Did you find some variety of iOS device under the tree this week? If so, you've likely spent more than a fair amount of time trolling through the App Store in search of apps for your new toy. If you feel you've exhausted your search efforts in the App Store, give Hip by Kinetic a try. This free app points you toward new and interesting apps, pulling in recommendations from 10 tech blogs (CNET's own How To blog is not included, due to what I can only imagine was a gross oversight). It also lets you build a feed so you can see which apps your friends are using and alerts you to app deals.
To get started, you'll need to sign in via Facebook or Twitter. And if you let the app know your location, you'll get app suggestions based on your location. After signing in, you can customize this feed by selecting any or all of the 10 tech blogs to follow. After your initial selection, you can return to the list of blogs to make changes by tapping the Edit button when viewing your News feed.
Tap the button in the upper-left corner to view Hip's menu. Under the News by Location, you'll see three other feeds: Friends, Categories, and Deals. To build the Friends feed, use the Find Friends or Invite Friends buttons. Find Friends will let you find friends via Facebook or Twitter who are already using the app. Likely, you don't have many friends who fit this description. Thus, you'll want to use the Invite Friends buttons to invite friends via Facebook, Twitter, or e-mail. As an incentive, Kinetic will send you an iTunes gift card if you get friends to sign up.
The Categories feed lets you narrow your search, using such categories as Games, Education, Music, Photography, and Social Networking. The Deals feed displays free and discounted apps.
No matter which feed you are viewing, you get a scrollable list of apps. Each app displays a large screenshot or two. Below the screenshot are buttons not just to like but love the app, block the app from your feed, add it to your wish list, and view comments or add your own. Tap on the screenshot of an app to see a scrollable collection of high-resolution screenshots. And from this scrollable list of screens, you can tap the small "i" button to read the developer's description of the app. Tapping on the price or Free button takes you to the App Store. There is also a share button if you stumble across an app you absolutely must tell someone about on Facebook, Twitter, or by e-mail.