Quixey's creators are working on a search engine that allows people to search and find the most relevant content within apps, similar to the way search engines help find to the most relevant content across the Internet and on Web sites.
The technology digs deep into the app to find the metadata identifying the content. Apps typically do not offer a direct link to the content, but deep linking could allow brands to more accurately target advertisements to consumers. People would no longer need to launch apps by name because the search engine would take them directly to the function.
Think of mobile apps as an extension of the Web. Quixey's slow evolution from an app search engine hunting for specific functions to one that finds the content within the app has not been easy. The company has been working on this problem since 2009, supported by engines and companies like Ask.com, Skyfire, DuckDuckGo, Sprint, Microsoft, StartHub and Nokia. Alibaba made an investment in the company back in 2012.
Dedicating about 150 employees and $74 million of investment funding, Quixey wants to add "a search box to your phone that can take in queries such as 'Best Thai restaurants in San Francisco' or 'taxi home' and produce a list of results that take you, with a single tap, to the relevant screen or function inside an app," per MIT Technology review.
Forrester Research estimates 21% of U.S. consumers expect to turn on their mobile device and find what they want, per a report titled "The New Mobile Mind Shift Index." That won't happen without the ability for search engines to find content in mobile apps -- which Liron Shapira, cofounder and CTO of Quixey, reportedly argues that Google's approach to mobile search lacks.
Consumers will need a way to find information buried in the app as use increases and brands will need a method to more accurately target advertisements and promotions. Amazon Monday said the number of apps in its Amazon Appstore has nearly tripled in the past year. The store now offers more than 240,000 apps and games available in nearly 200 countries and on many devices.