August 31, 2012
As part of the iOS 6 beta, Apple recently released the updated GUI design for its mobile App Store that it announced in June at the Worldwide Developers Conference. According to Apple Insider, this new UI was influenced by Chomp, the app search engine that Apple acquired earlier in 2012, and features a "tile interface," rather than the list-style view seen in the iOS 5 App Store.
One of the key changes in the new graphical user interface design is that users can now get more details about an app before clicking it, making navigation faster and improving overall usability. This allows users to find apps they are looking for more easily, or select from a list without having to click each app individually. However, according to Cult of Mac, this also reduces the number of apps that appear on the screen at one time, making users scroll more to see lower-ranked or new apps.
The new design also reintroduces Genius for apps. This feature, which was initially absent from the iOS 6 App Store when it was revealed, is now visible in the beta preview, though it does not seem to be fully functioning yet. The new App Store also integrates features that were announced at WWDC, such as Apple's Passbook application.
Updated features for searching through apps are also now available in the beta, including improved price sorting and categories. This should help users find free apps and receive recommendations based on apps they have already downloaded. The interface is also streamlined for both the iPad and the iPhone, with full implementation on both devices. According to Apple Insider, users will be able to search for apps for both devices in the store.
However, not all reviews of the updated App Store are favorable. Gizmodo wrote that the new design will make it "take forever to find an app by searching."
"Well lets say the App Store’s inefficient search engine doesn’t have the app you want to download among the top results," the news source reported. "Before you could zoom through a list, now you’ll have to slowly sift through the tabs. It’s like looking at a deck of cards one by one as opposed to the entire deck fanned out."
While Apple still has time to iron out the wrinkles of the new interface, it is yet to be seen whether users will be fully satisfied with the changes, or disappointed.