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Pinterest tackles iPhone, iPad app overload

Pinterest wants to do for iPhone and iPad apps what it has done for photos, recipes and other online tidbits and make it easier for people to find the right apps without slogging through the App Store.

Pinterest unveils app Pins, a way to pin your favorite programs for others to see. Pinterest

Pinterest wants to help you cut through the noise when it comes to finding the right iPhone and iPad apps.

On Wednesday, the social discovery start-up, which lets people "pin" photos, websites, products and other items on virtual boards for others to see, unveiled "app Pins," which applies the same idea to apps. Similar to how you look for recipes or photos by looking through themed boards, you can now search apps and download them directly from the Pinterest app without ever leaving to go to the App Store.

Pinterest is offering a potential solution to the long-standing dilemma of how consumers find the right app. With more than 1.3 million apps in Apple's App Store, there's a lot to wade through before finding what you want. Rather than relying on the App Store's recommended list or poring through its top-ranked apps, you can find themed Pinterest boards or rely on a friend's virtual board for suggestions.

Apple has already set up a Pinterest board for its App Store, while Pinterest has set up a staff picks board as well.

Pinterest, which boasts 70 million users, has seen its virtual clipboard business grow by helping people uncover unique items and websites for specific needs, such as the right dress or decorations for a wedding or the best recipe for a family meal.

The suggestions are considered useful because they offer easy-to-digest context: article Pins offer headline and story descriptions, recipe Pins list ingredients and cook times, and product Pins list price and availability.