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Hands on with iOS 6: Stores

iOS 6 brings changes to the iOS App Store, the iTunes Store and iBookstore

By Leah Yamshon
September 19, 2012 10:50 AM ET

Macworld - iOS 6 brings some changes to its three on-board stores: the iOS App Store, the iTunes Store and iBookstore. These changes dont change functionality as much as they improve navigation and usability. The result is a more pleasant shopping experience in all three.

App Store

The App Store changes are subtle but clean. When you first launch the App Store, it brings you to the main landing pagethe Features pagewhere you see tabs along the top that help you find featured apps by category, as well as a small search bar in the upper right corner. The bottom of the App Store sports five tiles: Featured, Charts, Genius, Purchased, and Updates. These always-visible tiles are your main tools for navigating the App Store.

Under the All Categories tab of the Featured page (accessed via the Featured button at the bottom of the screen), you'll find a rotating carousel of popular apps and app collections, indicated by large tiles. These items automatically rotate smoothly to the right; tap one to learn more about it. If the item is a round-up of related apps, youll go to a page that shows off that collection. If its a stand-alone app, youll get a pop-up page with full details.

That page displays Details, Ratings And Reviews, and Related options. This is a change from iOS 5: tapping an app in that OS led to a separate full-screen page with the apps information, rather than a pop-up. A Share button in the top right corner (the familiar arrow-in-a-box) lets you share a link to that app via Mail, Message, Twitter, Facebook, or Copy Link.

Underneath the carousel you'll see two other lists: a selection of New And Noteworthy apps, and a second collection that changes daily. You might see a Summer Snapshot selection of camera apps or a collection of puzzle games. Scroll from right to left to view the full list. In addition to the All Categories tab, you'll also see Books, Business, Catalogs, and More. Tap any of those to see a short list of the hot apps in that particular category.

Next up in the bottom of the main App Store window is Charts, which shows off the top-selling apps (those with the most downloads). The iPad version of iOS 6 displays three charts: Paid, Free, and Top Grossing. You can scroll through these independently to see the top 96 apps in each chart; if youd like to see more, select See All once you reach the bottom of the list. Scrolling is seamless and smooth. Tap an apps name or icon to learn more about it; tap the price bar to purchase and install it.

Originally published on www.macworld.com. Click here to read the original story.
Reprinted with permission from Macworld.com. Story copyright 2012 Mac Publishing, LLC. All rights reserved.
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