or Connect
AppleInsider › Forums › Mobile › iPhone › Apple tweaks App Store search algorithm to better handle misspellings
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Apple tweaks App Store search algorithm to better handle misspellings

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
The App Store's famously finicky search tool has reportedly received an update designed to return more accurate results when search terms or app names have been misspelled.

App Store search


The changes were put into production "a few weeks ago," according to TechCrunch. Executives with App Store-related analytics and marketing firms also confirmed a recent shift in the storefront's search results.

Data compiled by SearchMan CEO Niren Hiro suggests that the changes bring mixed returns. A pre-update search for "resteraunt" returned only a single result, while a post-update search for the same term returned just two results out of the thousands of apps bearing the properly-spelled keyword "restaurant."

A similar before-and-after query for "hotwls" produced a markedly different outcome, however --?where the App Store showed zero results prior to the update, it now returns 2,200 results --?a cap which also appeared in the new revision -- for hotel-related apps.

Overall, misspellings appear in a very small percentage of App Store searches, according to separate data from App Store optimization startup Straply. Founder George Lawrence told the publication that for many search terms, "the volumes [of typos] are so low, they round to zero."

Developers have long complained about problems with discoverability in the App Store, and this new round of algorithmic changes is the latest in a succession of attempts by Cupertino to improve the situation. Most notably, Apple acquired app indexing startup Chomp in 2012 for a reported $50 million.
post #2 of 19
Nice. Long overdue.
post #3 of 19
More improvements would be welcomed. Search is one of the last great mysteries Apple needs to crack. Since Google's search algorithm has never been patented, yet remains secret, perhaps Apple could pull a "Schmidt" and get some sleeper executives hired at Google.

Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

Reply

Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

Reply
post #4 of 19
Those of us with Lysdexia thank you Allep.
Been using Apple since Apple ][ - Long on AAPL so biased
nMac Pro 6 Core, MacBookPro i7, MacBookPro i5, iPhones 5 and 5s, iPad Air, 2013 Mac mini, SE30, IIFx, Towers; G4 & G3.
Reply
Been using Apple since Apple ][ - Long on AAPL so biased
nMac Pro 6 Core, MacBookPro i7, MacBookPro i5, iPhones 5 and 5s, iPad Air, 2013 Mac mini, SE30, IIFx, Towers; G4 & G3.
Reply
post #5 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

More improvements would be welcomed. Search is one of the last great mysteries Apple needs to crack. Since Google's search algorithm has never been patented, yet remains secret, perhaps Apple could pull a "Schmidt" and get some sleeper executives hired at Google.

I agree, then go the next step and start an Apple based search engine all their own. Imagine a free search system that doesn't track you or sell your information .... from Apple.

I wonder what Apple might call such a thing should it come to pass ... got to be some good ideas out there folks .. let's hear some suggestions 1biggrin.gif
Been using Apple since Apple ][ - Long on AAPL so biased
nMac Pro 6 Core, MacBookPro i7, MacBookPro i5, iPhones 5 and 5s, iPad Air, 2013 Mac mini, SE30, IIFx, Towers; G4 & G3.
Reply
Been using Apple since Apple ][ - Long on AAPL so biased
nMac Pro 6 Core, MacBookPro i7, MacBookPro i5, iPhones 5 and 5s, iPad Air, 2013 Mac mini, SE30, IIFx, Towers; G4 & G3.
Reply
post #6 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

Those of us with Lysdexia thank you Allep.

I went out with Lysdexia once, cute girl. lol.gif
"Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example" Mark Twain
"Just because something is deemed the law doesn't make it just" - SolipsismX
Reply
"Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example" Mark Twain
"Just because something is deemed the law doesn't make it just" - SolipsismX
Reply
post #7 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post


I agree, then go the next step and start an Apple based search engine all their own. Imagine a free search system that doesn't track you or sell your information .... from Apple.

I wonder what Apple might call such a thing should it come to pass ... got to be some good ideas out there folks .. let's hear some suggestions 1biggrin.gif

What would be the benefit to Apple of a search engine that generates neither money nor information? It would be nothing more than an extremely risky marketing stunt - if the engine is worse than its rivals, Apple takes a media bashing and wasted billions building it, and if it's better they get some good PR plus the joys of supporting a rapidly growing search engine infrastructure indefinitely, losing vast amounts of money in the long run. 

 

To get anything out of it, Apple would have to harvest user information and use that to provide other services...which is exactly what Google does that makes people so unhappy. Without that, Apple would essentially be pouring money into a black hole and getting back either terrible PR, or a small amount of good PR and an increase in the money they need to pour in. There is no reason they'd ever do this - despite what the analysts would like you to think, Apple is not run by mentally incapacitated monkeys who have no idea what they're doing.

post #8 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by DarkLite View Post

What would be the benefit to Apple of a search engine that generates neither money nor information? It would be nothing more than an extremely risky marketing stunt - if the engine is worse than its rivals, Apple takes a media bashing and wasted billions building it, and if it's better they get some good PR plus the joys of supporting a rapidly growing search engine infrastructure indefinitely, losing vast amounts of money in the long run. 

To get anything out of it, Apple would have to harvest user information and use that to provide other services...which is exactly what Google does that makes people so unhappy. Without that, Apple would essentially be pouring money into a black hole and getting back either terrible PR, or a small amount of good PR and an increase in the money they need to pour in. There is no reason they'd ever do this - despite what the analysts would like you to think, Apple is not run by mentally incapacitated monkeys who have no idea what they're doing.

Hey calm down ... I was being semi-lighthearted there ... my reason for Apple doing it? To f#$%^k with Google 1smile.gif Why else? Plus I was hoping for a few Apple centric funny names ...

Seriously though ... Apple's eco system has a few so called 'non profit' elements that cost Apple a fortune for no gain using your logic. Maps and Siri come to mind immediately ... There is sometimes a bigger picture.

p.s. No analyst has ever influenced my thoughts but I appreciate your concern. 1biggrin.gif
Been using Apple since Apple ][ - Long on AAPL so biased
nMac Pro 6 Core, MacBookPro i7, MacBookPro i5, iPhones 5 and 5s, iPad Air, 2013 Mac mini, SE30, IIFx, Towers; G4 & G3.
Reply
Been using Apple since Apple ][ - Long on AAPL so biased
nMac Pro 6 Core, MacBookPro i7, MacBookPro i5, iPhones 5 and 5s, iPad Air, 2013 Mac mini, SE30, IIFx, Towers; G4 & G3.
Reply
post #9 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post

I went out with Lysdexia once, cute girl. lol.gif

OGM, you too?
Been using Apple since Apple ][ - Long on AAPL so biased
nMac Pro 6 Core, MacBookPro i7, MacBookPro i5, iPhones 5 and 5s, iPad Air, 2013 Mac mini, SE30, IIFx, Towers; G4 & G3.
Reply
Been using Apple since Apple ][ - Long on AAPL so biased
nMac Pro 6 Core, MacBookPro i7, MacBookPro i5, iPhones 5 and 5s, iPad Air, 2013 Mac mini, SE30, IIFx, Towers; G4 & G3.
Reply
post #10 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

OGM, you too?

See I around gets she.
"Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example" Mark Twain
"Just because something is deemed the law doesn't make it just" - SolipsismX
Reply
"Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example" Mark Twain
"Just because something is deemed the law doesn't make it just" - SolipsismX
Reply
post #11 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post


Hey calm down ... I was being semi-lighthearted there ... my reason for Apple doing it? To f#$%^k with Google 1smile.gif Why else? Plus I was hoping for a few Apple centric funny names ...

Seriously though ... Apple's eco system has a few so called 'non profit' elements that cost Apple a fortune for no gain using your logic. Maps and Siri come to mind immediately ... There is sometimes a bigger picture.

p.s. No analyst has ever influenced my thoughts but I appreciate your concern. 1biggrin.gif

My apologies. It's often hard to tell when people are making a joke and when people genuinely mean something :(

 

I'd argue that Siri was an attempt to provide something pretty new that none of its competitors really had, while Maps was made to deal with Google's refusal to provide feature parity with Android. In contrast, web search is pretty ubiquitous and uniform across all devices, so I don't really think there's a case on either of those fronts for an Apple search engine. 

 

(Speaking of which, I quite like iSearch as a name because it perfectly describes what it does - "I search with iSearch")

 

And this is probably a controversial thing to say, but I'd also argue that viewing Google as the enemy rather than Android is a mistake. If Google were to vanish right now, Android would steamroll on regardless. To a device manufacturer, the advantage of Android is that it's a low-cost operating system that's got a wide range of features / APIs / customisability (since it's open-source), meaning that they can put together device software the way that they want to without the costs associating with developing / maintaining your own OS. If Google wasn't around, the manufacturers would either fork Android (and thus nothing would change), or they'd all maintain it jointly (and still nothing would change). Apple need to focus on taking down Android (not Google), and going after peripheral things (to Android, at least) like Search wouldn't help them any more than going after Google+ would.

post #12 of 19
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post
Those of us with Lysdexia thank you Allep.

Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone exists], it doesn’t deserve to.
Reply

Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone exists], it doesn’t deserve to.
Reply
post #13 of 19
Quote: "If Google were to vanish right now, Android would steamroll on regardless."

I strongly recommend people who think Android is open or that Android is a single fork to read the ArsTechnia article. Just google the name of the article: "Google%u2019s iron grip on Android: Controlling open source by any means necessary. Android is open%u2014except for all the good parts." I would like to cite the closing paragraph:

"While Android is open, it's more of a "look but don't touch" kind of open. You're allowed to contribute to Android and allowed to use it for little hobbies, but in nearly every area, the deck is stacked against anyone trying to use Android without Google's blessing. The second you try to take Android and do something that Google doesn't approve of, it will bring the world crashing down upon you."
post #14 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by DarkLite View Post
 

What would be the benefit to Apple of a search engine that generates neither money nor information? It would be nothing more than an extremely risky marketing stunt - if the engine is worse than its rivals, Apple takes a media bashing and wasted billions building it, and if it's better they get some good PR plus the joys of supporting a rapidly growing search engine infrastructure indefinitely, losing vast amounts of money in the long run. 

 

To get anything out of it, Apple would have to harvest user information and use that to provide other services...which is exactly what Google does that makes people so unhappy. Without that, Apple would essentially be pouring money into a black hole and getting back either terrible PR, or a small amount of good PR and an increase in the money they need to pour in. There is no reason they'd ever do this - despite what the analysts would like you to think, Apple is not run by mentally incapacitated monkeys who have no idea what they're doing.

 

Although I mentioned the search engine thing in jest, what makes you think a real Google competitor wouldn't be a moneymaker? Currently, Microsoft loses an enormous amount of money on search, but they don't have a top selling phone or tablet also. iPhones and iPads are a conduit for search. If Apple permanently kicked Google off iOS and/or the desktop Google would have a big problem.

Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

Reply

Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

Reply
post #15 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by 22July2013 View Post

Quote: "If Google were to vanish right now, Android would steamroll on regardless."

I strongly recommend people who think Android is open or that Android is a single fork to read the ArsTechnia article. Just google the name of the article: "Google%u2019s iron grip on Android: Controlling open source by any means necessary. Android is open%u2014except for all the good parts." I would like to cite the closing paragraph:

"While Android is open, it's more of a "look but don't touch" kind of open. You're allowed to contribute to Android and allowed to use it for little hobbies, but in nearly every area, the deck is stacked against anyone trying to use Android without Google's blessing. The second you try to take Android and do something that Google doesn't approve of, it will bring the world crashing down upon you."

I read that when it was first published, and it's an extremely interesting article. What I'd say here is this: compared to the work of writing an entire OS and every app for it from scratch, starting from AOSP saves you literally years of work. Attacking Google will do little to slow Android's momentum, because its success is related to things other than the quality of the OS itself. Manufacturers use it because it's easy and they can customise the bits they want to quickly, devices ship with it because it's cheap, and consumers buy it because there's Android devices at every price point (which isn't the case for iOS or Windows Phone). Slowing down development on the core OS by going after Google won't really change that. It'll make it more worthwhile for manufacturers to look at other OSes, but as we're seeing with Windows Phone it's very hard to grow an initially unsuccessful platform into a successful one. The "if Google vanished" line was basically an exaggeration to illustrate my belief that even if they somehow drove Google out of business it wouldn't result in a sudden market share reversal.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post
 

 

Although I mentioned the search engine thing in jest, what makes you think a real Google competitor wouldn't be a moneymaker? Currently, Microsoft loses an enormous amount of money on search, but they don't have a top selling phone or tablet also. iPhones and iPads are a conduit for search. If Apple permanently kicked Google off iOS and/or the desktop Google would have a big problem.

A real Google competitor would - but what he was suggesting was a search engine that was "free" and "that doesn't track you or sell your information". With no tracking of users and since you're not selling the right to advertise to third parties, you can't make any money via advertising. I can't think of a way of monetising a service that doesn't charge the user anything but also doesn't advertise in any way - hence my criticism of his idea. In order to compete with Google you've pretty much got to step entirely onto their turf in terms of user data handling / tracking to make advertising on your platform attractive and have a product that's a similar level in quality. Replacing the default map application with one of dubious quality was bad enough for Apple; replacing the default search system with one that isn't every bit as good would be far worse since far more people use search than maps. I don't think that the initial setup cost plus the cost of maintaining the system makes up for the risk of dissatisfaction.

post #16 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by DarkLite View Post

I read that when it was first published, and it's an extremely interesting article. What I'd say here is this: compared to the work of writing an entire OS and every app for it from scratch, starting from AOSP saves you literally years of work. Attacking Google will do little to slow Android's momentum, because its success is related to things other than the quality of the OS itself. Manufacturers use it because it's easy and they can customise the bits they want to quickly, devices ship with it because it's cheap, and consumers buy it because there's Android devices at every price point (which isn't the case for iOS or Windows Phone). Slowing down development on the core OS by going after Google won't really change that. It'll make it more worthwhile for manufacturers to look at other OSes, but as we're seeing with Windows Phone it's very hard to grow an initially unsuccessful platform into a successful one. The "if Google vanished" line was basically an exaggeration to illustrate my belief that even if they somehow drove Google out of business it wouldn't result in a sudden market share reversal.

A real Google competitor would - but what he was suggesting was a search engine that was "free" and "that doesn't track you or sell your information". With no tracking of users and since you're not selling the right to advertise to third parties, you can't make any money via advertising. I can't think of a way of monetising a service that doesn't charge the user anything but also doesn't advertise in any way - hence my criticism of his idea. In order to compete with Google you've pretty much got to step entirely onto their turf in terms of user data handling / tracking to make advertising on your platform attractive and have a product that's a similar level in quality. Replacing the default map application with one of dubious quality was bad enough for Apple; replacing the default search system with one that isn't every bit as good would be far worse since far more people use search than maps. I don't think that the initial setup cost plus the cost of maintaining the system makes up for the risk of dissatisfaction.

Well 'he' thinks Apple often makes massive invisible earnings from apparently free things ... I would never count Apple out of search totally although you make many good points.
Been using Apple since Apple ][ - Long on AAPL so biased
nMac Pro 6 Core, MacBookPro i7, MacBookPro i5, iPhones 5 and 5s, iPad Air, 2013 Mac mini, SE30, IIFx, Towers; G4 & G3.
Reply
Been using Apple since Apple ][ - Long on AAPL so biased
nMac Pro 6 Core, MacBookPro i7, MacBookPro i5, iPhones 5 and 5s, iPad Air, 2013 Mac mini, SE30, IIFx, Towers; G4 & G3.
Reply
post #17 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post



What's funny that about?

BTW: before anyone accuses us of flicking the a mockeded ... I am slightly dyslexic and don't being mind pull legged ... 1smile.gif
Been using Apple since Apple ][ - Long on AAPL so biased
nMac Pro 6 Core, MacBookPro i7, MacBookPro i5, iPhones 5 and 5s, iPad Air, 2013 Mac mini, SE30, IIFx, Towers; G4 & G3.
Reply
Been using Apple since Apple ][ - Long on AAPL so biased
nMac Pro 6 Core, MacBookPro i7, MacBookPro i5, iPhones 5 and 5s, iPad Air, 2013 Mac mini, SE30, IIFx, Towers; G4 & G3.
Reply
post #18 of 19

I've experienced a similar problem with the Apple Maps app. If I do not spell a search term exactly (E.g., Macys vs Macy's, Smart & Final vs. Smart and Final vs ???), I get "No results found."  I often have to resort to searching on Google Maps, which usually finds what I am looking for. 

post #19 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by cm477 View Post
 

I've experienced a similar problem with the Apple Maps app. If I do not spell a search term exactly (E.g., Macys vs Macy's, Smart & Final vs. Smart and Final vs ???), I get "No results found."  I often have to resort to searching on Google Maps, which usually finds what I am looking for.

The search in Apple's Maps is one of the things that bother me sometimes. I've never really had problems with misplaced POIs or roads and I find the handling of the app actually better than Google Maps. But Google is just ahead in terms of search. So I saw this article here with great interest and hope that the know-how will soon make it over to other Apple services (maps, mail ...)

 

If just entering fractions of an address in Apple Maps will point the user to what he was actually looking for, that could be HUGE for maps. It's what helps us a lot on Google Maps (imo).

 

d

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: iPhone
AppleInsider › Forums › Mobile › iPhone › Apple tweaks App Store search algorithm to better handle misspellings