Google Play Store Search Operators Re-Enabled After 3 Years

June 30, 2017 - Written By Dominik Bosnjak

Several Google Play Store search operators that could have been used for specifying the nature of one’s queries have been re-enabled by the Mountain View, California-based tech giant after three years. The operators in question can be used for searching only titles of apps for one word or phrase (“intitle”) and more words (“allintitle”), in addition to limiting general queries to names of individual publishers (“pub”). The three operators were disabled by Google at some point in 2014 after working for more than two years, and while they were never highly publicized by the Alphabet-owned company, they provided an efficient way for power users to search through the most popular Android-specific digital marketplace on the planet. It’s currently unclear when exactly did Google re-enable them or why they were ever removed in the first place but they seem to be working on both the Android Play Store app and its browser version as of today, with the change presumably being live worldwide.

The operators also work for all listings on the Google Play Store, meaning you’ll have to use the “&c=apps” one if you intend to only search for apps and mobile games using this alternative method of surveying the marketplace. While the “intitle” and “allintitle” commands are relatively forgiving in terms of capitalization and special characters, “pub” requires you to type in the exact name of individual product publisher which has to be identical to the one seen on the Google Play Store. Operators can be activated by writing them followed by a colon and the exact query in quotation marks, e.g. intitle:”RPG” roguelike &c=apps would present you with a list of all apps that have the words “RPG” in their title and word “roguelike” anywhere in their listing. Using the “intitle” operator with multiple words will keep track of their order, e.g. intitle: “RPG roguelike” would only present you with listings that have that exact phrase in their title. The “allintitle” operator can be relied on for simply locating listings with multiple words in their titles, regardless of their exact order.

The Google Play Store also received a minor update earlier today that adds an alternative changelog card to one of its menus and the marketplace is expected to be ennobled with more features by the end of the year. An update on Google’s software endeavors should follow shortly.