Wednesday, January 18, 2023

App Store Results in iOS Search

Colin Cornaby:

Starting to feel super weird about App Store listings in iOS search. It usually just means whenever I’m searching for something some low quality app with the right SEO is now staring me in the face.

What’s really weird is that I get these crummy results for apps in the store, but—for years—if I type “Note” or “Remind” the built-in Notes and Reminders apps don’t show up at all. Why does it offer the Wikipedia page for the Notes app but not the app itself that’s actually on my phone? Is this because I once removed these apps from my home screen a long time ago?

Update (2023-01-18): Plateau Astro:

OK, so I’m not nuts! Reminders, Notes, and Calendars also don’t show up in search on iPhone for me

I can’t recall ever removing the Notes or Calendar app from my home screen/phone before. But funny enough, my iPad doesn’t have the app installed, yet shows a reminder there!

Calendar is also missing on my iPhone, and I don’t think I ever deleted that one.

Update (2023-01-19): The problem was that iOS had unchecked the apps in Settings ‣ Siri & Search.

8 Comments RSS · Twitter · Mastodon

Andrew Abernathy

FYI I have never removed any of those apps, and all three show up when I search for them.

Yup! Super hard to reinstall bundled apps! I guess this is the counter to the argument that Apple should be forced not to bundle their first-party apps? Or maybe it's actually that App Store search is broken, that there should be a clear place to find Apple stuff, and that the broken way that scrolling works in App Store developer pages should be fixed because I can never seem to simply get a complete listing of developer apps without finger gymnastics.

@Sebby To be clear, the apps are reinstalled and visible on my home screen. They just don’t show up in search.

Have you gone into Settings > Siri & Search, then tapped on the apps in question, and toggled "Show App in Search" and "Suggest App" ??

@Michael Wow. Well, yes, that's definitely broken. I wouldn't put it past search to basically rely exclusively on the store though; it's not like Books, where you've got two separate sets of search results (and the first set, notably, performs far, far worse than the online set). They really do need to perfect substring matches. They have grep, so all the technology is there. :)

@Ben Bingo! Somehow the apps were unchecked. I’d never even opened those settings.

Ah, now I get it—we're talking about Spotlight, not the search field in the App Store itself. Sorry about that.

Awesome, glad that worked!

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