On Chomp And Apple

I thought I would revisit the App Store app discovery discussion I started last year. By now you’ve probably heard that Apple has acquired Chomp. Although I believe his is more than just a pure talent acquisition, all twenty of Chomps employees are heading to Cupertino.

Last year I tried Chomp’s iOS app. I didn’t like it. Actually, I liked the idea behind it and appreciated the complex problem their team was trying to solve, but I didn’t enjoy using their app.

My main gripe with Chomp at the time was the UI. Perhaps the app was functional and did a decent job of surfacing interesting new apps to try, but I just couldn’t stand the experience. User interaction, design, and experience are all critical factors in software development, and since I wasn’t happy with Chomp, I had to delete it from my iPhone.

Most of us who keep up with the tech industry–perhaps more so revolving around Apple’s ecosystem–are already cognisant of the woefully inadequate state of the App Store. I’m not referring to any lack of great apps to buy–there are plenty of those–what I’m talking about is the ever increasing problem of surfing great apps who otherwise may not reach the Staff Picks or Top Paid apps section.

Considering the news that broke yesterday about Apple acquiring Chomp, this reaffirms my thoughts that Apple clearly thinks the App Store experience can be an order of magnitude better. This was a smart choice for them to make, as they not only get a team of smart developers, but they also get Chomp’s underlying technology; something Apple can role into their own product. With huge cash reserves in the bank, Apple knows it needs to start spending some of that, lest risk the happiness of their shareholders. After all, remember Tim Cook last year said Apple would be looking at making some key strategic decisions this year as far as where their money would be going. Chomp is one of many more acquisitions that I’m sure will happen over the course of the next few years. Remember, Siri was not Apple’s own invention either.

I’m confident that the people from Chomp will contribute some great things to Apple. As an aside, I’m a bit disappointed they didn’t snag AppShopper, a personal favourite of mine for discovering new apps. I think their app is far better designed than what Chomp ever put out. What I wouldn’t give for some of those features and elements to make it into Apple’s App Store.