Apple has just released the updated App Store for iOS 6 beta with a number of layout and search result upgrades. The changes seem to be inspired by Chomp, the app search engine that Apple purchased in February of this year.
The newly designed App Store is available for developers who are testing the upcoming iOS 6. In it, Apple has gotten rid of the old list of app results from iOS 5 and replaced it with separate “pages” or cards for each app result. Along with the usual icon, app name, price, and reviews, you now also get a screenshot of each app. The addition of screenshots is one of the most obvious ways that the new layout borrowed from Chomp.
Before you get too excited, keep in mind that Apple is still working on the new App Store, and any changes and features described could be different or eliminated between now and when iOS is actually released later this fall.
App Stores for both iPhone and iPad also received minor visual changes as well, like UI color changes and relocated buttons. In the iPAD APP, Some buttons and drop-down menus have been moved around since the new App Store doesn’t show the iPad and iPhone apps on the same page in iOS 6. To change between searching for iPhone and iPad apps, there’s now a device selector bar at the top. Below that are Price, Category, and Relevance/Release Date. When an app is chosen, a pop-up window appears over the app cards, instead of sliding to a new page like in iOS 5, and the pop-up window combines options to view details, ratings, and related app information.
On the iPhone, the Categories button in the App Store has been moved from the bottom bar and integrated into the search results. Nothing is really concrete at this point, though, especially for the iPhone’s App Store, as the features seem to be continually changing.
The Genius search option is also back in iOS 6 beta, but it isn’t fully functional just yet. Right now, users have to agree to the terms and conditions before being sent back to the “Turn On Genius” page.
While none of these changes are set in stone, it’s definitely something to look forward to in iOS 6. It will be interesting to see what stays and what goes when it comes out in the fall.