The Android Marketplace is a reasonably well established source to find what you’re looking for when browsing for apps. Unfortunately, its search result algorithms hold on to a little too much Google search engine science. You basically type in some words and the results are based on which apps feature those words ordered by Marketplace-review popularity. It works when you know the name of the app you’re looking for, but when seeking a specific service without a specific app in mind it’s a little tough.
There’s big investment in figuring out collective ways to solve the app market dilemmas plaguing service providers, OS engineers, and app developers alike. There are countless factors in app development, deployment, and marketing that have yet to be properly integrated into mobile app searches. For example, the latest HTC 4G Android phone is going to have a wider variety of app options than a two-year old 3G Samsung model running on Froyo. Yet the search function on the Android Marketplace doesn’t account for that difference.
It was reported earlier this week that the Quixey app search service recently finalized a deal with investors over $3.8 million allocated for research into improved methods of app search. According to Quixey, there needs to be ground gained in the area of functional searches, where users request apps that perform certain functions and the functions themselves determine the search results. But the app search service wants to take it a step further and integrate the web’s swaths of information on particular apps. That means the reviews from blogs, social networks, news sites, and elsewhere will be used to judge a particular app’s “value” in addition to the on-
At a time when fake reviews are becoming an increasing problem with online goods and services, the ability to incorporate countless reviews from countless sources is an amazing possibility when searching for mobile apps. Added to the ability to search based on function and on description and the world of mobile app searches could possibly be on its way to being turned on its head.
Only time will tell. In the meantime, the Android Marketplace continues to be a decent system of finding what you need for your Android device. If the guys at Google are as smart as they should be, they’ll take the hint and better the Android Market search before a better alternative beats them to it.