Apple Buys App-Discovery Search Engine

Charlie Szold, USA Today
Friday, 24 Feb 2012 | 12:30 PM ET
Apple iPhone
Getty Images
Apple iPhone

What good is it to have 500,000 apps in your app store if you can't find any you like?

Apple is trying to bring order to its app store by purchasing app-discovery engine Chomp.

Chomp uses a proprietary algorithm to "learn the functions and topics of apps." You can then search the app store with broad phrases like "tip calculators" or "chat" and find great, relevant results, according to Chomp's website.

Chomp has app search engines for Apple's iPhone and iPad app stores, and also for the Android market. Apple paid about $50 million for the company, according to unnamed sources quoted by Bloomberg Business Week. Apple confirmed the acquisition yesterday, but did not comment on the price or reason for purchase.

"We buy smaller technology companies from time to time and generally don't comment on our purposes or plans," an Apple spokeswoman told Bloomberg Business Week.

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