StumbleUpon Nov. 4 moved to alleviate one of the major pains of Android smartphone owners by launching StumbleUpon App Discovery, a recommendation engine to help users sift through the 100,000 applications in Google's Android Market.
StumbleUpon CEO and co-founder Garrett Camp correctly noted that Android phone users currently have to conduct keyword-based search to find apps in the Android Market.
As a free feature of the StumbleUpon Android mobile app, App Discovery suggests mobile apps based on apps Android phone users have already installed and used, as well as those their StumbleUpon friends have liked.
Android users are free to browse through recommended free and paid apps on their Android phones and then download them. Engadget tested the app here.
Android phone owners who already use the StumbleUpon mobile app for Android will receive App Discovery via an automatic product update.
New users may download the StumbleUpon mobile app for Android by navigating to the Android Market on their Android phone and searching for "StumbleUpon."
That means, ironically, conducting one of the keyword searches for applications StumbleUpon is trying to help users avoid with its App Discovery feature.
According to the StumbleUpon blog, after users sign up and log in, they can tap the "Apps" button to rate, review and share apps the app recommends, just as users can do on Web pages via their phones or computers.
When users see an app they're interested in using, they may tap "Install" to be taken to the app's download page in the Android Market."
Insufficient search capabilities, along with app spam, has been one of the bugbears of the Android Market, which also suffers from inadequate billing infrastructure.
Capitalizing on the deficit in search functionality is a wise one that could lead to greater adoption of the Android app for StumbleUpon, which made a poor choice three-plus years ago in selling to eBay for $75 million.
eBay sold StumbleUpon back to its founders in 2009, salvaging what could have been a waste of assets.
StumbleUpon's social search technology is used by more than 12 million users and drives 600 million personalized recommendations per month.