With the App Store now home to nearly two million apps, Apple seems to be testing a new feature to make search results more contextual.
As noted on the MacRumors forums and on Twitter, some iPhone users in recent weeks have started seeing tags in the App Store after searching for a popular term like “photo” or “wallpaper.” After searching for “photos,” for example, some of the tags that can be selected include “collage” or “editor” or “repository”.
After tapping on the tag, the search results are curated accordingly. If the user searches for “photos” and then touches “collage,” for example, the search results will be narrowed down to applications that can be used to create a photo collage. In some cases, a different tag may be selected to further narrow the search results, as shown above.
From now on, the tags appear to be visible to only a small number of users in the United States. Many users who see bookmarks use iOS 14.5 beta, but one user claimed to see them on iOS 14.4.2, so it is possible that the bookmarks could be a change on the server side that will eventually be extended to more users on more iOS versions.
Apple’s website says that 70% of App Store visitors use search to find apps, so search tags should be used by many users. Apple introduced search ads in 2016, allowing developers to pay Apple to see their list of apps at the top of search results based on the app’s relevance to the user’s search query, among other factors.
iOS 14.5 has been in beta testing since February 1, and the seventh beta is set this week. Apple said the software update would be released “in early spring,” and in a recent interview, Apple CEO Cook Cook said the updates would be released in “just a few weeks.”