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I often look for "best" application among other similar. Of course, what is best for me, is not necessarily best for anyone else.

When I look for "best" application for desktop operating system, I usually use wikipedia comparison pages, where I can clearly see facts in sortable table, then I can copy it to excel and reduce them with my requirements. Depending on amount of software, it takes about 10-20 minutes.

However, I fail to find similar technique for Android applications.

For example, last time I have been searching for softkeyboard, I have installed about 20-30 keyboards, activated each one, then checked for functionality and note it in excel manually. After 4 hours I have make decision, that I am happy with, but it's far too much mindless clicking.

The only way of filtering apps in play store I can see is by category and then by ex. downloads or rating, but thats definitely not what I want. I have found website like appcrawlr.com that allows searching descriptions and opinions, that helps, but I need more explicit constraints.

This question is general, as I would like to avoid such problems in future, but to be more specific, I'll use my current example. I am trying to pick "best" call recording app. I would like it to be able to upload it into cloud of my choice. Nearly every soft like this claims in description, that it can do it. So I have picked bunch of apps and installed them. Then, on closer look I have noticed, that few of them do have option of uploading, but only in pro version (that I do not want, because I do not want google to have my credit card).

On the other side, not every feature of application is noted in description.

tl;dr How can I filter apps in play store, by features they offer? I cannot believe, I am first person that would like feature like ebay or amazon offers in play store. Like, for example, I want to find all applications, that record calls, and upload them by sftp or ftps, or other example, I would like to find pdf readers, that offer page cropping - how can I do it?

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Currently this is not possible.

You can view apps by category, and search by keywords, but you cannot see individual features of an app.

When you use Wikipedia, you're comparing software that does the same task, so it is easy to compare. However, if every app listed every feature in a standardised way, there would be literally thousands of options and it would be overwhelming for the majority of users.

I'd recommend reading descriptions, play store reviews as well as reviews from online sites like Android Central and Android Police etc.

Rather than comparing tables of specs, I'd suggest just using an app that looks the best, and sticking with it until you decide it's not right. If you leave a constructive review, the developer will be able to improve it.

PS, you can use PayPal or other payment methods so that Google doesn't have you're card details.

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  • It doesn't have to be inside Play Store, maybe there is some external site, that allows such filtering? (Android Central and Android Police do not) As I stated, I really would like to avoid relaying on opinion of others, I need more reliable way, like tables, graphs of partial order or at least unified text notes of features. Also, I do not agree with "if every app listed every feature ... there would be literally thousands" - ebay and amazon lists millions of items, and still can filter an sort them, not be EVERY feature, but by those most popular/important one. – xinus01 Feb 10 '16 at 23:04
  • The developer's don't get the option to list individual features, so any site would have to be managed manually and features would have to be entered for each app. The closest thing I can think of is appbrain.com – SteveEdson Feb 10 '16 at 23:08
  • Well, I can think of automated script, that downloads top 50 apps, decompiles them and searches for word "FTP", if it occurs more than 5 times then assume that this app supports this feature. However, I am afraid, that You are more or less right - let me wait few days for others answers, if I won't find anything better, then I will accept Yours. – xinus01 Feb 10 '16 at 23:29
  • No problem. That script would have to be very specific to detect every feature in every app though. E.g. an alarm clock feature might only reference clock and time without using the word 'alarm' anywhere. – SteveEdson Feb 10 '16 at 23:37

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