Apple has introduced two new designations to the iTunes App Store and the Mac App Store to help consumers find new apps, App of the Week and Editors Choice.
The new App of the Week feature can be found directly under the New and Noteworthy section. Apple’s first choice for the new promotion is Zeptolab’s popular game Cut the Rope: Experiments, a paid title which has gone free for a limited time as part of the promotion. At this point it’s not known if Apple requires the App of the Week to be free, and if so, if the makers of paid App of the Week selections will be compensated in any way for the temporary price cut.
Apple has also introduced Editors Choice branding to the existing featured app display at the top of the iTunes App Store. Apple has also rolled out the new designations to the mobile version of the App Store.
The iTunes App Store before and after.
With the growing influence of promotional services like Free App A Day — which often produce significant download boosts for developers who pay for a daily feature — it’s not surprising to see Apple introduce its own take on app features in order to help it maintain control over the App Store charts. Amazon’s rival Appstore also helps drive discoverability with its Free App of the Day feature.
It also remains to be seen if the subtle redesign is a pre-cursor to the rumored iTunes redesign Apple is expected to roll out this year in order to improve how users find new content. Apple acquired app search engine Chomp for $50 million in February, likely to help it improve the App Store’s search function.