If you’re going to launch a search app for Android (made by Google who, we guess, know a thing or two about search) then it had better be pretty darn good. Taptu for Android is a popular search engine app, which now allows you to search for apps in the Android Market as well as searching the web.
For example if you type in ‘Twitter’ you’ll get Twitter.com plus a handful of app recommendations with links to the Android Market. You can also tailor searches to include Wikipedia articles, blogs, videos, typical search options like news and images, and search for sites which have been optimised for touchscreen phones.
Search results are displayed in a webOS-style ‘card’ layout which you flick through left to right. It’s visually rich and certainly makes a change from scrolling through a bunch of links on a white background.
You can save search results by tapping on the ‘i’ icon to save things to the ‘My Taptu’ section, accessed by clicking on the floppy disc icon bottom right. Tapping the grey icon also brings up a share option, allowing you to post links to Facebook and Twitter or email them to friends.
We found that searches for apps worked best if you make your terms as broad as possible – use general keywords like ‘weather’, ‘travel’, ‘Facebook’ and so on. When we changed our search filter to only look for ‘Apps & Games‘ typed in the exact name of the app we were looking for (Drop 7), we didn’t get a link to the app. It’d be great to see this part of the app improved upon to make specific app discovery a bit easier.
Taptu for Android is free to download from the Market now.
Update: We’ve just heard back from Taptu’s developers who have ironed out the issues concerning searching for specific apps. So now you can search for Drop 7, Radiant and Pocket Enigma Machine and get links straight to the apps in the Android Market.