Ina Fried

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Verizon Hopes Customers Will Chomp Down More Apps With Revamped App Store

Verizon is giving its app store a makeover in an effort to make it more useful as a means of discovering and buying mobile software.

To do so, the company is partnering with Silicon Valley start-up Chomp, whose search engine is designed to simplify the process of finding apps, allowing people to describe what they are looking for as opposed to needing to know its name.

“Part of the objective with redesigning our storefront is to improve discoverability of applications on smartphones,” Verizon’s Todd Murphy said in a phone interview. The company is also dropping its V Cast brand for the store and labeling it simply Verizon Apps.

While the broader Android market is still a primary means for finding new apps, Murphy said that Verizon’s store offers a focus on premium apps, allowing a different experience for consumers and a unique opportunity for app developers to get their programs seen.

“Obviously, the Android Market is on every single Android device that goes out the door,” Murphy said. “We are just at the point of getting our store on every newer Android device.”

That said, Murphy said the company offers a big advantage to developers — those users who do visit its store are willing to pay. While only around one in 10 app downloads on the broader Android Market are paid, some three in five of Verizon app downloads are paid, Murphy said.

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There was a worry before I started this that I was going to burn every bridge I had. But I realize now that there are some bridges that are worth burning.

— Valleywag editor Sam Biddle