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Apple to redesign digital stores with iOS 6, adding Facebook

Apple will redesign its three major digital stores with the launch of iOS 6, integrating Facebook with the iTunes Store.

Apple will redesign its three major digital stores for the launch of iOS 6, a source has told 9to5Mac.

The overhauls are said to be "major", focusing on improved interactivity when buying from the iTunes Store, App Store, or iBookstore. And, as a sign Apple is coming round to the ways of social networking, Facebook integration is being tested as part of the iTunes Store redesign. CNET UK likes this.

At present, the App Store features a "tell a friend" option which lets you send an email concerning the app. Hardly cutting-edge. But then Apple has always focused on getting the products and services right first and foremost, and worrying about the bells and whistles after. And it's proved a successful tactic.

This Facebook integration is interesting as well. Another rumour says Facebook will be deeply integrated into iOS 6. Quizzed about Facebook at the recent D10 conference, Apple CEO Tim Cook said the Cupertino company "can do more with them. Stay tuned."

Pressed further, Cook said, "For us, we want to provide customers simple and elegant ways to do the things they want to do. And, Facebook has millions, hundreds of millions of customers, and so, anybody that has an iPhone or an iPad, we want them to have the best experience with Facebook on those platforms."

Still on Facebook, Cook added: "We have great respect for them." So, some kind of hook-up with Facebook looks pretty likely.

9to5Mac's sources said the redesigned stores won't have any jazzed-up search capabilities, which has been an area of criticism for Apple. Apple acquired an app finding company called Chomp a while ago, but apparently any improvements gleaned from Chomp's knowhow won't be ready in time for iOS 6.

Apple's developer conference is from 11 to 15 June (just over a week away) in San Francisco, so we'll know for sure then. Stay locked to CNET UK and we'll bring you all the news as it happens.

Would you like more Facebook integration in Apple's online stores? Let me know on our Facebook page, or in the comments.