Apple has slashed Android support from its Chomp app discovery engine acquisition, excising Google's open-source OS and making the service iOS-only ahead of a tipped App Store revolution. Bought back in February, Chomp uses a custom algorithm to organize and recommend mobile apps by their functionality; until now, it has offered suggestions for iOS and Android, but the latter option has now been removed.
That comes as little surprise, perhaps, given an Apple-owned company is unlikely to want to help owners of rival devices, though Chomp's existing third-party agreements are left in the air. The company powers Verizon's Android app search feature, and no official statement on what, exactly, will happen to that deal has been made.
Still, beyond the annoyance factor for Android users previously relying on Chomp to ferret out new software, the real interest should come when Apple better integrates the engine into its own store. According to sources speaking when the deal was first revealed, Apple intends to use the technology to dramatically improve the discoverability of new and interesting apps in its increasingly crowded store.
"Chomp's proprietary algorithm learns the functions and topics of apps, so you can search based on what apps do, not just what they’re called" Chomp
A common complaint of the App Store is that, while it is rammed with choice, actually sifting through those options to find software worth downloading is time-consuming and inelegant. Chomp, it's suggested, will revolutionize all that, making far better recommendations and allowing iOS users to discover apps that serve a functional need rather than by title only.
Exactly when that will happen is unclear, however, though it wouldn't surprise us to see the first stages of that evolution at WWDC 2012 in a few months time. Apple is expected to take the wraps off of iOS 6.0 at the developer event.