What the ... ?! It's a real cellphone screen capture, and  this result has persisted for months. Click to see more Google nonsense ...


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State of Play provides snapshots of attempted searches within the Play app store (Spring 2013). Consider it a mini-documentary exploring the commercial ideology governing this and other app search engines. There's no app category for Art, so anything Art-related must be found using erratic search results. Of course, calling them "erratic" discounts the lucrative strategic logic that motivates corporations to control search systems.

Apologists will undoubtedly point out that e-books are being sold by the same companies that limit the app categories. But few people actually read e-books on phones, and there is reason to believe that overall mobile device usage is trending toward interactive apps and away from the book format. Even if there is a path for reading about Art, where are artists who would make art for mobile media supposed to present it to the public? As games?

Results of keyword searches captured from Google's app store "Play" in early May, 2013.

In addition to the general irrelevance, comparison of the Web search results and the mobile phone search results revealed that promoted apps were seeded into the results without being identified as advertising.