Yahoo Enters the App Discovery Battle, but with the Wrong Weapons

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By: Hillel Fuld

Another day, another app discovery solution. Except Yahoo is going about it wrong, much like many will claim, it does with its core business, search. Yahoo announced its new app discovery engine for both mobile devices and the desktop.

Let’s start with the desktop. Simply navigate to, and start typing your query. You will notice that in real time, Yahoo offers you different options to select from. I tried multiple less known apps and not only did searching for the type of app not produce any results but even searching for the name of the app did not bring it up. Not good.

Once you do find the app you are looking for, you can click on it and have Yahoo send you a download link to your mobile device or you can scan the barcode in order to download the app directly, There is an Android and iPhone tab built in so you can search for apps on both platforms. All in all, the concept and design are nice, but the method is wrong, in my opinion. More on that later.

In addition, Yahoo launched native mobile apps on iOS and Android called Yahoo Appspot. Just like the desktop search described above, Appspot enables users to search for apps based on title, keyword, or description. It is very similar to Chomp in its user experience. Basically just a more targeted search experience that focuses on apps and not general results.

Here is the problem with both these new products. When I installed the app, I waited for the popup to ask me whether I agree to receive push notifications from Appspot, but it never came. All this app does is it enables you to search for apps. It does not push any recommendations to you and it does not let you know when there are app promotions or price reductions.

Yes, if I want to search for an app that offers a certain feature or functionality, I might use the Yahoo solution before I search the App Store, but that is not saying much. Most of the apps I download are from recommendations I get from friends, discovery services, or because the app was reduced in price and I want to check it out. That is how I consume mobile apps and something tells me I am not alone on this.

Users want email pushed to them, they want messages delivered to them, and the days of opening the browser to log in to your email are over. The same goes for apps that enable you to search for other apps. I want the info to come to me and not vice versa. Am I wrong?

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