your favourites.
Therein lies the rub: the public vote. This isn’t curation—it’s a popularity contest, rewarding the apps people know about already, rather than the best. It beggars belief in 2012 that Angry Birds should be winning any mobile gaming prizes, and that Facebook could win anything with its increasingly broken mobile apps. And while I am a big fan of the new responsive BBC News website, its news app is, at best, an oddball. There are a few choices on that list that don’t make me want to bang my head repeatedly against the desk, but they’re exceptions.
It only gets worse on looking at the nominations section of the website. It’s astonishing to see YouTube listed as ‘best music app’, but when you see it beat Spotify, GarageBand, Shazam and TuneIn Radio, you know this awards contest is garbage. In short: GAH.