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There are hundreds of thousands of apps out there, and thousands are free.

So how to track down the ones you want or need?

My favourite free app finder is:

App Hits

Why? It gives you a useful summary of what the app will do, and its top and bottom ranking over the past seven days.

But it's not my first port of call. That's Apps Gone Free:

Apps Gone Free

App Hits is not as simple as Apps Gone Free. The downside of AGF is a lot of not very interesting (or appealing) games, at least to me.

But many AGF apps are offered as freebies for only a short time. So I check on Apps Gone Free first. But I don't do much downloading.

Then there's AGF's parent App Advice. This has lots of serious commentary and good advice on competing products in an attractive format.

App Advice

I'm not a fan of the front page layout -- the important stories are jumbled together with the gossip and minor details, but I do like the longer pieces.

The group also puts out a useful aggregator called App Start:

App Start

It has a section on the first 10 apps to download, which I find hard to disagree with, except its recommended game. I'd pick Settlers of Qatan, and I use TuneUp Radio rather than Pandora.

Beware of iPad 101, however. It was written for earlier iOS versions and hasn't been updated yet. So gestures such as swiping left at the Home Screen won't bringg up the Control Panel -- you have to,swipe up from the bottom these days (and good luck with that).

Also rans

Then there's the mixtures like Free Apps:

You still have tap on the list to get an informative page, though. And there's no way to exclude Russian and Chinese offerings from the list.

Quite a few of the other aggregators I downloaded to my iPad seem to have gone out of business, or have become non-functional. The world of free apps is cut-throat.