The f-droid App search feature is broken

Try an App search on the f-droid.org website for “contacts” returns the following results as you might expect;

Fake Contacts, Simple Contacts, Export Contacts, Import Contacts, My Contacts, Identiconizer, K sync, LDAP sync, Recent Contacts Widget, Open Contacts… etc.

Now do the same search in the f-droid app;

Nextcloud Talk, Open Contacts, CTemplar, Nextcloud, Tutanota email, Emerald Dialer, Yet Another Call Blocker, Simple Dialer, SimpleLogin, Smoke, XClipper, DAVx5, Asastus-Photon,

You can see the f-droid app search only returned one result that is relevent to the search word “contacts” even though there are multiple contacts apps.

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Search has many issues. https://gitlab.com/fdroid/fdroidclient/-/issues?scope=all&state=opened&search=search Why google first became popular…

The app search engine works much more complicated than the site, after the keyword is approved the app suggests you other apps that fit your previous browsing behavior and preferences. It consults fact checkers siri alexa google wikipedia and other sources of wisdom. Of course everything is open source. This corrects even minor inaccuracies in your thinking.

It’s not so much broken, but it is pretty… stupid.

F-Droid search will just search everything of the app (including description and so) and sort the results either alphabetically or by last update (depending on the icon at the right-top you’ve chosen).

It is a known issue, but not an easy one to solve. Help is welcome.

Why not just make the app search work the same way as the website (which I also find to be much more accurate)? Have the search in the F-Droid app look in the metadata of each app and ignore “other apps that fit your previous browsing behavior and preferences”.

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If you sort by alphabet (icon right to the searchbar) then the result is a little bit better.
There is also a feature request to search by relevance: https://gitlab.com/fdroid/fdroidclient/-/issues/2008

The website search is inferior ATM… not sure if serious

That was a joke…

[ Attention this is ironic ] Another solution could be that you write me a message and I smoke something and answer somewhat. My results could even surpass the app :wink:

Like the original poster, I do find that the website search is much better than the app search, and I often go to the web to find things when I cannot find them in the app.

Here is one example of me searching for my own app by name.

On the web it is the first result:

On the app it does not even appear in the first page:

There are a lot of possible discussions about which order apps should be listed when you search for a word, but as a general rule, if I know the exact name of an app I am looking for, and I type it into the F-Droid search, it ought to appear at the top of the list. Sometimes someone tells me of a cool app, and I wonder, “Does it exist on F-Droid?” I search in the app and can’t find it, but then I think, “That app search isn’t very reliable” so I pull up the web page and search there and it is easy to find.

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Press “sort by name” :slight_smile:

And that isn’t the default because?

Because people are different and having that the default suggesting 3 years old apps that match would be bad-er?

My app isn’t three years old. It was updated quite recently.

The website is lacking a “freshness” criteria.

Yours is not that old, are we lost in translation?

My point is that the results are worse with the default settings in the app than they are on the website, so the app would have better search results if it were to adopt the search methods of the website by default.

In other words, the additional freshness criteria that the app is using in searches ends up producing less useful results, even though it is considering more information.

My understanding is that your argument is the opposite. That the results are better in the app. Can you point to a specific search where you feel this is the case?

Try “xmpp” or “youtube” or “matrix” or “element” or “game”

Ref: https://gitlab.com/fdroid/fdroidclient/-/merge_requests/889

Ref: https://gitlab.com/fdroid/fdroidclient/-/merge_requests/972

Is it perfect? No, but MRs welcomed, you know… :slight_smile:

And at least the website ignores quotes in quoted strings; the app gives zero results for: “privacy browser” :dizzy_face:

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I am curious what you think about the default search results for xmpp or youtube is better than the search results sorted by name.

xmpp default results:

xmpp by name:

youtube default results:

youtube by name:

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Why not just make the app search work the same way as the website (which I also find to be much more accurate)?

(Emphasis mine)

That’s the keyword, just. Pretty much the whole team agrees the search in-app isn’t very great, but it’s not that easy to make it better. It’s fairly difficult to code and nobody has taken the time to do it (contributions welcome!)

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