Apple at work on new discovery feature for App Store

The company would provide suggestions on what users should download based on their searches in the App Store.

Apple App Store
Screenshot by CNET
Apple is rolling out a feature that would conceivably make it easier for its App Store users to find programs, the company has confirmed to CNET.

Apple has quietly started rolling out a feature that gives users suggestions on other apps to download based on their searches. According to Macstories, which published screenshots of it in action, the feature adds a breadcrumb-like listing of app categories to the mobile App Store that might be related to the search. In the images posted by Macstories, Apple suggested news and photo-editing apps when searching for "Twitter." Oddly, the feature also suggested traffic apps.

With over 1 million apps in the App Store, finding programs that aren't featured or don't find their way to the most popular listings is exceedingly difficult. Apple's new feature seems to be attempting to solve that problem, though it's unclear how well those curated recommendations will deliver apps that users might not have heard about yet.

Apple has dipped its toe in the recommendations waters before with genius recommendations and suggesting apps that have been bought by others, but this appears to be a more full-featured recommendations engine.

An Apple spokesperson confirmed to CNET on Tuesday that the feature is indeed new and will be rolling out to all users in the coming weeks.

(Via Engadget)

Update at 8:03 a.m. PT to include Apple's statement and 12:04 p.m. PT: Apple later clarified the timing to CNET, saying that the rollout will occur over the coming weeks and not later this week, as the company initially said.

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About the author

Don Reisinger is a technology columnist who has covered everything from HDTVs to computers to Flowbee Haircut Systems. Besides his work with CNET, Don's work has been featured in a variety of other publications including PC World and a host of Ziff-Davis publications.

 

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