Come to think of it, searching for apps by the use you want to put it to should be the most natural way to search. That’s what a new search service hopes to deliver to you. Quixey describes itself as a functional search engine for apps across any platform and for any use. Quixey is in beta right now. But the well designed and user-friendly website has hit the ground running with its avowed aim of helping you find just the right app for the task you had in mind.
As we start using apps more and more in our daily lives – on our computers, smartphones, cars, and very soon in intelligent homes – Quixey aims to help narrow down on the right one across any platform. How useful is it to us so far? Let’s look it up.
Quixey as a Functional Search Engine
Here’s the brief introductory video from the startup’s website:
As advertised, functional search involves telling the search engine what you want to do in plain English. Just fill up the search box that says – “What do you want to do?”
The search then tries to find the best application that will suit your needs. The best thing is that you don’t need to know the name of the app or even a detailed description to find an app for your needs. The second best thing is that Quixey covers the entire spectrum of mobile devices, PDAs, tablets, personal computers, and web applications while it is searching for an app for you.
How Does The Functional Search Engine Work?
That’s not exactly explained anywhere on the site. What is put down is that – Quixey produces the most relevant search results by scraping blogs, forums, social media and other sources to learn about each app. Reviews and descriptions are taken from well-known sites like CrunchBase (for app company reviews), TechCrunch (for product reviews), and CheckPoint (for security ratings). All this comes together in the results page which we will be exploring next with a sample search.
I tried out the search engine with an offbeat query but a tool which is really useful. Look at the screen below:
These are the first few results I got. The search engine hit pay dirt by mentioning the Text Formatting Toolbar (I have covered it previously here); just the solution I wanted. The results are clearly marked out by two large arrow indicators which show the software list and little notes that help you decide if an app is right for you. These snippets are culled from the various sites like the download source or the developer’s website.
On the left of the page, you can use the filters to settle on the platform and the choice between a free app and a commercial one.
Next, you can delve more into the apps by changing the view according to the mentions any app gets in CrunchBase, TechCrunch, or Check Point.
Clicking on the app links takes you into their own individual pages with a few more details like download links, developer notes, videos (if available)etc.
Is The Functional Search Up To Scratch?
As illustrated above, I did get the app I was searching for right up there. For some keyword or ‘descriptions’ your hit rate will be more depending on what you are searching for. Like all searches it is keyword based but trying out a few top-of-my-head searches (like index my books) gave me a mix of hits and misses. Being a beta service, it is still not perfect but the promise of perfection is there.
Quixey can be another homing missile in your search for the right app. It joins the tribe which already has sites like Appolicious jostling for space. Then there are some we have covered here –
Yes, Quixey brings some natural language plain speak to the whole business of app search. Plus it has plans to provide free customizable app search solutions soon. Try out Quixey and its functional search and let us know your feedback.