iPad App Store Gains Search Filters, Install Buttons for Previously-Purchased Apps

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Apple made several tweaks to the iPad interface for the iOS App Store yesterday, enhancing users' abilities to filter app searches and to determine which apps they have already purchased but may not have installed on their devices.




As noted by MacStories, the new search filters appear as a toolbar at the top of search results pages. The filters allow users to limit their searches by category, release date, customer rating, price, and device compatibility. With the number of iOS applications now exceeding 300,000 and iPad-specific apps pushing past 60,000, users should find the new filters handy for weeding through listings.




The second change, also noted by MacStories, involves a tweak to the way previously-purchased applications are displayed in App Store searches on the iPad. Typically, results have been displayed with a button showing the price of the app, and the user simply taps the button to purchase and install the app. Results for apps already installed on the device have been displayed with an inactive button simply saying "installed".

But what was less than ideal was the handling of apps that had been previously purchased but not currently installed on the user's device. Apple allows such apps to be downloaded free of charge, but search results simply displayed the normal button with the purchase price displayed. Users were required to attempt the purchase the application before discovering that they were entitled to download it free of charge to their devices. With the new tweaks, these search results now display an active "install" button indicating to users that they may install the previously-purchased apps without being charged a second time. The feature applies to the iTunes Store account that the user is signed into on the iPad App Store at the time of searching.

Article Link: iPad App Store Gains Search Filters, Install Buttons for Previously-Purchased Apps
 

GFLPraxis

macrumors 604
Mar 17, 2004
7,113
419
This is actually very useful. Normally, to install an app you've already purchased, you have to hit Buy again, and only after going through the purchase steps does it tell you you're not being charged since you've already paid for it.

It's actually somewhat nervewracking; I always second guess whether I'm maybe picking a different version of the application or something along those lines when it involves money. xD
 

PatrickCocoa

macrumors 6502a
Dec 2, 2008
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The biggest effect will be . . .

A huge reduction in the number of low-rated apps purchased.

The ability to filter by rating is HUGE. Many people will set this to 3 or 4 stars and leave it. Sales of lower rated apps will plummet.
 

shartypants

macrumors 6502a
Jul 27, 2010
921
60
I do like that it shows when something has been purchased before but is not installed, thank you Apple!

As for the filtering, I like it except that I do agree a lot of lower rated apps will get filtered out by people. Sometimes a lower rated app may improve over time but its star rating might not reflect it.
 

Alex Hobbs

macrumors member
Apr 23, 2009
84
0
Always makes me wonder how Apple push OTA updates to the App Stores but not other apps. Is the App Store just a glorified HTML page?
 

alms

macrumors member
Oct 16, 2003
62
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Boston
Yay!!!

I'm an iPhone app developer and I can't tell you how many times I've gotten e-mail from users asking how they can get one of my apps back after they accidentally deleted it. The new "Install" button will let me remove a FAQ from my support page. Super. Now they just need it on the iPhone!
 

MacMan86

macrumors 6502
Jul 22, 2008
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Always makes me wonder how Apple push OTA updates to the App Stores but not other apps. Is the App Store just a glorified HTML page?
Essentially, yes. Apple uses WebKit windows in a lot of their apps. Some examples:

iOS iTunes Music Store - The Ping tab was added without an OS update
Mac App Store
iTunes Store in iTunes
Game Center
Mac Facetime app - they fixed the security flaw without an update

And probably lots more.

You might notice when you launch the App Store, there is a delay before the icons appear in the black tab bar at the bottom. This is the app dynamically loading the tab buttons from a server.
 

j-a-x

macrumors 65816
Apr 15, 2005
1,490
186
Houston, Texas
I like the idea of making previously purchased applications appear differently. It's always been confusing to me to have to click "buy" again after purchasing it to download it again. I always second guess myself and hope I didn't actually buy a different application by mistake...
 

Clete2

macrumors 65816
Sep 20, 2008
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USA
I wish they would add this functionality for iPhone. I constantly "buy" apps that are on sale for free (or a significant discount) that I won't use, just in case I want to use them later. I rarely remember what I previously bought so this would be great.
 

Cydonia

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Feb 25, 2009
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Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_2_1 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8C148 Safari/6533.18.5)

So what we are talking about here is a full cloud backup system for all purchased apps whether they be free or paid on ALL Apple devices?
Do you think this will happen with the iTunes music/ film store too? I buy something on my Mac, don't have time to sync it. I can do that later to my other device?

Is this what that big server farm Apple have built going to support? Full cloud based backups for ALL downloaded content?
 

iPhoneCollector

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Nov 30, 2010
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No, most of us don't. An average of 60 apps are downloaded per iOS device. And even if we did all have hundreds of apps, I fail to see why being able to see all the apps we've installed in a list would be a problem.
i didn't say it was a bad thing, that change would be very welcome but my point is that it would be kind of a mess. at least in my case.
 

nagromme

macrumors G5
May 2, 2002
12,546
1,196
I wish they would add this functionality for iPhone. I constantly "buy" apps that are on sale for free (or a significant discount) that I won't use, just in case I want to use them later. I rarely remember what I previously bought so this would be great.
Looks like they haven’t yet—but they HAVE updated the iPhone/iPod store in at least one small way today: now, when you go to install an app update, the button reads UPDATE instead of INSTALL. (That’s after you tap the FREE button.)
 

MacMan86

macrumors 6502
Jul 22, 2008
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Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_2_1 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8C148 Safari/6533.18.5)

So what we are talking about here is a full cloud backup system for all purchased apps whether they be free or paid on ALL Apple devices?
Do you think this will happen with the iTunes music/ film store too? I buy something on my Mac, don't have time to sync it. I can do that later to my other device?

Is this what that big server farm Apple have built going to support? Full cloud based backups for ALL downloaded content?
No, it's nothing quite like a 'full cloud backup system'. All the content already lives on Apple servers, there's no point in them storing every users copy of Angry Birds separately. Just storing it once as they have always done is enough….

When you browse the App Store app on your iPad now, it will just be checking against your iTunes purchase history, in addition to what it was doing before which was checking what was physically installed. It's that simple.
 
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