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is unveiling an Android mobile app search engine that will enable people to find what they’re looking for more easily as they sift through different digital stores around the world.

Berlin, Germany-based Xyologic has announced the closed beta test of its tech, which the company has especially geared toward helping users find great games. The aim is to give users a new type of experience as they explore apps stores for the best stuff available.

The team, headed by Matthaus Krzykowski (full disclosure: he is a former VentureBeat mobile consultant), has been creating the app search engine since 2010. Krzykowski said, “Mainstream smartphone users understand that apps let them do great things on their phones and tablets; however, most don’t know what their options are.”

The Google Play store for Android has more than 493,000 apps in it. Finding exactly what you want among them can be a nightmare. Discovering the right content is the challenge of the modern app era. The logical answer is a search engine, which solved the problem of finding what we need among millions of web sites.


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“We don’t claim to ‘solve’ any of the big issues of our industry,” said Xyologic co-founder Zoe Adamovicz. “But we believe we have some new, better answers. We are releasing our service in closed beta to show some of the work we have done so far, get feedback, and continue our work.”

Since the summer of 2010, Xyologic has been gathering information on how users search for apps, what queries they type, and how they behave. The company created an alpha version of its app search engine that was integrated with its partners. That generated millions of queries.

The conclusion was that demand is high for a powerful app search engine that must understand vaguely expressed intentions and general queries. Mainstream users want to be shown the best games and app alternatives within categories. Xyologic complied by offering an extensive set of choices, identifying 700 categories and more than 100 game genres, said Xyologic co-founder Marcin Rudolf.

“This allows us to show these mobile app and game genres as possible choices to our users,” Rudolf said.

Xyologic also looked at studies by Chomp, an app search company that Apple acquired, and it identified different types of users. Xyologic says that around 75 percent to 80 percent of users type in general categories — like social networking, education, or action games — into the search box. Games are the leading downloads on iOS and have also become increasingly important on Android. Around 10 percent to 15 percent of users look for inspiration, typing in search terms such as “games” and “new,” “free,” or “fun.” Just 5 percent of all users seek specific brands or titles. Another 5 percent look for functions such as “crop photos,” “block calls,” or “view movies.”

Given this vagueness in most searches, Xyologic built a search engine that gives users options at every step of the way, offering different suggestions that might satisfy the user’s curiosity.

Xyologic also puts the best apps up highest in its search rankings, giving the user an idea of the quality of an app at a glance based on community sentiments and other features.

Xyologic has also raised an undisclosed amount of funds from some prominent investors, including Rick Thompson’s (co-founder of Playdom) Signia Venture Partners, Klaas Kersting (founder of Gameforge), and Eric Wahlforss (co-founder of SoundCloud). Xyologic plans to use the money to speed the rollout of its search engine on other mobile platforms, including iOS.

Thompson said, “Xyologic’s app search is the first search designed from the ground up for mobile games.”

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