How Do You Discover New Software?

First we want to call your attention to a new feature at Make Tech Easier: Software Discovery. We’re hoping that this feature will help our readers discover new software they wouldn’t have otherwise known about.

But this made us wonder what methods people currently use to find new software. Is it by word of mouth through your friends, social media, websites such as Make Tech Easier, Google, etc.? We started with our experts here by asking our writers, “How do you discover new software?”

Corbin finds his new software mainly through Reddit or “detailed searches based on what tasks I’m trying to complete.” If a task can be completed without him having to download an app, such as file compression, then he usually prefers to find sites online to take care of it.

Miguel usually goes by the philosophy, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” meaning if he has “an old-school piece of software that works exceedingly well,” he tends to “not look for greener pastures elsewhere.”

On the occasions he does need something new, he does a Google search to check out the reviews. He rarely uses software that isn’t recommended by others if the source code isn’t available for his review.

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Fabio agrees that he only looks for new software when he needs something in particular. He also keeps up to date with the latest on Android.

Ada reports she sticks to the same principle. However, if she happens to run into something that looks interesting or if she reads a good review, curiosity might bring her to try the app in question. “Recommendations from friends are also a way to source new software, but it’s only from friends I trust.”

Simon often discovers new software “by reading news articles, discussing them, or searching for software that suits my specific use case and exploring from there.” But he also looks to family and friends, as “nothing beats a recommendation from someone you trust,” whether they’re just talking about it being useful or whether they are suggesting it as a solution to your problems. “It’s no wonder word of mouth is so highly valued amongst emerging companies!”

Charnita explains she usually discovers new software “from reading about it in a news article in my RSS feeds or email newsletters,” such as her daily Pocket roundup. She also uses Google’s help. If she needs something in particular, she’ll “search for the best programs to do the job and will usually use roundups and reviews to help me find the best one for me.”

I love new software and apps; they keep things interesting. If I’m looking for something in particular, I’ll check out the App Store first and will then Google if I don’t find anything there. I also pick up new apps through word of mouth, from the news, and through reviews here at Make Tech Easier. And sometimes I just want something new, so I start looking wherever I can.

Do you use these same sources as our writing staff? Do you put a lot of faith in Google and word of mouth? Do you tend to not search unless you need something in particular? How do you discover new software? Let us know in the comments below.

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