May 2011 Archive
For the many people (at least in my part of the world) that do not yet own smart phones or run around with iPads or other tablets, the whole app store idea can seem strange way to spend lots of money for what you can already do on a computer. But with so much development occurring with apps, it is good to know what is available. So for those without an app consuming device and for those who just wish to browse the app market place when not on their device, enter App Search Engine Quixey. Still in beta, Quixey is a fascinating place to browse. It has a broad definition of apps and searches within the following categories:
- Chrome add-ons
- Firefox add-ons
- IE add-ons
- Windows Phone
Note that it includes web browser add-ons and general software programs for different operating systems as well as mobile apps. The ability to quickly view just what works on your platform (and for that matter see what runs on other platforms) helps make it easy to explore the apps marketplace.
Additional filters on the left include Price (fee or free), Related Searches, Flickr integrated apps, Apps with reviews at TechCrunch, products at Crunchbase, and Security Ratings from CheckPoint. The search results (the apps) are listed in one column and next to them is a column of "snippets" about the app.
The search technology itself takes a slightly different approach: "Quixey invented a new type of search, functional search, specifically for apps. Unlike other search engines, Quixey doesn't require users to know the name or exact description of that app- all users need to do is answer the search prompt, "What do you want to do?" Quixey produces the most relevant search results by scraping blogs, forums, social media and other sources to learn about each app. Our unique technology for app discovery provides users with search results dramatically better than traditional content based search."
Hat tip to Gary at INFOdocket for the alert to this great new search engine. See the Quixey promotional video below.
Google News has new search settings available that provide several new features. It lets searchers choose to specify certain news sources for exclusion or from which to get more or less news. In addition, for those news sources tagged as (blog) or (press release), searchers can also request exclusion of those whole groups, or fewer or more from either. While the blog limit has been available in the left hand margin for awhile, there is not other location to limit to press releases or to exclude them (the advanced news search does not have these options). Some are concerned that these new settings will cause users to exclude blogs and press releases (see Danny's comments on this in his Look Out Blogs: Google News Gains Options To Drop Blogs & Press Releases post).
Want to see these settings? Unlike a Google web search, where search settings can be saved as a cookie and do not require the searcher to log in, the new News settings require first logging in to an account. You also must be using the U.S. version.
While I am not yet sure if I'll use any of these settings on a regular basis, there is another great reason to log in and explore these settings. It finally provides a way to search within the sources for Google News. While others have compiled various lists, such as the recent list of sources compiled at Digital Inspiration, they often list sources only by their URL are typically incomplete (I checked four small news sources against that list and found at least one missing). Within the news search settings, just start typing the beginning of a source name (not just the URL), and a list of up to ten potential matches appears. Want to know if a news source is included in Google News? Log in, go to the News Settings, and start typing the first letters of the source name (and try any possible variants as well.)
See below (or check full post) for a 2.5 minute screencast of how some of these options work.