iOS 7 teaser (iPhone 5s ad 003)

Apple is tweaking the App Store’s search algorithm pretty much all the time so people have an easier time finding a needle in a haystack.

Three months ago, Apple deployed an improved algorithm for iTunes and App Store rankings, boosting the relevancy of search results up a notch.

And back in the summer, the iPhone maker gave the App Store storefront on iPads a new lefthand bar for easy alphabetical sorting of your Purchased items.

It’s now come to light that Apple’s team has once again made the App Store search better by automatically correcting for your mistakes and other misspellings. That’s right, you no longer have to type in the exact app name when searching as the App Store will now list apps with fairly similar names…

As noted by Sarah Perez of TechCrunch, “sources familiar with the matter” confirmed to them that the App Store search engine changes went into effect a few weeks ago.

Mobile app marketer Fiksu corroborated these changes.

A recent change to Apple’s App Store search engine now leads to improved search results for misspelled queries with small typos, we’ve learned. In addition, searchers looking for an app they know by name, but are unsure if it has spaces in the title, are also seeing better results.

For example, those looking for the highly ranked “QuizUp” game wouldn’t have found it before if they had typed in “Quiz Up” with a space. Now it appears.

Here are some misspelled queries and the associated App Store results as of yesterday, November 24, versus March 17 of this year.

appstoresearch2

SearchMan CEO Niren Hiro noticed there appears to be a cap of approximately 2,220 results on the misspelled words at the moment. This is why such misspelled keywords as ‘shoping’ and ‘pocker’ now return fewer results than before.

“This is likely the result of the App Store now correcting for the misspelling instead of looking for the exact keyword match,” the article reads.

I’ve actually noticed a couple days ago that the App Store successfully found the right apps based on my misspellings, but never gave it much thought.

Developers who sell oddly-named apps on the App Store will no doubt love Apple’s work here as the improved algorithm should help boost their download count.

Considering Google’s Play store is light years ahead of the App Store in terms of correcting for poorly spelled words and search in general (shocker: search is Google’s thing), I’m glad Apple saw to rectify its weakness.

  • Adam Bowman

    Finally!

  • chumawumba

    This is something that should have been there from the start.

    • ✪ aidan harris ✪

      Wrong! The main feature of a store that sells apps or indeed any store should be quickly purchasing whatever it is that the store sells. Do supermarkets always make it easy to find what your looking for? Search algorithms are always evolving and can’t be included from the start. It takes years of development to build a good search algorithm just ask Google…

      • Raashid

        Not always, but they should (like Wal-mart); it’s profit maximizing as it makes spending your cash more convenient…

  • on3simpleclick

    I think Apple needs to give the App Store a reboot & completely wipe the entire thing clean. Start from scratch. The amount of bad apps; apps that are designed to mislead & trick people into buying them; is absolutely ridiculous. Apple needs to protect its users; set up a database of reputable developers/companies & have a system in place that screens new apps that are only there for malicious intent.

    • Jonathan

      Goodbye Google Maps, see ya Facebook, bon voyage, YouTube.
      Get my point? Why not just try and be careful with what you purchase and read the reviews? Saved me several bucks.

      • on3simpleclick

        There is a huge majority of casual iDevice users who wouldn’t bother checking into the validity of an app. I’m not one of them.

      • Falk M.

        Why bother then? Can’t fix stupid and they will always find ways to spread their personal info etc…

        All you could do is deploy measures that hurt functionality freedom of choice for everyone.
        In fact, that’s already happening. Sandboxing has some SERIOUS drawbacks coupled with the lack of many APIs that would be useful on top of the continuous removal of certain APIs, like viewing system logs or app logs.
        Viewing the console whilst the errors occur on the go? Not anymore my friends…

        I think there should at least be a set of trusted Apple supplied tools in such a case, in others they should just have a bit less strict rules and tougher screening on apps that go “beyond”. (I’m not even asking for much here)

  • Jonathan

    I still dont no how too spel restuarant. I keap reliing on spel chek.

    • chumawumba

      Dolan is that u?

      • Jonathan

        Mabee.

  • Alberto Martinez

    Yes finally I hated it when I tried to search for something and it would turn up with no results just for a missing letter or misspelled word.

  • Who the hell tries to spell news with a ‘z’?

    • Falk M.

      Bad example, but the point stands and should be clear to anyone.