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Apple gobbles up ChompBy Ryan Noik 24 February 2012 | Categories: news
In some ways, the unmitigated growth of apps on Apple’s App Store has been a double edged sword.
While iOS’s plethora of quality and useful apps is the platform’s greatest strength, the store’s 500 000 strong line-up has also made it increasingly difficult for users to discover new and relevant apps amidst all the offerings.
Apple though, is clearly aware of what is a growing problem, and thus the latest news about the Cupertino company is that it has acquired app discovery company Chomp.
According to TechCrunch, Apple’s plans for the company – which it has bought team and all for an undisclosed amount - entails a revamp of its App Store search and recommendations functionality.
According to 9to5Mac, Chomp chief executive officer Ben Keighran and chief technology officer Cathy Edwards have already joined the Apple fold, with Keighran now on the iTunes marketing team and Edwards assuming the mantle of senior iTunes engineer.
Taking a bite out of discovery
So what made Chomp such an attractive snack for Apple? The company, which was launched in 2009, boasts a proprietary algorithm that learns the functions and topics of apps. This enables users to “search based on what apps do, not just what they’re called”.
Typing ‘puzzle games’ into the app – which is currently still available on the App Store – brings up titles like Cut the Rope, Angry Birds, Sudoku and Ragdoll blaster – along with almost 12500 other titles that contain puzzle solving elements.
To date, Chomp’s functionality has been offered as a free download in the iTunes app store, alongside an Android version, similarly available for free on the Android Market, which was launched at the beginning of last year. Additionally, the app search engine is also available as a web portal.
To the point
To be honest, we find the acquisition exciting news, and hope that future iterations of iTunes will make finding apps a lot easier than it currently is.
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