Apple Silently Working to Improve App Store Search for iPad and iPhone Apps

One issue that most Apple device owners will complain about is the poor quality of the search engine in the App Store. It has always been difficult to find apps relating to a certain term.

According to new information from TechCrunch, Apple has started making subtle changes to its App Store search engine that will make iPad users happy.

Apple acquired Chomp back in February and many believed that the iPad maker was looking to get some much-needed help in redesigning its app search and discovery system. Chomp touts its program as “a proprietary algorithm that learns the functions and topics of app, so you can search based on what apps do, not just what they are called.”

That has definitely been a problem in the App Store. Have you ever searched for the term “gas” in order to find an app that will help you find a gas station nearby? Fart apps and driving games would pepper the list, while the apps you really wanted to know about would be down at the bottom, or not on it at all, even when sorting apps by relevance.

Thanks to Chomp, the App Store’s search engine will no longer list apps that include certain words in the title at the top. Instead, a search for gas will produce a lot of travel, navigation and productivity apps at the top with games and fart apps receiving lower priority.

Interestingly, it looks like the App Store search engine still needs an iPad update. From my own experiment, I searched the term “gas” from my iPad. The list of iPad apps started with a fart app at the third spot and a driving game at the sixth spot in the search. However, right below it, the iPhone apps had the first six apps listed as legitimate gasoline-related apps.

It will probably take time to get the, more than 500,000, apps in order. One of the reasons the App Store search engine has always been such a pain is the fact that there are literally dozens of new apps launched every single day. It’s got to be hard to keep track.

If you are looking for an app to help you celebrate this upcoming Independence Day, do a quick search and you’ll see that apps related to what you are actually looking for will show up on the populated list more often than they did before. You will see virtual fireworks apps, greeting card makers and games relating to the Fourth of July.

This new way of populating searches will be a benefit to iPad users everywhere. No longer will you be presented with a bunch of puzzle games when you search for the term “music.” Now, you’ll be more likely to get what you want: a list of apps that let you listen to music on your iPad. It’s about time.

About Lory: Writer of all things app related, traveler of the space-time continuum, baker of really great cookies. Follow me @appaholik