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Okay, so basically the Google Play store search is only for typing in the exact name of the app you already know and want to install.

Every time I look for an app with certain functionality, Im having great problems in finding it. Usually the results contain tons of spam applications and very few of usefull ones, or ones actually fitting the search keywords I used. Sometimes I find the apps I was looking for while browsing the store (hundreds of pages...) or digging through "top xx apps for yy" sites that usually come as a result of a regular google search.

My question is - are there any alternatives? How do I search for Android apps that do what I want them to do without digging through hundreds of pages of crappy, unrelated apps at Google Play or reading lists of hundreds of apps on silly web pages whose sole purpose is advertisement? I've read that there once was something called Chomp, but it seems like it doesn't exist any more (not sure, I think Apple bought it).

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Do you think you could make this a little less "rant-y"? – Al E. Jan 25 '13 at 16:07
And, have you tried using full-fledged Google Search? search terms should be helpful, even on your device. – Al E. Jan 25 '13 at 16:44
@user1 as you wish – K.L. Jan 26 '13 at 11:47

3 Answers 3

up vote 4 down vote accepted

Try combined search words to narrow down the result list. If you e.g. look for an alarm reminder, "alarm reminder" gives you 1.000+ results -- while "alarm-reminder" (note the "minus" replacing the space) shrinks it to 48, relating to both terms (and not just either one of them).

Sometimes also the rules from Google's main search engine apply here (I could not yet figure out when they do and when they don't). So "alarm +reminder" should list only apps whose name/description contains both terms -- while "alarm -reminder" should list only those containing "alarm" but not "reminder". As said, this works sometimes, while the first rule mentioned seems to work always.

I just tested it, and surprisingly even some more advanced keywords work: "clock +intitle:alarm" really lists only apps having "alarm" in their name (and "clock" in their name or description; though this I did not verify completely). I suspect the playstore search is just a "customized Google search" -- so you might play with other "tipps and tricks" from its "big brother".

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There are some alternative front-ends to the Google Play store, like AppBrain, AndroidZoom that use a totally different search engine, and index apps differently, you may have different results if you search on there for your apps.

See also this previous question for some more info: What are the alternative Android app markets?

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thanks for the link to the question - while i searched SE for questions similar to mine i didnt think of typing "android market" instead of google play :) – K.L. Jan 25 '13 at 15:38

I abandoned Google play because
- Dowloads get aborted on network interruption.
- Loading of app details is slow
Screen shots of apps are not clear on the small display.

Now I use following apps


  • Good for browsing and downloading apps even on slow and interrupted internet connection.
    • Zoomable screenshot allow to view details in clear on small devices.


  • Easily install open sources apps
  • Offline browsing
  • Multi version download


  • Multiversion support
    After installing some apps I just realised they are not working as advertised by the developer. Some apps didn't even launch. Most case this is due to a bug introduced while adding new features to the app. Downgrading to an older version fix this. Aptoide allow to do so baby navigating to the multiversion tab.


  • For searching apps from lots of stores.
  • Even paid apps can be searched and then opened in Google play using the share menu. Apps can be downloaded directly from there website ( info: they provide two links one for the current app and other for there marker app with the same name)
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