17
Oct
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I do so much searching in the Play Store on a daily basis that every little trick that helps surface relevant results faster and filter out things I don't want is worth its weight in gold. Sometimes, you're searching for XYZ, which you know should be in the title, but instead get a ton of results back with XYZ in the description. This is especially frustrating when a new app or game gets released, and Google hasn't figured out it's popular yet. In that case, it's more than likely that searching for the name of the app will show it somewhere near the last results page.

As it turns out, the Play Store supports the intitle: query operator, which is part of my regular Google-fu search arsenal. I don't think it used to work before, so I haven't tried it for a while, until today. It now works beautifully.

If you have multiple search terms and you know the right order, you should surround them with quotes, like so:

intitle:"foo bar"

If you know a few keywords but not necessarily the order, just include several intitle operators or use the allintitle operator, like so:

intitle:foo intitle:bar

or

allintitle:foo bar

Let's have a look.

intitle:"hulu":

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And now without intitle. hulu:

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Most of the time, the regular search without intitle will bring the results you're looking for at the top, so I don't expect everyone to suddenly start searching using intitle left and right. However, remember this tip when the time is right. I promise you, it'll come.

Now if someone knows how to specify a certain developer by name as part of the search query outside of just including it as a keyword, I'll be eternally grateful (developer: and author: don't work).

Update: We have a winner! The syntax is foo bar pub:"Publisher Name".

Artem Russakovskii
Artem is a die-hard Android fan, passionate tech blogger, obsessive-compulsive editor, bug hunting programmer, and the founder of Android Police.
Most of the time, you will find Artem either hacking away at code or thinking of the next 15 blog posts.

  • UndergroundWire

    Nice handy tip

  • iTKe2k

    site:https://play.google.com "insert keywords & operators here"

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      That probably won't pick up very new apps until they're indexed. I don't have anything to back it up, but there is likely a propagation/indexing delay involved when an app is just published.

  • Ash Hanna

    To search by developer/publisher face you tried using
    pub: "nameofdev"
    ?

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii
      • Matthew Fry

        Didn't realize it was a big thing. I know they've used the publisher search operators since the Android Market. At least one rom would pull it up automagically when you first booted up so you could get all your non gapps g apps. It was extremely picky though.

        • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

          It's completely non obvious and no matter how many times I tried to find how to do it, I couldn't. Too many irrelevant results or ones related to web search.

          I know the way to pull up apps and developers the normal way - by searching or clicking the dev's name, I would think most ROMs would use that, not the pub: operator.

          • Christopher Orr

            For reference, it's been in the documentation for as long as I can remember:
            https://developer.android.com/distribute/googleplay/promote/linking.html#OpeningPublisher

          • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

            Thanks, Chris. Not sure how long it's been there, and maybe it's been there for a long time, but it's almost impossible to find if you don't know the exact verbiage. For example, Google itself uses the term developer in the Play Store urls, yet pub: when using search (pub for publisher).

      • Ash Hanna

        AWESOME!!!
        I win!!!
        Lol
        That honestly was the biggest shot in the dark at a target i cannot see lol
        I've never tried that, never even search really.
        Just kinda popped out my head. I have no clue why
        Most unlikeliest of places sometimes lol
        Glad i could help ya out bro!!

  • vulcanfk

    To search by developer, the syntax is "id: ", i.e. "Id: coruscate software"

  • Pretty_Support_Jogger

    Not sure which is worse:
    A horrible/primitive search engine.
    Trying to search through 500,000 apps.

    Google (of all people) seems to have problems in both areas.

    Even a beginner-coder could make a play-store search FAR better than the current one.

    • Forcemaker

      Indeed!

  • Forcemaker

    If you want to invert the search, you can put an "-" (minus, dash or whatever you call it) infront of the modifier word.
    e.g.:

    intitle:"Launcher" -intitle:"Theme"

    Reasons to do exactly this search: well, try to find Launcher apps you don't know yet and not get all the 1.000.000+ Go Launcher themes etc. as a result.

    Oh, this "intitle"-modifier is GREAT!!!1111

    Oh, by the way! Are there no modifiers to limit searches to those darn categories? I only know appgravity.com, ATM.

  • momo223
  • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

    Aaaand this doesn't work anymore. Anyone know of a replacement command?