Apple buys Chomp for App Store rework

Apple has reportedly acquired app search specialist Chomp and will use the company's team and technology to rework the App Store to make discovering new software more straightforward. Chomp – which currently offers iPhone, iPad and Android app discovery tools, as well as powering Verizon's Android app search – will be entirely subsumed into Apple, TechCrunch's sources say, with reports that high-level execs have already joined the iTunes team.

According to 9to5 Mac's sources, Chomp CEO Ben Keighran and CTO Cathy Edwards are already at their new roles within Apple, in the iTunes marketing team and iTunes engineering team respectively. The Chomp technology will be used to help power a significant App Store and iTunes overhaul, it's suggested, making it more user-friendly and faster.

That will apply not only to apps but to music and video within the iTunes store, it's claimed, with Apple describing the update to its partners as "a much more engaging experience." Although Apple's download store leads the pack in terms of raw numbers, actually digging through those apps and content has become progressively more frustrating for users. It's tricky for new developers to rise above the waterline and be spotted by potential customers, unless they get manually selected by the App Store team.

Chomp's existing work with Verizon, as well as its Android app discovery tools, will continue for the moment, it's suggested. However, once the Chomp team is brought fully under the Apple umbrella, that will likely end.