With over a million mobile apps available today (and hundreds more coming to the market every day), how are you ever supposed to find the apps that will actually make your life easier? Not to mention, you can waste up to a hundred dollars downloading numerous $2-$5 apps, and still not have the right type that you were looking for.
All apps are not created equal, and it would take a lot of time, effort, and money to comb through the hundreds of thousands of apps to find the ones that you’ll use for daily life and entertainment. Luckily, a few Web developers were also tired of browsing thousands of apps, and developed clever app search engines to help you get the best apps, and get the most out of your purchases. In this eBook, we detail the four most popular app search engines – iTunes, Google Play, Appcurl, and Quixey – so that you can stop browsing apps, and start enjoying them.
iTunes is one of the most popular search engine for apps. It is a daily go-to source for most iPad and iPhone users. Their search results pull from the 600,000 database, and display all apps available, in every major category. The major downfall for iTunes is that if you have multiple devices, on multiple platforms, you’ll have to go somewhere else to find those same apps for Android. Another common misconception about iTunes is that the results shown by your search are the top apps, and that’s actually not the case. App ranks are based on star rankings and the most profitable apps. It doesn’t track the actual popularity of an app. Their method works great for well established apps (think Yelp!, Angry Birds), but for new apps or lesser known apps, this ranking system falls short. The interface returns quick results for their optimized apps
Google Play is one of the newest ventures of the massive Google empire, and is almost the mirrored opposite of iTunes, offering similar search and functions search engines to the market, and is almost identical to iTunes in the way that it functions, with one major distinction – this search engine will only be able to display Android apps. So, once you’ve downloaded the New York Times on your iPhone from iTunes, you can head over to Google Play and download the same app for your Android tablet. Google Play delivers super fast search response times, but like Google.com, the search results have less filters and can vary in relevance.
Appcurl is a new type of app search that defines the “popularity” of an app in a whole new way. They collect real-time analytics from social networks, web sites, and mobile data to track the real popularity of an app based on user comments and downloads, no matter how long the app has been on the market.
The quickly returned search results are more applicable to search terms using multiple filters in the back end to weed out less significant results. One of the best features on Appcurl is their ability to integrate Android and iOS apps in one place, saving you time and hassle running between sites. Additionally, Appcurl is also using a rich set of over 2,000 unique tags (not supported on any other app search engines) that creates granular groups of apps, rather than grouping them by categories only.
Quixey also has a unique type of search, different from Google and iTunes traditional searches, that they have called “Functional Search”. Their search network combs blogs, tweets, news, and review sites to learn more about each app can do, and what users are saying about the app. Top search results aren’t determined by popularity, they are determined by function.
Similar to the old search engine AskJeeves.com (later just Ask.com) where you would time in a question to get your search results, you simply type in what you’d like to do with your app, and they’ll find it for you. Quixey’s search results display pretty slowly, but it could be due to the fact that they comb so many different sites through the platform that it bogs the process down. Additionally, there doesn’t seem to be very many filters for the results.
So of course, if you download a fantastic app, you’ll want to tell your friends all about it – so they can play that game with you, or watch the same movie. Well, if you want to share an app you downloaded from iTunes, Google Play or Quixey, you’ll have to copy the link, log in to your favorite social media site, and the past an update. But, if you download an Android or iOS app from Appcurl, you have the instant ability to allow Appcurl to share your purchases on Facebook.
It’s the only search engine that also supports its own social graph with follow/followers relationships with other app users with whom you may share a common interest or any app experts. But probably the best feature about Appcurl, is that they don’t want you to waste money. You can see users who have downloaded the app, and reach out to them to ask questions about the app, and see if it’s really worth that hard-earned $1.99. The communication feature is supported by Appcurl’s companion site Appsociety. While all of the app search engines have their pros and cons, but for the adept social media user, the Appcurl search engine is definitely the way to go.
If you’re on your mobile devices searching for apps all day, and then using those apps all night, the last thing you want to be worried about is running home to your computer to download some more. With iTunes, Google Play, and Appcurl, you have the ability to download a mobile app that will let you access their search engine features. Quixey does not offer a mobile app search at this time.
The same rules apply, however, to mobile search, that iTunes and Google Play can only download their supported systems (iOS and Android respectively), while the Appcurl mobile search app allows you to download iOS and Android apps, as well as being able to view all of your installed apps from their internal web portal. One of the best features of the Appcurl android mobile management app is that it can “clean house” on your phone! It will track your app usage statistics, and recommend unused or memory-consuming apps.
While iTunes and Google Play are household brands, and Quixey offers some unique user features, it’s clear that Appcurl is on the cutting edge of blending social search with applications search.