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Apple’s App Store search function sucks. Example: I thought (wrongly) an iOS app existed called “cookie” that helps us reduce tracking. But I can’t tell whether I’m wrong or right, because Apple’s search logic appears to be “cookie is related to candy, so let’s show him everything that mentions candy. And candy crush is a game, so let’s also show him every other game in the store.”

“Cookie” is not the only search that has been hopeless due to this kind of idiocy, so I wonder if there is a way to filter to what I actually asked for.

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    I have figured out that “cookie” is MacOS only, but the question itself is still valid. – WGroleau Feb 21 at 23:32
  • Edited to be more clear that the question is not about the app in the example. – WGroleau Feb 22 at 16:54
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The iOS App Store search is provided by Apple and can not be directly changed. The best solution is to use another search engine.

Filter by Site

Use a site specific filter with your preferred search engine. Add site:itunes.apple.com to your searches. Try, and refine, the following search:

cookie site:itunes.apple.com

App Store Search Engines

Alternatively, use an iOS app search engine. These include:

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  • These three options are still not very good. But they are MUCH better than Apple's own search. Thank you. – WGroleau Feb 22 at 17:09
  • You are right, there are few other good choices for better App Store search right now. Consider providing direct feedback to Apple. – Graham Miln Feb 22 at 18:34
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I tried a webmaster tool search term site:https://abc.com for cookie app. Found the app for Mac, https://apps.apple.com/us/app/cookie/id1473091386?mt=12. Went to its developer page via the link at the bottom: https://cookieapp.com

Even if this is not the app you're looking for, it's good to have some idea about the developer to find an app quickly. One can look at google play store; chances are that it exists there, if it is on iOS App Store.


  • You can try Ghostery, Adguard, and Firefox focus and even private mode for some tracking protection.

  • Also, you can frequently delete website data in settings > Safari > advanced > website data. You would have to log in again, your history remains fine.

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    If “appshopper” is still in existence (link fails), it might be an answer. The rest of this is not. – WGroleau Feb 22 at 2:19
  • see the edited link.. – ankii Feb 22 at 4:46
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    ?link to a huge collection of apps? Not much help in fixing the badly broken search function. – WGroleau Feb 22 at 6:56
  • I don’t know why are you adamant to get “no” as an answer. I never done it, but App Store api, if exposes it is a thing worth looking into – ankii Feb 22 at 13:01
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    I do frequently delete things from website history. That doesn’t help overcoming Apple’s extremely bad design for search. – WGroleau Feb 22 at 16:50

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