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Apple might not seem too worried about its competition (if you ignore the lawsuits, that is), but the alternative App Stores popping up all over the place are definitely attracting users. This might be the reason Apple has decided to silently update its own App Store, and make it slightly more usable.

The update is very small, but very significant. There is one catch, though – it’s iPad only. At least for now. The gist of it lies in easier browsing. In the old App Store, the app grids had small arrows on the left and right side, and you browsed all the apps by tapping these arrows. This was quite slow and cumbersome.


If you look at it now, you’ll see that the grid has become continuous, and you can now browse it simply by swiping your finger left and right. This works on both the main page and the categories page, but not on the search page for some reason.


Another notable change is the ability to go back to your previous location when browsing. If you use the App Store a lot, you’ve probably encountered this scenario – you choose a category, browse the apps, view a specific app, and then when you want to go back, you’re thrown all the way to the beginning. Well, no more. You can now go back to the previous step, no matter where you are. It’s very small, but very useful.


So why is this update iPad only? Does Apple think that the iPhone’s small screen doesn’t warrant easier browsing? Or maybe iPhone users will see the change in their App Store soon? Keep us updated in the comments.

Source: TUAW

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  1. Robert Dukes
    November 28, 2011 at 7:04 pm

    Great info