Managing the apps on your smartphone should be pretty straightforward. But when you have so many apps that you are no longer sure which one does what, it may be close to becoming an inconvenience for you.
Fortunately for app hoarders, a certain developer named Steve Taylor has created an app which lets users search through their apps easier and faster. Aptly called In-App Search, this app works like a Google search engine built solely for the purpose of searching information contained in all the apps installed in your mobile device.
How exactly does In-App Search do it? The answer is through "deep linking" technology. This involves creating hyperlinks, especially smartly constructed ones. Instead of just directing you to the intended page, links can now be made to adjust to the type of device you are using, or to what apps are currently installed in your handset. The links then display the information in the container that is most relevant or convenient for you, whether it is a mobile site, a desktop site, or an app native to the hardware you are using.
Deep linking is starting to become a useful technology for both startups and more established companies like Google, Facebook, and Twitter, just to name a few. When Google launched deep linking within its search engine in 2013, it allowed users of Android devices to search for and display content in their Android apps by clicking on links that lead to Google search results. However when using an iOS-run device, Google searches that are done through Safari, Apple's web browser, can not display content as Android devices do. Sometimes, a few of the links can launch the App Store app to enable quick downloading, but other than that, there is not much to be happy about.
Unless of course, you have the In-App Search app installed in your device. At the time of its launch, the app-searcher supports a total of 33 iPhone and iPod touch apps as well as 24 iPad apps in its index. In order to perform more efficient searches, Taylor uses Google Custom Search. Moreover, in order to download the searchable app catalog, configure search sessions, and change web URLs to app URLs, a specific server is used.
Because of technologies like Apple Smart Banners, Twitter app cards, and App Links, apps can easily be searched. Taylor admits though that some app URLs need to be converted in a more customized way.
As for users, they will find that the In-App Search app functions just like your regular search engine. You can type whatever it is you want to search (with auto-complete capabilities), hit the search or go button, and then instantly get search results displayed as links. When you tap a particular link, the app that applies to your link automatically launches, directing you to the page you want to go.
The In-App Search app is far from perfect. But if it garners enough attention and takes off, the potential for exponential improvement and fine-tuning is definitely there.
The In-App Search can be freely downloaded from iTunes.
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