The business and culture of our digital lives,
from the L.A. Times

« Previous Post | Technology Home | Next Post »

Yahoo App Search site, AppSpot app helps users sift through iOS, Android apps

June 16, 2011 |  9:53 am


Yahoo debuted two new products -- the Yahoo App Search website and AppSpot app -- on Thursday aimed at helping users sift through the thousands of apps available in Apple's AppStore and Google's Android Market.

"The ratings and reviews in app stores help, but with 425,000-plus apps in the Apple App Store and 200,000 apps in Android Market, discovering new apps you like isn't easy," said Anil Panguluri, Yahoo's product director of mobile search, in a blog post.

"And what's more challenging -- if you don't know the specific name of the app you want, finding the right app out of the tens of thousands of possibilities requires multiple searches, downloads and general uncertainty about the quality of the app you download," Panguluri continued.

That's where Yahoo's App Search and AppSpot come in, the Sunnyvale-based company hopes.

"Mobile users rely on apps to continuously be informed and entertained, yet discovering new apps on a daily basis is still much more difficult and less intuitive than searching for Web content on the PC," Panguluri said. "At Yahoo! Search, we think there is a better way -- both for discovering personally relevant apps on a daily basis and finding the utility apps that help get the job done -- regardless of the type of device or platform."

Yahoo App Search is a new website, a search engine for apps, that can be accessed through any Web browser but is designed for use while on a PC.

The App Search site navigates through apps for Apple's iOS operating system and Google Android OS and, just as searching within those respective app store's own search engines, returns suggested results based on keywords and descriptors a user types into a search bar on the site.

The AppSpot app, Panguluri said, offers the same benefits of the App Search site, but does so in the form of an app for iOS or Android.

In both products, searched-for app results offer descriptions, prices, user ratings and screenshots. Yahoo will also offer up recommendations called Daily Personal Picks based on what apps you may like based on what apps you've already purchased.

Yahoo is promising "more precise results" that "using Yahoo!’s sophisticated search technology, quickly zero-in on an app by showing matching app titles as well as related keywords as you type," Panguluri said.

Once an app a user wants to download is found, Yahoo offers up QR codes and hyperlinks that then take users to either the Apple AppStore, iTunes, or Google's Android Market, where they can purchase the app they want.


Yahoo buys IntoNow, maker of TV 'check-in' app for iOS devices

Yahoo to keep personal search data for 18 months instead of three months

Yahoo Search Direct produces instant results, site previews, as a user types

-- Nathan Olivarez-Giles

Images: Screenshots from Yahoo's AppSpot app for iOS. Credit: Yahoo