While many iPhone and iPad users might occasionally dip into the App Store's Top Charts section to discover the popular apps of the moment, those interested in a particular software genre will more than likely head straight for the Explore section to see what's currently on offer.
While little solid proof of Apple's supposed buy exists, Ottocat was purchased "some time ago," possibly in mid-2013. The company was founded in May 2013, but apparently closed up shop in October of that year, announcing through its webpage that "Ottocat is no longer available."
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Organizing and surfacing relevant content among the more than one million apps in the iOS App Store is a huge challenge for Apple as it seeks to please both users looking for engaging content and developers eager to get there software onto as many devices as possible.
With Ottocat, Apple purchased technology that plugs into the App Store's backend to organize, aggregate and serve apps based on categorical searches.
In current iterations, Ottocat's invention is very similar to the App Store's Explore tab and eschews keyword queries for a system that surfaces apps by directing users through a series of increasingly specific subcategories.
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While it may be tricky to tell precisely to what degree search and discoverability have improved in the App Store.
The reported acquisitions appear to show that Apple hasn't taken its eye off the ball when it comes to tweaking its online store, one which continues to grow by the day and is therefore in proper need of careful management.