Apple has has acquired the mobile app search engine Chomp, Business Insider reports via TechCrunch.
Although Chomp has not yet commented on the move, Apple will apparently use Chomp’s technology to improve their own App Store.
Chomp currently searches for iPhone, iPad and Android apps on its Web site and its own mobile applications. Users can also see the top 100 apps and which apps are currently trending. The search engine can also find relevant results besides an app’s name.
With over 500,000 apps in Apple’s store, Apple seems to want to make it easier for users to find apps they want, hence the acquisition.
The move could complicate a deal the company has struck with Verizon to be the default app search engine on the Android phones the company sold.
Verizon also chose Chomp to be part of their Application Innovation Center in San Francisco, a research center dedicated to creating new mobile applications for business and consumers that invites independent developers in to polish their ideas.
“Search is hard, but working with the Verizon team was incredibly easy. They moved quickly and were very flexible. Frankly, it was more like working with a nimble start-up than a large corporation. The fruit of all that labor is that Chomp is the perfect matchmaker for Verizon customers searching for the right app at the lowest price,” Chomp CEO Ben Keighran said in August.
The company also launched Chomp Search Ads in private beta last fall, which allows developers to bid on keywords and have their ads show in mobile app search results.
Keighran said in December that the company had an exciting year again, and that the company would become more relevant due to the “appification” of the Web. “At Chomp, we pride ourselves on providing the best, most relevant search results; we have a lot in store for 2012 in our continued efforts to alleviate app overload."
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