Mobile apps are built to do one thing really well, whether that’s listening to music, reading the news, ordering food, or booking a ride. They are designed to help you take action quickly so that you can move on with your life.
One of the main features of our App Search API is the ability to find apps by the action they let a user take. When you create a query, you can signal the intended action of the results.
Buy: search for items such as clothes or tickets and the API will return links to apps where you can complete the transaction
Listen: search for artists, songs, album names, or even celebrities and the API will return links to apps where you can directly listen to songs or podcasts
Read: search for any subject and the API will return links to articles about that subject
Displaying the results
The URX App Search API responds to queries with information like names, descriptions and images (depending on the query). As a developer, you can then display the results in your app however you like.
For example, if you want to find a place where you can listen to Ellie Goulding’s song “Lights”, the API returns results from apps where you could perform this action. If you do not specify that you want to listen to a song, we might also return results that let you read about Ellie Goulding, watch a video, or book tickets to an upcoming concert.
This is how a search results for “Listen” + “Ellie Goulding” could be displayed in an app:
Behind the Scenes
We use several methods to figure out what action an app supports. One method is understanding the various html tags developers use to structure meta information on a webpage. These tags makes it easier for search engines to interpret the information and thus provide better search results. For example, an item designated as a “place” could have the associated attributes of its address, location, or what time it opens.
Some of the most important tags our crawler recognizes are those from schema.org, a web standard supported by Google, Yahoo!, and Microsoft. When a webmaster adds schema.org actions to a site with deep link tags, it declares what actions are available in that app. So when our App Search API responds to a query, we return a deep link that takes you directly to where you can take the intended action.
We’re excited to see how developers use our App Search API to help their users take relevant action based on the context of the app. Our homepage shows examples of queries and results for the listen, read, and buy actions and our documentation contains the actions we support today.
Sign up for our beta to learn more and get started!