launched a major redesign of iTunes yesterday, searching the iTunes App Store is still a bit of a hassle, especially because iTunes lacks convenient options to filter apps by price, category, or release date. Given the amount of apps available in the store, even Apple's new Genius feature for the App Store isn't likely to make finding new apps much easier. UQuery, however, sets out to change all of this by indexing all the apps in the store and making this index available through a web-based search engine.Even though Apple
What makes uQuery so useful is that it allows users to filter searches by price, release date, and category. UQuery also indexes every app's description and screenshots in the App Store. What's sorely missing, however, is customer reviews. The ability to organize search results according to reviews would potentially make these search results a lot more valuable. Another caveat worth mentioning is that uQuery currently only indexes apps available in the US store.
Still, if you are looking for free recipe apps launched or updated in the last month, you would have a hard time finding these in iTunes. In uQuery, however, all it takes is two clicks to filter out older or more expensive apps. While search on uQuery is great, however, the service does not (yet?) provide users with a good way to simply browse the store. You can't, for example, just look at all the new games published in the last week that are available for $0.99 or less.
Earlier this year we wrote about App Engine, another web-based alternative to the App Store. App Engine, however, is currently offline. App Engine basically recreated the App Store on the web - including Apple's layout. App Engine is now offline, making uQuery one of the best web-based alternatives to iTunes, though other alternatives like iphonexe.com are also worth a look.
Tip of the hat to AppScout for bringing uQuery to our attention.