Fixing App Store Discovery

John Voorhees, MacStories:

The App Store grew like wildfire. By January 2009, there were about 15,000 apps. Though modest by today’s standards, 15,000 was already enough apps that it felt like there was one to fulfill every possible need you might have. Apple celebrated the success of the App Store the next month by launching a TV ad campaign featuring the catchphrase ‘There’s an app for that.’

Fast-forward to today and the scope of the App Store of 2009 feels quaint by comparison. There are now approximately 1.5 million apps in the App Store – a 100-fold increase in just seven years. But while the App Store has been an undeniable success for Apple by almost any measure, that success has come at a cost. With so many apps in the App Store, discovery has become such a serious problem that today’s version of Apple’s 2009 catchphrase may as well be ‘Where’s the app for that?’

Of all the things I wish to see at WWDC next week, improvements to search — across the board — rank highly on my proverbial list. The company has come a long way in a very short period of time, but search still isn’t good enough; searching on both the App Store and Maps, in particular, remain among the most frustrating experiences on any of Apple’s platforms.