Apple buys app search and discovery engine Chomp

By on February 24, 2012, 12:30 PM

Signaling that a major revamp to its App Store is coming, Apple on Thursday confirmed reports that it had acquired app discovery engine Chomp for an undisclosed sum. The San Francisco-based startup offers a free iOS app and website that allow users to search the App Store using a proprietary algorithm to figure out what apps actually do (rather than relying simply on categories or keywords) and presents relevant results.

An Android version is also available for download on the Android Market while a partnership with Verizon sees Chomp powering the carrier's app search interface in a number of their phones. We wouln't be surprised to see those efforts yanked after the acquisition is complete and any pending contract expires, however.

With over half a million titles and approaching 25 billion downloads, iit’s getting harder and harder to discover new apps in Apple's store. Developers have become increasingly reliant upon getting their apps featured on the store's main page for success, and in many cases, useful and well-designed apps never make the top lists.

It's unclear when we might see Chomp's influence in the App Store on iOS devices. Although recent rumors suggest a revamp for the iTunes Store is imminent, Apple only stated that the company often buys smaller technology companies but generally don’t comment on their purposes or plans.

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