With several million Apps now available for mobile and tablet devices how do you find the Latvian ones?
You would have thought that by focusing on the two dominant players in this ever-growing mobile space (iOS – iPhone & iPad and Android) and going to their respective online stores (the App Store or Google Play) you could quickly unearth the Latvian gems. If only it was that easy.
There are literally hundreds of Latvian Apps in both the App Store and Google Play, but unless someone else has written or commented about the new App or you accidentally stumble upon it via the Web or the social networks they are not the easiest to discover. You could search for the obvious like entering “Latvia”, “Latvian”, “latviešu”, “Rīga” and all the other usual suspects, but not all developers bother to include these keywords when registering their new software creations. In an ideal world we would have a “Latvian” category alongside “News”, “Finance”, “Lifestyle”, “Travel”, “Education” and others, but I doubt that this would be a priority for either Apple or Google. You could even try to switch to the Latvia App Store (as opposed to the US App Store or Australian App Store) and conduct your search within this country in case the developer forgot to make the App available for a world-wide audience.
You could go websites and community forums such as macforums.lv, ipods.lv or androids.lv, check out the draugiem.lv social networking site or even try a major newspaper such as diena.lv and hope that the App has been featured in a review, been mentioned in a press release or the developer has used their online marketing skills to promote the new creation in these websites. But this is still largely a hit and miss affair.
You could download “Lietotnes latviski” from the App Store, a paid iPhone/iPad App that has been available for over a year and promises to curate and highlight the Latvian content for you. The infrequent updates to new Apps, the inability to track updates to existing Apps and the fact the developers won’t respond to repeated requests through their “Kontakti” option has me wondering whether the developers are still maintaining this App. The fact that the App itself has not been updated in over a year seems to confirm my suspicions.
So what else is available? Enter lietotnes.lv. This is a new online forum that I have recently created to solve some of the above mentioned challenges. It’s main purpose is to allow anyone to register a iPhone, iPad or Android App which has a Latvian theme or has been created by a Latvian developer. Both users and developers are invited to contribute. Even if you aren’t a developer, but have a great idea for the next Latvian App why not submit that as well. The online forum has been set up as an open Facebook page – if you don’t have access to Facebook then you can write directly to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will post on your behalf.
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