iPad users will notice something a little different when they open the App Store on their device and open up search. The App Store application, which itself does not require updating, has been refreshed and includes new (and frankly, necessary) features that make it much easier to discover apps that you’re looking for, as well as pinpointing applications that you’ve downloaded before but no longer have installed – perhaps due a fresh iOS install.

The refined search now allows you to show results from a specific category and subcategory (eg. Games or Action Games or Utilities); apps released within the past 7 / 14 / 31 days; free or paid (no specific price brackets); iPad, iPhone or universally built; and apps that have received a certain overall consumer rating (eg. 2+, 3+, 4+ or 5 stars). These filters are inter-compatible, meaning you can search for an app and then limit results by, for example: games only, iPad only, 4+ stars. With over 330,000 applications currently available to download, such filters are a welcome addition.

And that’s not all. Conveniently, applications that have been bought but are not currently installed on your device will now show up in the App Store as “Install” rather than “Free” or “Buy Now” – meaning you can be sure that what you’re downloading is what you’ve bought. Beforehand, consumers had to manually check their iTunes receipts to confirm that the application had been bought, and then hit “Buy Now” despite having already bought it. Only after the iTunes password was entered – which meant your account could then be charged if you didn’t own the app – did a notification arise stating that you’ve already bought the application and that you’d be able to download it without charge. The update, that will already be installed on all iPads, fixes all of that. In addition, any apps that require updating will read “Update” in the App Store rather than “Free” or “Install”. Presently, the update is iPad only, meaning iPhone users are still relegated to the old search.

On a related note, 148Apps has updated its search engine – making it easier than ever to find the apps or blog posts you’re looking for. Go ahead and try it out!

Posted in: App Store Insiders, Blog

Tagged with: ,