Apple aims to simplify the Mac App Store with a redesign

Apple is rolling out a redesign of the Mac App Store to bring it more in line with some of the experiences it’s focused on with the iOS App Store, which the company showed at its annual developer conference today.

Apple is following-up on a redesign of the App Store on the iPhone, which changed the approach a little bit to highlight Apps with some editorial components and stories. The company says it is bringing over a lot of features and learnings from the iOS App Store, including whether an app was named editor’s choice or the app’s ranking. All this includes a new API to make it easier to leave reviews for the apps to try to spin up that feedback loop that helps surface the most popular or useful apps.

The UI is getting a complete redesign, with a new discovery tab to find editorial content around Mac apps, including stories and collections. You’ll also be able to see what’s popular in the top charts. Apps are bucketed together in some new tabs like work and developers. All this helps Apple figure out where to bucket all these apps to tailor to what people are looking for when they enter the App Store — whether that’s just generally clicking around or looking for new developer tools.

Discovery has always been a critical problem for developers, and as the iOS App Store was flooded with millions of apps, it can become more and more difficult to stand out. Apple has iterated a lot of the iOS App Store, and it makes enough sense that it’s trying to port the parts of that experience that work over to the Mac App Store it launched a few years ago. It also offers Apple a playground to test new ideas that it could turn around and apply to to the iOS App Store.

While the Mac occupies a small slice of the company’s actual business, shipping a few million units a quarter, it still represents an important component of its user base. The Mac helps keep users locked into Apple’s ecosystem which branches beyond just phones and laptops, creating a continuous tissue between all those devices and keeping them on the Apple refresh cycle. Apple said it’s written more than 4,000 stories for the new Today tab for the iOS App Store.