App Store search is currently broken

The App Store search results are behaving strangely, specifically, a search for “Spotify” yields “SoundCloud” (and others that aren’t Spotify) and a search for many smaller apps yields nothing. I take this as an accidental early roll-out of pay-to-play search, perhaps. Here’s Craig Grannel‘s take:

All this makes me think is that, once again, the App Store needs a serious kicking. But also Apple needs to do a bit more stealing. I might grumble about Android and that Google Play is mostly full of garbage, but at least when I find something I want to install on my Android devices, I can do so from the web.

I agree that the the App Store needs a serious kicking, but I’m not sure that being able to install remotely would be enough. This search bug is unfortunately timed, because discovery is by far the most lacking component of the App Store. I don’t have a proposal for how to improve discoverability when there are so many apps, but given Phil Schiller is now heading things up at the App Store, I’m hopeful they’ll be an announcement at WWDC.

This reminds me of a fact I learned at an iOS meet up that deserve repeating: as app developers, Apple is our biggest dependency. Mostly this deal works out great: Apple take 30% and the hardware profit to promote and sustain the marketplace for 3rd party apps. But Apple is still a dependency, and this isn’t the App Store’s first year, it’s not Apple’s job to promote 3rd party apps, it’s your job as a publisher. If you don’t like that, there are other platforms.

Update: iMore have a hilarious addendum to this story:

It also seems as though the problem is impacting the Mac App Store as well, with Apple’s Xcode missing from search results.

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