Looking Past Suggestions In App Store Searches

I recently discovered that when people search the iOS App Store on an iPhone or iPad, they ofter view the typing suggestions as search results. However, these suggestions, which appear automatically, only give you a few established choices. Tapping the Search button to actually execute the search will show you the actual search results, complete with images, descriptions and more.
Video Transcript / Captions
Closed captioning for this video is available on YouTube: Looking Past Suggestions In App Store Searches.

So here's an issue that I didn't even know was a problem until I launched an app recently and told a lot of people about it. Then I got people saying they couldn't find the app in the App Store. Now I included a link in the email for it but what happens is a lot of people only read that on the Mac and then they go to their iPhone or iPad and they search for the app by name. This is what happens.

I'm going to go into the App Store here on my iPad and I'm going to tap the Search button at the bottom right. I'm going to type the name of the app. Now it has an unique name so it should come up. Here's what happens. So my game is called Windword. You can see something comes up here called Windword High Prairie. It has nothing to do with my app. So why doesn't it come up in the search results?

Well, the answer is these are not search results. What this is, what you're seeing here is auto completion. You start typing something and it auto completes what it thinks you're going to type so you can just tap it and you don't have to type the entire name of the app.

The search actually happens when you tap the Search button. You can see the blue button there on the keyboard. On the iPhone it's actually further down to the right. But here it's just a big Search button. I tap that and that's when I'm actually doing the search. It's a similar thing to when you search the web and you get a bunch of suggestions there by Goggle or whatever your search engine is, giving you some ideas.

That's not the search result. You actually have to hit return on your keyboard or the Search button on the app's virtual keyboard to get there. Now you can see, when you actually complete the search, there's that one that was auto completed but there's my app. The one that is an exact match. That comes up first.

Now why didn't my app come up as autocomplete result. Well, it may in the future but this is the first day that the app launched. I'm recording this on Thursday, that first day of launch. There haven't been enough people searching for it to get into the dictionary of autocompletes. Only things that people have searched for over and over again are going to show up there. So give it a few days and maybe my app, Windword, will show up there as an autocomplete result.

Now this difference between autocompleting a search result and actually doing the search happens everywhere. It's just that on iOS it kind of visually looks like you've almost done the search. For instance, here I am in the Mac App Store. Now I'm going to search for something. Let's search for a common app Acorn. You can see here under suggestions just two things appear. Because it's just a small, little list of suggestions here you're not really thinking that's the result. You kind of know that you need to hit return. When I do so notice that the results shows actually five things that come up in results, not just the two that were suggestions there. That's going to be true for just about anything you search for. There's not going to be just those results that show up there as suggestions.