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Hands on with iOS 6: Stores

Leah Yamshon | Sept. 20, 2012
iOS 6 brings some changes to its three on-board stores: the iOS App Store, the iTunes Store and iBookstore. These changes don’t change functionality as much as they improve navigation and usability. The result is a more pleasant shopping experience in all three.

The Genius feature is still there; it's an optional feature that you have to turn on or off manually, but it can be a good way to discover new apps based on your interests. If something comes up on your list that doesnt appeal to you, just tap Not Interested, and you shouldnt see it again.

The final two icons, Purchased and Updates, havent changed since iOS 5. Purchased shows a list of all the apps purchased under your Apple ID, and Updates shows which applications have updates available to install.

iBookstore

After youve gotten acquainted with the App Store, the iBookstore should seem very familiar. It features the same landing-page layout, with a top carousel, lists of top new releases, and five navigation buttons along the bottom of the screen. You can find the iBookstore by launching iBooks and tapping Store in the upper left corner.

The first navigation button leads to your Books landing page. A rotating carousel at the top features popular titles and collections of books for you to check out. Tap any of the large tiles to find out moreif its a single book, iBooks directs you to a pop-up page with more information about that book, including Details, Ratings And Reviews, and Related options. If its a collection, iBooks takes you to a page that shows the titles it includes.

Also on the Books page are listings of whats new in fiction and in nonfiction. Each book appears with an icon showing the cover, and underneath that the title and genre. Scroll to the right to see the whole list; tap any book to learn more about it. As with the App Store, book information appears in a pop-up window instead of in its own page; but, unlike in the App Store, when you tap an item, that expands the whole list and makes all of the book icons larger. Tap anywhere outside the info box to get back to the main Books page.

If you follow the New York Times best-seller lists, theres a navigation button just for you. The NYTimes button lists the current top 30 best-selling fiction and nonfiction titles. Both lists can scroll independently, and if youd like to see more than whats listed in the top 30, select See All at the bottom of the list. To learn more about a book, tap its cover; to buy the book, tap the price bar. As in iOS 5, you can download a sample of a book before you purchase it by tapping Sample in the info box.

Next up is the Charts section, which shows the Top Paid and Top Free books in the iBookstore. Just like the NYTimes charts, these lists scroll independently, and you can see the top 96 titles in each category. To see more, tap See All at the bottom of the chart.

 

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