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Apple acquires app discovery start-up Chomp

Hot on the heels of reports that Apple is planning to revamp their iTunes Music Store and App Store sometime this year, comes news that the Cupertino, California based tech giant has acquired app search and discovery start-up Chomp, according to TechCrunch.

With over 500,000 applications currently residing in Apple’s App Store, app search and discovery is becoming a daunting task. Popular apps flourish, while new apps often get lost in the shuffle, a situation that app developers who rely on the store for revenue are undoubtedly not happy about. With the 1 billionth app download drawing near, the time for Apple to remedy this situation is now, and Chomp will help them do that.

Chomp is described as “the search engine that finds the apps you want.” The company has developed a proprietary algorithm capable of returning search results based on what apps do, and not on names and keywords. Chomp for iPhone launched in January, 2010, while the Android app landed a year later in February, 2011. The company also hosts a web-based search engine for iPhone, iPad, and Android apps.

TechCrunch’s MG Siegler has heard that Apple plans to use the Chomp team and software to “completely revamp App Store search and recommendations”, echoing reports from earlier this week. All of Chomp’s 20 employees are also expected to be joining Apple’s team.

In their short 3-year existence, Chomp has managed to raise over $2.5 million in funding, and is advised by the likes of Kevin Rose and Ashton Kutcher.

Chomp is but the latest in a string of Apple acquisitions, following Israeli flash storage company, Anobit. Apple is expected to launch their revamped iTunes and App Stores by years end, most likely at their annual Fall Music Event.

Update: A source has informed 9to5mac that Chomp CEO Ben Keighran and CTO Cathy Edwards are already working at Apple, with Keighran joining the iTunes Marketing team, and Edwards becoming a Senior iTunes Engineer.

Source: TechCrunch
Download Chomp for iPhone [App Store] or Android [Android Market]
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