Apple appears to have quietly made a subtle yet significant change to iTunes backend in an effort to make it easier to comb through your Purchased App Store items.
As observed by an iDB reader, the iPad storefront now includes a brand new lefthand bar which makes it easy to sort your Purchased apps alphabetically.
The tweak certainly helps find a needle in the haystack, especially when compared to having to scroll through a long list of Purchased items that used to be sorted chronologically. Coupled with the handy search field, this enhancement lets you zero in on a previously purchased item in no time…
As discovered by iDB reader Floris, the App Store on iPads now includes a quick navigation bar on the lefthand side of the Purchased section. Similar to the Music app in iOS 6, this let you tap a letter to quickly jump to the corresponding purchased items.
Strangely enough, the new feature is notably absent from the App Store storefront on iPhones and iPods. These things take time to propagate so you could start seeing it on your iPhone and iPod touch devices soon, provided Apple has implemented it on smaller form-factor iDevices in the first place.
This is what the Purchased section currently looks like in iOS 7 on an iPhone 5.
By the way, the search field seen above has been in there since iOS 6 got released in September 2012.
Be that as it may, the addition of the lefthand bar is a much-needed enhancement.
Apple unfortunately doesn’t make life any easier by not distinguishing between free/paid downloads: any app that got downloaded to your Mac/PC or iOS device goes straight to your Purchased section.
Needles to say, this quickly adds up to the clutter.
If you’re like me, you have several thousand (okay, maybe hundreds) previously downloaded apps. At least on the iPad, the new navigation bar makes it easier to quickly get to any given app provided you’re vaguely familiar with its name.
Do you like this change?
What else do you think Apple could do to help with browsing your Purchased content?