Apple Goes Chomp-ing To Improve App Discovery

by Gaurav Kheterpal on February 24, 2012

When you’ve excess cash in the bag, the temptation to shop is irresistible. Even though Apple’s App Store continues to be a monumental success story for the app economy, it’s far from perfect. With over 550,000 apps listed, it’s often a pain in the …, well, hands to find what you need. The best thing with Apple though, is that it knows its weaknesses better than anyone else.

To that effect, Apple has reportedly acquired Chomp, an apps search startup.  While sources quote Chomp confirmed the news, Apple responded by saying “We buy smaller technology companies from time to time and generally don’t comment on our purposes or plans.” Though that may seem like an arrogant remark when coming for other companies, it doesn’t matter if you’re the world’s most valuable company heading towards 25 billion total app downloads.

Chomp, based in San Francisco, first came into limelight in November 2009 when it announced seed funding of $2.5 million from Ron Conway, Aydin Senkut, David Lee, Auren Hoffman, Brian Pokorny, and BlueRun Ventures. The company launched in early 2010 with iPhone app search and now covers Android apps as well. The company also currently has a tie-up with Verizon to power the wireless carrier’s Android app searches.

Chomp along with Quixey represent an emerging league of tools called app search engines. The idea is to search for apps by what they do rather than what they’re called. These app search engines deploy proprietary algorithm that scans app descriptions, reviews and capabilities to generate analytical data that helps people find the apps they need. In contrast, Apple’s algorithm uses keywords that developers can add as metadata to their app descriptions.

Till date, the Apple Store has been heavily criticized by users and developers alike for poor app discoverability. Users complain that it’s a nightmare to find an app — particularly if you don’t know you want it. Although it’s broken down into categories, the keyword-based search approach has serious pitfalls. On the other hand, newbie developers complain that it’s difficult to get publicity for their apps.

It’s believed that Chomp executives are already working for Apple in iTunes Marketing and as Senior iTunes Engineers.

Apple’s last high-profile acquisition was Siri, a technology that proved to be a game changer for the iPhone 4s. If Chomp’s capabilities are anything to go by, it may well make its way into a future version of iOS alongside the obvious integration into iTunes & App Store search. What do you think?

Did you like this post? TheTelecomBlog.com publishes daily news, editorial, thoughts, and controversial opinion – you can subscribe by: RSS (click here), or email (click here).

Written by: Gaurav Kheterpal. www.digitcom.ca. Follow TheTelecomBlog.comby:RSS,TwitterFacebook, or YouTube.

Previous post:

Next post: