With over 500,000 apps in the App Store, which have collectively been downloaded over twenty-five billion times, start-up companies with an innovative app to peddle can have a pretty hard row to hoe. In such a crowded venue it’s not easy to stand out from the crowd and entrepreneurs find themselves more and more obliged to inundate social networks, to pester reviewers, and to try and navigate the indecipherable alchemy of how to get included in the “New and Noteworthy” and “What’s Hot” categories on the App Store’s front page if they want their apps to gain traction and turn a profit.
Searching for apps can be just as frustrating. Sifting through over 1,000 currently available weather applications, for example, can be a tedious process at the best of times. And if you’re just searching by category rather than looking for a specific app, Apple’s shallow pool of keywords usually leaves you downloading apps you don’t necessarily want on a trial-and-error basis that often leaves you dissatisfied.
All of that is about to change, or at least we hope so. If you already have the app search engine Chomp on your iOS device, you know what we’re talking about. The good news is that Apple acquired Chomp last week and is expected to revamp the App Store search process based on Chomp’s model. According to Brad Hildebrand of 148Apps, “this isn’t just a case of Apple buying out a rival or trying to stifle competition, but rather they’ve seen what Chomp has done and would like to fully integrate it into the very DNA of the App Store.”
We’ve been using Chomp for a while and we love it for all sorts of reasons. Let’s say you’re looking for a fun and educational puzzle game for your kids. If you’re in the App Store, where do you start? There’s no “kids” category, so do you begin your search in Entertainment, Games, Educational, or just roll the dice and look up “kids’ puzzle games”? If you do the same on Chomp, it’ll break down your selections by age group (toddler, pre-schooler, etc.) and lead you much more quickly to what you’re looking for. And this is just one improvement among many.
This is excellent news for customers, but it’s also a much-needed boon for developers having trouble getting their app discovered. Good times ahead!