App search engine competition heating up

With Google and Apple not focusing on App search, the door is wide open for competition and innovation.
Written by Joel Evans, Contributor on

When Apple's App Store became a big thing, people immediately thought that Apple was going to be the next Google. Surprisingly, the company hasn't shown much interest in enhancing its own search engine. It also seems that Google, a company known for search, has decided to stay away from searching Apps, too, with its own Android Market web-based interface still not supporting search at this time.

To be fair, both Apple and Google have dipped their toes in a bit, with Apple enhancing its own App Store listings by forcing developers to designate keywords at the time of submission, and Google enhancing its mobile searches back in June. But even these enhancements haven't been a true commitment to the power of App search. Now there are a few companies moving very quickly into a space that both Apple and Google have left wide open.

First out of the gate with enhancements this week was Chomp.com. The company has been around since 2009, but is now offering a detailed search on both its website and App. Not to be outdone, Appolicious has now announced two new websites: AndroidApps.com and yap.appolicious.com.

While this market continues to heat up, it seems that both Chomp.com and Appolicious have distinct differences. The most obvious difference is that Appolicious has Yahoo's marketing behind it, with the company having done a deal in April with the search giant that now has visitors to a number of Yahoo! properties seeing Appolicious content.

On the Chomp.com side, there are more than 400,000 active users, according to TechCrunch.

The big question in all of this is what will happen next? One would assume that more App search engines will pop-up, just like the old days of web search engines. Then there will be some consolidation through acquisition, and a few will survive. For example, Appolicious is already in tight with Yahoo!, and Apple has no problem purchasing companies to enhance its product offering. Also, let's not forget the other App search engines that have been around a while, including my favorite for all things Android, AppBrain, which can probably be picked up for far less than Appolicious or Chomp.

In the end, one thing is for certain: regardless of what happens next, there's bound to be plenty of innovation in this space, which is great news for the consumer.

Do you have a favorite way of discovering new apps? If so, share it below.

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