There are quite a few nifty app search engines out there, but Chomp is trying to be the Google of search engines, not the AltaVista. Mobile apps are everywhere you look, but when it comes to finding the right app on the Android Market, the experience isn’t exactly enjoyable. Chomp’s iPhone app offered not only app search but personalized app recommendations as well, making the startup one of the early services to offer that mixed functionality.
In February, Chomp expanded its service to Android, by developing some patented technology to make Android app search a cleaner, easier, and less painful process. (You can read MG’s coverage here.) Then, in May, Chomp partnered with Verizon to offer an app search engine for the mobile network operator’s mobile app marketplace, V Cast.
It may not come as a surprise, then, that Chomp is continuing to target the Android Market with its search engine, with Verizon Wireless again partnering with the startup to integrate app search into its Android phones. Chomp and Verizon today announced that Chomp will be providing search functionality for all apps in Verizon apps, its newly redesigned mobile storefront.
With this new integration, Verizon Apps customers will be able to search for apps based both on name and function, meaning that users will be able to search for “Angry Birds” as well as by general description, like “kid’s games” or “expense trackers”. Thus, Chomp’s proprietary algorithm takes app search beyond simple search by name, as it gathers a more complete description of the app from all the information available on the various app marketplaces, Twitter, Facebook, blogs, and websites, etc.
According to Chomp Co-founder Ben Keighran, the company spent over two years developing its unique app search formula and has applied for 11 patents based on these new app search technologies and user experience. Many of these pending patents are based on the supposition that app search is a completely different beast from web search and therefore requires an alternative approach tailored to the particular characteristics of app marketplaces and distribution. Verizon, the co-founder said, is of a similar mindset and was looking for a new solution to integrate with its forthcoming Android phones that improves on the old model. Chomp’s search fit the bill.
Thus, the startup’s app search engine will power all user search on Verizon Apps, beginning on the Android smartphones that will be released later this fall — building on its recent partnership that allowed Verizon Wireless customers to search for apps across V Cast Apps and the Android Market.
It seems that Chomp and Verizon are getting very cuddly, to say the least. It’ll be interesting to see what’s next. Stay tuned.