If you have an iOS device you probably search the App Store regularly for apps you have heard about. Following the recent AppGratis ousting from the AppStore, there were claims that the App Store search is broken. That was our trigger to try something ourselves that could serve both as a good demo and help us to explore new use-cases! Check it out!
Obtaining the data
So first, we needed to obtain the data. Apple provides an API to accredited developers, but given that this can be fairly difficult to attain, we considered other solutions. Crawling was our second option, but that approach has its own caveats: you need to play nice with their servers or you get banned (very) quickly. We didn’t want to spend days implementing our own distributed crawler and definitely didn’t have the time to do a sequential and polite crawling. It is in these moments that you are glad to have an external team to do the job for you.