Apple activates App Store Genius recommendations in iOS 6 beta

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Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) is rolling out a revamped App Store with the latest version of its iOS 6 beta, introducing a new on-device application recommendation engine dubbed Genius as well as a tile-inspired user interface redesign.

AppleInsider reports the new Genius tab replaces the Categories button at the bottom of the App Store UI--while functionality is currently limited, Genius recommends new iOS applications based on the user's purchase history, complete with a "Not Interested" button to help refine future suggestions. The new tile-based UI presents as many as four recommended apps per screen--each tile specifies the rationale behind the suggestion (e.g., Rally Master Pro 3D is recommended "Based on Real Racing 2 HD") alongside user ratings, price and a screenshot.

The new App Store UI is modeled after software developed by Chomp, the app discovery firm Apple acquired for $50 million last February. Onlookers have expected Apple to renovate the App Store since the Chomp deal first came to light, and this summer, some iOS developers began reporting changes to app search results, suggesting Apple is now emphasizing metrics like relevancy and user ratings over names and keywords.

The App Store offers more than 650,000 iOS apps, including 225,000 optimized for the iPad tablet, presenting enormous search and discovery complexities for consumers and developers alike. Despite those challenges, iOS device owners have downloaded more than 30 billion apps in all, with developer payouts exceeding $5 billion.

Apple unveiled iOS 6 in June during its annual Worldwide Developer Conference, adding deep integration with Facebook and introducing a new Maps platform to replace Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) Maps data. iOS 6 also brings several new features led by Passbook, an app that stores and updates boarding passes, retailer loyalty cards, movie ticket apps and related consumer information and documents, and Photo Stream, which enables users to collect and share photos across different devices.

Apple is expected to formally announce its newest iPhone during a media event scheduled for Sept. 12.

For more:
- read this AppleInsider article

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