Apple has been working hard in recent weeks to make App Store search results smarter and more relevant, reports TechCrunch. The outlet points to comments from high profile app developers, who began noticing changes to the search results earlier this month and a major algorithm update on November 12.
“I just searched Twitter on the App Store and Instagram is gone,” Contrast’s David Barnard pointed out on Twitter. “Tweetbot is #4, Twitterrific #5, and more relevant results overall.” Tapbots developer Paul Haddad also spotted the change, noting that the change has had a significant impact on his app searches.
In addition to returning similar and competing apps, a new suggestion function has also been spotted that takes into the account the ‘essence’ of an app—things such as features and on-page components. It’s a sizable shift from the previous App Store search engine, which relied heavily on developer-entered keywords.
Apple has long been criticized for the lack of discovery in the App Store, with users complaining it’s hard to find new apps and games that aren’t on the Featured or Top Chart pages, so it’s nice to see significant user-facing changes being made. It would seem that its slew of startup acquisitions are finally starting to pay off.