A couple of weeks ago, we saw the launch of an app simply called In-App Search, as covered by TechCrunch. What it does is rather simple in nature. It delivers a search feature that goes through the other apps you have installed on your device and returns the results based on the content it finds. In other words, it’s a search engine for apps.
Although the results In-App Search returns in its current version are not perfect and can be improved significantly, the sole existence of this app means that we’re possibly entering a completely new direction in the mobile app market.
There’s just so many apps these days that users start to lose the grasp on what’s going on with most of them, so having a helper app of some kind can surely be handy.
Right now, In-App Search supports 33 iPhone/iPod touch apps and 24 iPad apps. When the user searches for something, In-App Search uses Google Custom Search to find relevant content and then translates the web URLs to app URLs.
The idea itself is great, but in a real life scenario In-App Search isn’t very functional. From the looks of things, it can only find content that’s already present on the web, and only then connect it with certain apps. It can’t, for instance, search various files or documents the user has on their device.
Those are probably some of the things that the developer will handle in the future versions.
But the main question is this: What does this all mean for affiliates?
Right now, not much, but if this sort of apps – in-app search engines – get any significant traction at some point, you will have to make sure that your apps are supported by them as well. However, this isn’t something you should put on your to-do list just yet.
It’s also very likely that before apps such as In-App Search manage to build a significant user base, Google or other main player will come up with a solution of their own, which can easily make all the other developers’ efforts obsolete.
Time will tell where this new direction goes from here, but it’s surely something worth to pay attention to.