Apple testing search tags in App Store to narrow down results

Posted:
in General Discussion
Apple appears to be testing a new tag feature on the App Store to narrow down search results in popular app categories, making it easier for users to find specific types of apps.

Credit: AppleInsider
Credit: AppleInsider


Recently, some users have noticed that searching for popular search terms like "photos" or "adventure games" brings up additional tags. Tapping on these tags curates and focuses the search results. In some cases, a second tag can be added to narrow down the results even further.

It isn't clear when the tag feature first debuted, but MacRumors notes that it's seemingly a recent addition. There are also reports scattered across social media corroborating the feature's appearance.

Major App Store Update from Apple: Introducing search "tags" for filtering results:

A search tag is a search term used by people when searching in the App Store to filter the search results, so the more specific a user is the less tags there are for them to use for filtering. pic.twitter.com/jc4JbtHixd

-- Nick (@nickjsheriff)


As of writing, the tags are only appearing for users in the U.S. Most users who have access to the feature are running an iOS 14.5 beta, but at least one noticed its appearance in iOS 14.4.2. In AppleInsider's own testing, the feature only appeared on devices running an iOS 14.5 beta. Even then, it didn't appear every time.

According to Apple's website, at least 70% of App Store users use the search capabilities to find apps and 65% of downloads occur directly after a search. The new tag feature should make it easier for users to find specific types of apps. On the developer side, it should make it easier for apps to get discovered.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 7
    BeatsBeats Posts: 1,929member
    Apple needs to take search seriously and put a dent into Goog. So far Apple sucks at search. One wrong letter and the search algorithm is confused.

    They can use what they learn from Siri, App Stire searches etc and combine that knowledge.
    gregoriusm
  • Reply 2 of 7
    A search for create it does not find our CREATEit app on either store.
  • Reply 3 of 7
    Um, they didn't already have this? Ffs. This reads like a The Onion article.

    Can we get the photos app to search text in images yet?? How many years has this type of technology been out.. 10? 20?

    How is Apple heads, shoulders, knees and toes above everyone else with hardware and OSs, yet still be so gd terrible at services?
  • Reply 4 of 7
    mobirdmobird Posts: 533member
    Beats said:
    Apple needs to take search seriously and put a dent into Goog. So far Apple sucks at search. One wrong letter and the search algorithm is confused.

    They can use what they learn from Siri, App Stire searches etc and combine that knowledge.
    Well there you go confusing Siri again.../jk
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 7
    dewmedewme Posts: 3,425member
    Whether they head down a hierarchical or faceted classification scheme approach (I prefer the latter), Apple seriously needs to do something to make it easier to not only find, but to discover, apps in the App Store. The current app store is kind of like a compost pile, with a lot of stuff you'll never see decomposing deep in the pile.

    We all hear the bragging around how many bazillions of apps are in the App Store whenever Tim Cook kicks off a keynote or product announcement. But then you go to the App Store and it seems pretty much the same as it's always been with the top-n list for a handful of categories. Yes, I understand that you can't throw even hundreds of app intro blurbs in anyone's face and expect them to make sense of it, but throwing up what looks like the same flat list for a tiny number of apps doesn't help either. The Today page is better than nothing, but isn't tailored to my specific interests.

    I know Apple users are pretty skittish about privacy (with good reason) but I personally would have no problem if I were able to influence what I see when I go to the App Store by telling Apple what sorts of things, topics, subjects, hobbies, app genres, etc., I'm interested in to help Apple help me discover more things in the App Store that pique my interest. I also wouldn't mind if Apple used my past purchases/downloads to help me discover things of interest to me, including add-ons to current apps I own or similar apps to the ones I own.  Including a voting feature to rate how well I thought Apple's suggestions were would help tune Apple's algorithms to better serve me.

    Yes, of course this all would be 100% disabled by default and require me to opt-in.

    What I'm describing is somewhat similar to Pandora, which has served me quite well in not only discovering new music, but in coming up with my own techniques and algorithms for discovering new music on my own. 

    edited April 8 watto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 7
    What would be really great is if the results only contained Apps that will run on that version of the OS, to include App versions for older OSs that are still supported.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 7
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 6,670member
    Not sure why tagging wasn’t on the App Store from day 1. 
    watto_cobra
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