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Share and discover iPhone apps with Yappler

Imagine if iTunes added a social component so your friends could see which apps you've downloaded. That's Yappler in a nutshell--but the service needs a little work.

At one time or another, most of us have recommended an iPhone/iPod Touch app to friends or family members--usually by tweeting, e-mailing, or Facebooking about it.

Yappler Sync takes that concept to the next level, allowing you to build a custom list of the apps you like and then share that list via the social solution of your choice.

At the same time, Yappler Sync helps you discover more cool apps by perusing the lists built by others.

All you do is install the eponymous utility, which is available for Windows and Mac, then build your list and decide how to share it.

Unfortunately, I discovered a few irksome aspects of the service, starting with this: Yappler builds your list based on every app in your iTunes library, not just those currently in residence on your iPhone. Thus I ended up with some 270 apps to cull--and they weren't even listed alphabetically.

Meanwhile, it's not immediately clear how you're supposed to "discover" other users' lists (unless they're shared with you directly). The Yappler site catalogs all the apps in the App Store (84,000 and counting, in case you're wondering), with a handy advanced-search option that lets you specify criteria like price and rating.

But the only way to find other users and their lists is by perusing the reviews for any given app, then looking for clickable usernames. And once you do find another user's list, all you really get is a batch of icons. So JoeAppUser has Buzzingo on his iPhone--how does that really enlighten me?

Of course, Yappler Sync is more about the social aspect of app-sharing, hence the ties to Facebook, Twitter, and the like. And it's nice how it can automatically update your list when you install new apps. Plus, it's free, so I can complain only so much.

On the other hand, this isn't much different from posting, say, a list of books you've read. Without knowing more about each book and, more importantly, why you liked it, where's the value?