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Apple Begins Testing Related Search Suggestions Feature on App Store

As first spotted by TIME Planner developer Olga Osadcha on Twitter (via MacStories), Apple has begun testing a related search suggestions feature for some users in the App Store.

ios71_app_store_suggested_search
The new menu appears to overlay itself on top of an existing search query, giving users search suggestions in similar categories - for instance, searching for "calendar" gives related suggestions for "calendar planner" and "daily planner", while a search for "sports games" displays suggestions to "action games" and "RPG games".

The suggestions box also appears to extend to some searches for specific terms, as searching for "twitter" will result in suggestions for "news apps" and the like. Suggested searches can also lead to more sub-suggested keywords, which can be made up of general phrases and specific company and product names.

The results appear in a similar fashion to queries in Chomp, which was an app search startup acquired by Apple in 2012. It is therefore likely that Apple could be using some of the suggestion technology utilized in Chomp, as Apple's reported reason for acquiring the search engine was to improve the App Store search and app discovery. Apple added the single-tile styled result to the App Store in 2012, which was also based off of Chomp's layout.

Currently, Apple's new App Store search suggestions are not appearing for all users, however that is likely to change as the feature undergoes more testing. It is also possible that the new search suggestions will not require a full update for iOS, as Apple is expected to roll out the new feature on top of the App Store's existing interface.

Top Rated Comments

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17 weeks ago

This makes me realize just how crappy the App Store is. Even more shocking is that we haven't had this for the past 3 years.

The App Store has to be one of the worst designed products Apple has ever offered.


I think it definitely went a step backward when they changed it so that you can only see one result per page for an app. I see no benefit at all.
Rating: 18 Votes
17 weeks ago
This makes me realize just how crappy the App Store is. Even more shocking is that we haven't had this for the past 3 years.

The App Store has to be one of the worst designed products Apple has ever offered.
Rating: 17 Votes
17 weeks ago

Apple has to do a lot more to improve the App Store App Discovery..


Truth!

They can start by removing the repetitive "top grossing apps" and adding back "new apps" for all categories not just games.
Rating: 8 Votes
17 weeks ago
Apple has to do a lot more to improve the App Store App Discovery..
Rating: 8 Votes
17 weeks ago
This looks like a company with no expertise in search related queries overhauling their search related queries.
Rating: 8 Votes
17 weeks ago

This makes me realize just how crappy the App Store is. Even more shocking is that we haven't had this for the past 3 years.

The App Store has to be one of the worst designed products Apple has ever offered.


Really? Worse than .mac, pippin, Newton, g4 cube, hockey puck mouse, mobile me, ping, iTunes, OSX 1.0, and iWeb?
Rating: 7 Votes
17 weeks ago

I think it definitely went a step backward when they changed it so that you can only see one result per page for an app. I see no benefit at all.


I agree with this.

The benefit is, you get to see what the App does (with a snapshot of the App) before even having to tap on it.

The old way was just App icon and App name. If you didn't know what the App did based on that, you'd have to tap on the App page, wait for the description and content to load, and if you didn't like it, tap back, and sometimes lose your place in your search. Very inefficient.

I think the new way is better than the old way. It's not fantastic by any means, but it's still better.

People are just crying about change because it's not what they're used to.


I disagree with this.


Imagine your photos app always zoomed in to a single photo. Yeah, you can see a single photo in all its glory but the ability to quickly glance at the larger view is gone. The issue is that you should start your search wide and narrow from there with filters that make sense. You should never start narrow and just stay narrow.

If I'm looking for a home on zillow. It doesn't just show me the first home that was listed and then force me to scroll through millions of homes. It starts wide and I filter out location, then price, maybe square footage, number of bedrooms, bathrooms, etc. Then typically you get an at a glance thumbnail of all the properties that fit the filter. From there I can select the few that interest me enough to take a closer look.

Just imagine if all apps where done this way. If Instagram only had single photo view instead of thumbnails. If messages only had individual conversations that had to be thumbed through one by one instead of being able to see multiple threads. If Calendar only had individual days and you couldn't see months.

It was a big mistake to make that change to the app store.
Rating: 6 Votes
17 weeks ago


Imagine your photos app always zoomed in to a single photo. Yeah, you can see a single photo in all its glory but the ability to quickly glance at the larger view is gone. The issue is that you should start your search wide and narrow from there with filters that make sense. You should never start narrow and just stay narrow.

If I'm looking for a home on zillow. It doesn't just show me the first home that was listed and then force me to scroll through millions of homes. It starts wide and I filter out location, then price, maybe square footage, number of bedrooms, bathrooms, etc. Then typically you get an at a glance thumbnail of all the properties that fit the filter. From there I can select the few that interest me enough to take a closer look.

Just imagine if all apps where done this way. If Instagram only had single photo view instead of thumbnails. If messages only had individual conversations that had to be thumbed through one by one instead of being able to see multiple threads. If Calendar only had individual days and you couldn't see months.

It was a big mistake to make that change to the app store.



Thank you. Well stated.

:apple:
Rating: 5 Votes
17 weeks ago

This is actually great innovation to the overall App Store experience and nobody should be devaluing these ongoing efforts that will keep Apple on top of the world.


Hi Tim.
Rating: 4 Votes
17 weeks ago

The benefit is, you get to see what the App does (with a snapshot of the App) before even having to tap on it.

The old way was just App icon and App name. If you didn't know what the App did based on that, you'd have to tap on the App page, wait for the description and content to load, and if you didn't like it, tap back, and sometimes lose your place in your search. Very inefficient.

I think the new way is better than the old way. It's not fantastic by any means, but it's still better.

People are just crying about change because it's not what they're used to.


No. If you are searching for an App, and it's not the first to come up, the end user has to keep swiping endlessly to find it. How many give up after 5-10 swipes? This makes App Discovery more difficult.
Rating: 3 Votes

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