Search For Android Apps With Chomp

As the number of apps in the Android Market increases, it becomes increasingly harder to find apps that you want. Google has been incrementally improving the process by providing things like the web version of the market and the new Android Market app, but both use Google’s search engine and as a consequence you often see results that don’t match what you are seeking.

Google’s app search is optimized to search on meta data terms such as the name of the app or the developer’s name, but it doesn’t seem to do as well when searching for app types. For example, go to market.android.com and enter restauraunt guides in the search box. Twelve results appear on the first page of the search results, but three of those include travel guides and not restaurant guides.

Chomp is a search engine that is optimized to find apps based on their function and topic rather than on the name of the app. A version of Chomp has been available for the iPhone, and it is now available for Android phones. When I did a test search of restaurant guides using Chomp on my Nexus S, every one of the first ten results related to restaurants. As you can see in the screen shot, you can filter the search based on whether you want to see paid or free apps.

Chomp displays search results in individual cards, and you swipe left and right to move through the cards. While this approach to providing search results is graphically appealing, I would prefer that the results are first showing in list form so that I can see more app names and then be able to drill down into more detail. As you browse each card, you can tap the graphic icon to see a screenshot, and the information icon to see a description of the app. If you chose to install the app, tap the Get It button and the the Android Market loads for you to install the app on your phone.

I can’t say that Chomp is perfect. For example, a search on food includes WordSearch, aniPet Aquarium, and Hangman Classic Free in the first ten search results, which do not have any relationship to food. However, Chomp does provide some related search terms at the bottom of the screen that you can tap, so for example, Food And Nutrition appear as a related option and when you tap that you get better search results.

Chomp also provides their apps search capabilities on the web site, and that has the added benefit of search for iOS and Android apps at the same time. The top three restaurant guides on the Chomp web site include six free iOS apps, two free Android apps, and one paid iOS app. Both of the three Android apps are also available on the iPhone. You can filter the web search to one of the two platforms.

If you are frustrated with the Android Market, either on the phone or on the web, give Chomp a try. The app is free and available now in the Android Market.