App Store search now corrects for small typos and misspelled queries

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.


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.