Do you remember the iTunes/App Store overhaul we talked about a few days ago?

The new design is said to be even simpler and more user-friendly than the current design. Apple is working on ways to enhance the speed and efficiency of finding new content, such as songs, videos, and applications. The cornerstone element of Apple’s new iTunes Store is interactivity. As Apple vaguely explained to a number of music labels and entertainment partners, Apple is looking to make the iTunes Store a much more engaging experience.

Yeah, Apple is not doing that 100 percent organically like the barley at Cafe Macs. Turns out, it is bringing some outside talent to help with the job. TechCrunch learned that a startup founded by Ben Keighran called “Chomp” is now part of Apple:

This is not a cheap “acqui-hire”, Apple has bought the Chomp team and technology and plans to use both to completely revamp App Store search and recommendations, I hear.

Chomp currently powers Verizon’s Android market, but it might be time for Big Red to look for a new technology partner.

Update: Our sources said Chomp CEO Ben Keighran and CTO Cathy Edwards are already working at Apple. Keighran joined the iTunes marketing team, and Edwards is now a senior iTunes engineer.

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Seth Weintraub

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