[API] API for Automatic apps categorization with Open database !

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ergsan

Senior Member
Nov 25, 2011
155
27
ergsap.wordpress.com
Hi,

Looking for an automatic way to categorize apps, we decided to propose an app to build an open database for app categorization and offer an API to easily access the available data.

The use of the API and associated database is demonstrated within the app CatApplus (see the associated thread). The app helps to build and consolidate this API and database. We present this app in a different thread to be less ambiguous in the releases and bug reports (note for moderators).



Examples of what you can obtain:

home_bg_phone.jpg
screenshot-1325461820013.png
screenshot-1325461891108.png
home_menu.jpg


How does CatApplus works:
-it retrieves all your apps
-it uses our API to retrieve associated categories from our database
-it stores all data in the application database for offline use and propose you categories via folders
-categories are listed below and apps that are not found from our server are put into "uncategorized" category (for manual categorization)


What is done server-side (API):
-each request (namely, the package name of the app) is proceeded via a parsing of available categories from markets (for the moment it is the Android Market but if you know other possible markets, you're welcome); if the app cannot be found in the database or in the available markets "unknown" tag is attributed
-the retrieved data is stored in a database for future use
-a JSON output is provided for an external app to retrieve: category; name; publisher name
-a regular dump sql/csv file is provided to import for your own use, your own app/rom/launcher; this file is free to use;


We offer (with no guarantee, of course !) our API and regular dump copy of the database for your own use :); no guarantees concerning availability in future (server costs), accuracy, maintenance ...etc.

The more the API is used, and the more data is available for your use ! The app will simply help to achieve this quickly. Just download the app CatApplus and let it guides you !


The available categories are the same that are available in the Android Market: 'Arcade & Action','Brain & Puzzle','Cards & Casino','Casual','Racing','Sports Games','Books & Reference','Business','Comics','Communication','Education','Entertainment','Finance','Health & Fitness','Libraries & Demo','Lifestyle','Live Wallpaper','Media & Video','Medical','Music & Audio','News & Magazines','Personalization','Photography','Productivity','Shopping','Social','Sports','Tools','Transportation','Travel & Local','Weather'


Some limitations:
-In CatApplus we defined an "Uncategorized" category for apps with "unknown" category (from teh API)
-"unknown" category for apps that cannot be found in available markets for the API
-Available markets: Android Market only for the moment


-The API:

Code:
http://api.ergsap.com/catapplus/catapplus_ind.php?catApplus_pn=myPackageName

Example (a great game!):
Code:
http://api.ergsap.com/catapplus/catapplus_ind.php?catApplus_pn=com.thevoxelagents.TrainConductor2

will output the JSON code:

Code:
[{"catApplus_pn":"com.thevoxelagents.TrainConductor2","catApplus_name":"Train Conductor 2: USA","catApplus_cat":"Brain & Puzzle","catApplus_pub":"The Voxel Agents"}]

In maintenance mode, the output is simply maintenance.

If the application cannot be found, all fields are set to "unknown", so the JSON output is:
Code:
[{"catApplus_pn":"myPackageName","catApplus_name":"unknown","catApplus_cat":"unknown","catApplus_pub":"unknown","catApplus_cat_pending":""}]
if the app cannot be categorized
or

Code:
[{"catApplus_pn":"myPackageName","catApplus_name":"unknown","catApplus_cat":"unknown","catApplus_pub":"unknown","catApplus_cat_pending":"pending"}]

if the app has not been categorized yet.


  • 3 Dump files of the database (SQL/CSV files) are automatically updated (several times a day) and bzip compressed; raw csv, raw sql and buffered/memory efficient sql (smaller and faster insertions/import; you cannot edit it-one row syntax); see database to download;

Statistics & guide: a great way also to discover 100+ most used apps !






Nice implementation of CatApplus API can be found in


Folder Organizer

and of course in

CatApplus.

Just check these apps to see automatic apps categorization working nicely !



---------------

CatApplus releases:
 

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ergsan

Senior Member
Nov 25, 2011
155
27
ergsap.wordpress.com
Hi,

CatApplus is now available in the Android Market with new features, improvements and bug fixes: Android Market


We now have 473 categorized apps ... but this will increase quickly :cool: ! (See statistics here).
The first release of the associated database (SQL/CSV/ODS dump files) will be available very soon for your own use.

-----------------------------
-CatApplus features:
  • Automatic categorization of your apps
  • Feed the open database to build more data for the API (see statistics here)
  • Launch apps
  • update/reset categories
  • fullscreen
  • share, bookmark, hide, uninstall apps
  • see details of an app and more info with web search feature
  • hide categories, hide apps
  • launch apps
  • launch a random app from a particular category
  • all games are gathered under a new category "All Games"
  • A new category at the top of the list "Favorite" gathers all you favorite apps


screenshot-1325461820013.png


home_apps.png


screenshot-1325461891108.png
 
Last edited:

ergsan

Senior Member
Nov 25, 2011
155
27
ergsap.wordpress.com
Hi,

For the current release, when you install/uninstall apps, CatApplus doesn't automatically update categories due to performance issue; hit "menu/update categories" to launch a quick scan for the moment.

Do not hesitate to "reset categories" if "too many" apps have not been categorized (under "uncategorized" category); this may be due to internet connections, delay in server response ...etc
 

ergsan

Senior Member
Nov 25, 2011
155
27
ergsap.wordpress.com
So far I like the app. How do you categorize an existing app that is uncategorized?

Hi,

We are working on a "manual categorization" feature, notably for "Uncategorized" apps. Apps that cannot be found on our database or on selected markets are automatically put into this category. For the moment, only the Android Market is supported (i.e. if the app is not listed in this market, its category will remain "unknown"); we're working to integrate more markets to be able to categorize these apps and we will propose probably a "Category suggestion" to our users in the future.

A quick fix for the moment will be to use the "Favorite" category to gather the useful apps you want to categorize, in order to access them more easily. To put an app in "Favorite", long click on it, then "bookmark"; the new category will appear at the top of the list.


An other quick fix is to submit the apps you want to categorize, with their "legitimate" category/link so that we can check and...manually... integrate them into our database; for this fix, the categories must match the ones listed in the original post. We'll try to answer as quickly as possible :); send us a mail or post them directly in this post (other members may help to find the "legitimate" categories/developer/market links...etc); we could also propose an open Google Spreadsheet for the uncategorized apps ...many approaches !

Thanks for the feedback :cool:
 
Last edited:

ergsan

Senior Member
Nov 25, 2011
155
27
ergsap.wordpress.com
Hi,

Here are some updates:

  • We have categorized so far 1357 apps; more statistics data are available here.
  • Dump files of the database (SQL/CSV files) are now automatically updated (several times a day); we will compress these data into bzip archives in the future for large files; see app and database to download;

We will propose soon an open google spreadsheet to contribute as far as possible to the categorization of apps with "unknown" categories.

More information are given in the links below:
Statistics & guide:
  • link
  • Total categorized apps: 764 [Jan-02]
  • Total categorized apps: 1357 [Jan-03]

---------------

CatApplus releases:


We found this app and API useful, hope it will be useful too for some of you either as users or developers.


 
Last edited:

ergsan

Senior Member
Nov 25, 2011
155
27
ergsap.wordpress.com
Hi,

We have now an open spreadsheet if you want to contribute to the categorization of "uncategorized apps":

Open google spreadsheet to help for automatic categorization:

We will propose also an application-side categories suggestion to help also in this task.

You can check:
Statistics & guide: a great way also to discover 100+ most used apps !

  • link
  • Total categorized apps: 764 [Jan-02]
  • Total categorized apps: 1560 [Jan-03]

and


CatApplus releases:
 

ergsan

Senior Member
Nov 25, 2011
155
27
ergsap.wordpress.com
Hi,

A new release of CatApplus is available in the Android Market (version 1.1); we added desktop shortcuts, manual categorization, import/export features, several optimization:

New features:

  • desktop shortcuts (folders to access the different categories: long press on homescreen/shortcut/choose catApplus)
  • manually set/modify apps categories (among available categories for the moment)
  • import/export the modifications for apps categories (if you reset the categories, just hit menu/manage apps/import to retrieve your manual categorizations !)


Statistics update: data/database & API guide
  • number of categorized apps: 2334 [Jan-06]


Do not hesitate to add suggestions, request features, the database is "open" and API is available.
 
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Reactions: Buff52

ergsan

Senior Member
Nov 25, 2011
155
27
ergsap.wordpress.com
Hi,

A new theme is upcoming in the next release of CatApplus with folders instead of list for categories !
It will able you to customize folder icon size (to match your entire tablet for instance), translucent background... :cool:

See some screenshots in attachment.
The app screen will be similar to your homescreen with CatApplus desktop shortcuts (long press on homescreen/shortcuts then choose catApplus and your category).
 

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Last edited:

ergsan

Senior Member
Nov 25, 2011
155
27
ergsap.wordpress.com
Hi,

The new release of CatApplus (1.2) is available in the Android Market with announced features:

  • A new theme ! With folders (more compact)
  • customization for this theme (automatic/manual size, color & free textures background)
  • compatibility with tablets enhanced with this new theme
  • performance improvements & bug fixes


Some statistics for the open database & API: link to all statistics & guide & some interesting apps :cool:
-total categorized apps: 2812
-last version of the database: dump files-csv/sql
 

ergsan

Senior Member
Nov 25, 2011
155
27
ergsap.wordpress.com
Crash as soon as it opens.
Motorola Photon, rooted, unlocked, stock rom

weird bug, it does the same for the Droid Bionic.
At launch, it tries to create a local database of existing apps; this is probably the cause of the error you experienced. Without a precise log, it is difficult to solve. Could you PM your logs associated to the application crash or send a report (for the market version probably)?

The app works fine on N1, Galaxy Tab, Nexus S, Galaxy S/S2 ...and 2.1/2.2/2.3 emulator...4.0 version is too slow on the actual emulator. We cannot test on every phone model...really weird bug.

Hope this will be fixed soon !
 

ergsan

Senior Member
Nov 25, 2011
155
27
ergsap.wordpress.com
Hi,

A weird bug to be fixed in CatApplus: persistence of the background preferences (color/texture) when the app is launched after a while; a second launch fixes the preferences. We're working on for the next release.
 

ergsan

Senior Member
Nov 25, 2011
155
27
ergsap.wordpress.com
Hi,

Great update !

  • 32000 apps categorized [Jan-09] ! (among most popular ones !)
  • new format for dump files (and bzip compression): raw csv/sql and buffered/memory efficient sql (smaller and faster insertions/import; you cannot edit it-one row syntax)


Where ?

If any suggestions, you're welcome.
 

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    Hi,

    Looking for an automatic way to categorize apps, we decided to propose an app to build an open database for app categorization and offer an API to easily access the available data.

    The use of the API and associated database is demonstrated within the app CatApplus (see the associated thread). The app helps to build and consolidate this API and database. We present this app in a different thread to be less ambiguous in the releases and bug reports (note for moderators).



    Examples of what you can obtain:

    home_bg_phone.jpg
    screenshot-1325461820013.png
    screenshot-1325461891108.png
    home_menu.jpg


    How does CatApplus works:
    -it retrieves all your apps
    -it uses our API to retrieve associated categories from our database
    -it stores all data in the application database for offline use and propose you categories via folders
    -categories are listed below and apps that are not found from our server are put into "uncategorized" category (for manual categorization)


    What is done server-side (API):
    -each request (namely, the package name of the app) is proceeded via a parsing of available categories from markets (for the moment it is the Android Market but if you know other possible markets, you're welcome); if the app cannot be found in the database or in the available markets "unknown" tag is attributed
    -the retrieved data is stored in a database for future use
    -a JSON output is provided for an external app to retrieve: category; name; publisher name
    -a regular dump sql/csv file is provided to import for your own use, your own app/rom/launcher; this file is free to use;


    We offer (with no guarantee, of course !) our API and regular dump copy of the database for your own use :); no guarantees concerning availability in future (server costs), accuracy, maintenance ...etc.

    The more the API is used, and the more data is available for your use ! The app will simply help to achieve this quickly. Just download the app CatApplus and let it guides you !


    The available categories are the same that are available in the Android Market: 'Arcade & Action','Brain & Puzzle','Cards & Casino','Casual','Racing','Sports Games','Books & Reference','Business','Comics','Communication','Education','Entertainment','Finance','Health & Fitness','Libraries & Demo','Lifestyle','Live Wallpaper','Media & Video','Medical','Music & Audio','News & Magazines','Personalization','Photography','Productivity','Shopping','Social','Sports','Tools','Transportation','Travel & Local','Weather'


    Some limitations:
    -In CatApplus we defined an "Uncategorized" category for apps with "unknown" category (from teh API)
    -"unknown" category for apps that cannot be found in available markets for the API
    -Available markets: Android Market only for the moment


    -The API:

    Code:
    http://api.ergsap.com/catapplus/catapplus_ind.php?catApplus_pn=myPackageName

    Example (a great game!):
    Code:
    http://api.ergsap.com/catapplus/catapplus_ind.php?catApplus_pn=com.thevoxelagents.TrainConductor2

    will output the JSON code:

    Code:
    [{"catApplus_pn":"com.thevoxelagents.TrainConductor2","catApplus_name":"Train Conductor 2: USA","catApplus_cat":"Brain & Puzzle","catApplus_pub":"The Voxel Agents"}]

    In maintenance mode, the output is simply maintenance.

    If the application cannot be found, all fields are set to "unknown", so the JSON output is:
    Code:
    [{"catApplus_pn":"myPackageName","catApplus_name":"unknown","catApplus_cat":"unknown","catApplus_pub":"unknown","catApplus_cat_pending":""}]
    if the app cannot be categorized
    or

    Code:
    [{"catApplus_pn":"myPackageName","catApplus_name":"unknown","catApplus_cat":"unknown","catApplus_pub":"unknown","catApplus_cat_pending":"pending"}]

    if the app has not been categorized yet.


    • 3 Dump files of the database (SQL/CSV files) are automatically updated (several times a day) and bzip compressed; raw csv, raw sql and buffered/memory efficient sql (smaller and faster insertions/import; you cannot edit it-one row syntax); see database to download;

    Statistics & guide: a great way also to discover 100+ most used apps !






    Nice implementation of CatApplus API can be found in


    Folder Organizer

    and of course in

    CatApplus.

    Just check these apps to see automatic apps categorization working nicely !



    ---------------

    CatApplus releases:
    1
    Hi,

    A new release of CatApplus is available in the Android Market (version 1.1); we added desktop shortcuts, manual categorization, import/export features, several optimization:

    New features:

    • desktop shortcuts (folders to access the different categories: long press on homescreen/shortcut/choose catApplus)
    • manually set/modify apps categories (among available categories for the moment)
    • import/export the modifications for apps categories (if you reset the categories, just hit menu/manage apps/import to retrieve your manual categorizations !)


    Statistics update: data/database & API guide
    • number of categorized apps: 2334 [Jan-06]


    Do not hesitate to add suggestions, request features, the database is "open" and API is available.