Mobile app discovery continues to be a challenge for most developers. Quixey (across platforms) and Google (on Android) are trying to address that challenge by indexing deep links within apps.
For its part, Apple appears to be trying to broaden App Store search with related keywords.
When entering search queries within the App Store, Apple already suggests related search terms. For example, when I enter the query “news” I also see the following search suggestions:
- news apps
- news channel 5
- news 12 mobile
- ness radio
- news 12
- news channel 3
This isn’t entirely helpful but it does offer some discovery potential. At the level of app results, developer Olga Osadcha (via Apple Insider) spotted new “related” queries. Apple appears to be testing this as a way to broaden potential search results or suggest related searches that would lead to more app discovery.
The red outline on the screenshot above shows the related terms. I was not able to reproduce the result in my own searches. Here’s what the same queries look like for me today: no “related” queries or categories.
Depending on the data source various surveys indicate that the average US smartphone owner has between 26 and 41 apps on his or her phone. However fewer than that are used on a regular basis.
According to Nielsen the top way that people discover apps is through searching the various app stores. Word of mouth is the second most common form of app discovery.