Once upon a time there was the Web, a vast universe of information and services that were tangled together by hyperlinks but easy to explore using search engines. Then smartphones came along. Now people are spending less and less time on the Web and more in mobile apps, convenient but isolated packages not open to links or visible to any search engine.
A company called Quixey is now dedicating its 150 employees and $74 million of investment funding to changing that. In an old appliance store across town from Google’s sprawling headquarters in Mountain View, California, Quixey is building a search engine that can peer inside apps to find what you need.