Improved App Store Search

This week TechCrunch broke the story about Apple’s improvements to App Store search.

This new change is focused more on how apps are returned when users type in keywords to find an app – something that’s becoming a more common way to find apps in a crowded app store featuring over a million mobile applications. According to studies, at least half of iOS apps are found through search.
— TechCrunch

I’ve often thought App Store search was pretty embarrassing for Apple. My own particular canary-in-a-coal-mine on this issue is Tweetbot. When I needed to rebuild my new iPhone a few months ago. I searched “Tweetbot” in the App Store and the results came up empty. This is one of the most popular Twitter clients in the App Store and yet searching its explicit name did not find it.  Searching “Twitter”, gave me a long list of Twitter-related applications but despite scrolling for a long time, Tweetbot did not show up. I finally gave up and left the App Store. Ultimately, I found the application by going to the developer website and clicking the app store link from there. Crazy.

As a test, this morning I went into the App Store and again searched “Tweetbot”. The application immediately showed up. Even better, the more generic search term, “twitter” returns Tweetbot as the fourth entry, right above Twitterrific, another popular third-party Twitter client. These are good signs for the new App Store search.