Apple Asking Developers to Submit Keywords to Facilitate App Store Searching

Discussion in ' News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Jul 29, 2009.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    MacRumors has heard that Apple has begun requesting that developers add keywords to their App Store application submissions in order to facilitate improved searching. As detailed in a report from AppleInsider, developers are permitted to enter up to 255 characters' worth of keywords for each application.
    At its quarterly earnings conference call last week, Apple noted that it was working on improvements to App Store categorization in order to combat the "race to the bottom" in pricing that many users have complained is hampering developers' efforts to bring high-quality titles to the App Store at sustainable price points. Improvements to the App Store's search function appears to be a logical first step toward improving users' ability to find relevant applications.

    Article Link: Apple Asking Developers to Submit Keywords to Facilitiate App Store Searching
  2. DELLsFan macrumors 6502a


    Jan 6, 2009
    <<insert crass keywords for iFart apps here >>
  3. ArtOfWarfare macrumors G3


    Nov 26, 2007
    I do love the way Apple just keeps slaughtering your complaints.

    Honestly, this is Apple we're talking about. It seems like everyone who visits MacRumors regularly would be a huge fan of Apple and so would be accustomed to knowing that Apple doesn't stand around letting their products falter.
  4. sesnir macrumors 6502

    Sep 21, 2008
    Hmm... I didn't get an email from Apple yet, so thanks for the heads up MR.
  5. HiRez macrumors 603


    Jan 6, 2004
    Western US
    255 characters? What is this, 1975? Make sure you don't use Unicode for those keywords, it hasn't been invented yet.
  6. vettori macrumors 6502a

    Jul 10, 2008
    Italy, near Venice
    Actually I could insert no more than 100 chars for each app.
  7. andiwm2003 macrumors 601


    Mar 29, 2004
    Boston, MA
    seems a good opportunity for a new website that delivers good quality reviews and ratings for iphone apps and weeds out the useless redundant stuff.

    is there already such a website?
  8. SFStateStudent macrumors 604


    Aug 28, 2007
    San Francisco California, USA
    Categorization will definitely help out the search of ALL those apps.....:cool::cool::cool:
  9. idiosyncratic i macrumors newbie

    Oct 7, 2007
    I imagine the 255 characters thing is less a technical constraint than an effort to make sure developers don't just enter every single keyword they can think of. This is an effort to prevent a race to the bottom, and we already know from the internet that one of the ways people race to the bottom and generate more hits is to add excessive number of keywords that barely have anything at all to do with their site (or in this case, app). As long as apple is creating an arbitrary number of characters to limit excessive number of keywords, they might as well choose an arbitrary number that works well with databases.
  10. jdechko macrumors 68040

    Jul 1, 2004
    This is a good step forward. My other big issue with the App store is that it's impossible to find something unless you already know what it is you want, and that's on iTunes. This is magnified 100x on the iPhone.
  11. akac macrumors 6502


    Aug 17, 2003
    I entered 230 characters worth of keywords and I got:
    Keywords cannot be longer than 100 characters.
  12. t0mat0 macrumors 603


    Aug 29, 2006
    I guess they're going to have this vetted, so people don't add non-relevant keywords just to get search hits? Apple's mentioned publicly they're looking to help people find apps effectively - in our and their interest.
  13. jpyc7 macrumors 6502

    Mar 8, 2009
    Denver, CO
    Well, if the lack of unicode character support is true as someone mentioned, then it probably hurts the non-Roman alphabet developers the most. Anyway with 100k apps, that isn't that big a database and they should probably have a higher limit.
  14. buckyballs macrumors regular

    Dec 22, 2006
    The problem is most users now expect to pay $0.99, so it's come far too late. It's already a lost cause imo. It's a shame, because the App Store really could have flourished by now.
  15. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem


    Feb 19, 2005
    How do you figure? I don't expect to pay .99¢ for everything. Heck, I've paid $10 for something I found to be of consistent value.
  16. miketcool macrumors 6502a


    Jun 24, 2003
    Oh no! Developers have been doing this for other App stores, Apple must be copying!
  17. loesjoel macrumors newbie

    Jul 6, 2009
    And how many devs are now going to use those 100 characters up by naming other popular apps hoping to get a share of their search hits, rather than describe their own app?
  18. idiosyncratic i macrumors newbie

    Oct 7, 2007

    In fact, they have a lower limit. Which seems to support that it's more about limiting the number of keywords than any odd technical limitation. I'm also pretty sure unicode is allowed, and Hirez was just assuming that the character limit was something technical, but it'd be nice to hear from a developer whether that is or isn't the case.
  19. MacVixen macrumors 6502

    Jan 26, 2009
    Santa Cruz, CA
    Agreed. I have no issue paying $$ for quality apps.

    Maybe Apple should create a "$0.99 & Under" store - stick all those free and cheaper apps in there - still utilize this keyword thing, but also review and edit keywords as necessary, so as loesjoel states, developers just don't add keyword names for apps that are similar to theirs, hoping for hits.
  20. dejo Moderator


    Staff Member

    Sep 2, 2004
    The Centennial State
    Also, you get once you get a valid, less-than-100-char entry submitted, you can't change it again, even if your app is still "In Review". So, be careful with your one shot to nail it.
  21. countrydweller macrumors 6502


    Jul 16, 2009
    Don't know, but a trial period for apps would be even better.
  22. calisurfboy macrumors regular


    Feb 26, 2008
    I dislike using the APP store a lot. It is too cluttered and time consuming to find the things that I want. I think the app store should include sub-categories like how the movie industry has sub-categories for "action" or "Sci-fi" films. The keywords is a great start as well. Being able to sort by ratings, price, date released or entered app store, popularity, etc. I think also when browsing the apps, the option to have a "list" view instead of a "detailed gallery" view would be a nice addition as well.
  23. andiwm2003 macrumors 601


    Mar 29, 2004
    Boston, MA
    although a trial period would be good it does not help you with finding good apps. a good website with good reviews is the way to go. anyone?
  24. ArtOfWarfare macrumors G3


    Nov 26, 2007
    While there are some people like that, they'll just have to get used to things costing a bit more. The iDevices are still being sold to new customers pretty continuously so those new people will never notice the gradual increase in price from everything being 99¢ to a bit more $4.99 apps.

    I just hope we don't see a huge price rise with everything costing $9.99+... it's why I don't buy games for the Mac (except Blizzard and id products.) A lot of those suck just as bad as the 99¢ games in the app store but they cost a lot more.
  25. dwman macrumors 6502


    Nov 15, 2007
    San Francisco
    I imagine that would be difficult considering the 65k + apps, but run by the guys who started MR is a good place to start. They mostly watch for price drops/increases and have categorization. Not so much in the way of reviews.

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