updated 12:08 am EDT, Fri August 31, 2012
Browsing uses new card metaphor
The App Store in the iOS 6 beta has tonight seen several interface changes, 9to5Mac notes. When searching for apps, for instance, the results are now presented in the form of cards, each of which has the app's name, icon, review rating, and a brief screenshot; a button lets users buy and/or install the app right away. The redesign is based at least in part on the look of Chomp, an app search engine Apple acquired in February of this year.
Shortly after the Chomp acquisition, Apple shut down the Android version of the service, and observers noted that it was likely the company was preparing to integrate Chomp's look and feel into its own App Store.
Apple has also turned on the Genius feature for apps, which -- like its iTunes counterpart -- suggests new items to try. A Purchased section of the store displays every app a person has bought through a particular Apple ID, including ones that aren't currently installed.
Separately, in the iOS 6 iTunes Store, Apple has restored the ability to search for podcasts. The difference is that when a podcast link is opened, a person must have the optional Podcasts app installed to actually listen.
The Genius, Purchased, and podcast changes in fact reflect features already in the iOS 5 App Store, but iOS 6 is in development, and Apple is still locking some components back into place. The final version of the firmware should go live sometime next month, most likely on or around September 12th.