As first reported by The Guardian today, Apple has expanded human curation on the European App Store to seven additional categories, adopting the same custom layout with curated sections and recommendations that was first introduced in the US Store in late 2012.
The Guardian notes that only five European categories were curated by human editors, with algorithms in charge of highlighting popular apps in other App Store categories for European customers:
iPhone and iPad owners visiting the productivity, photo & video, sport, music, lifestyle, health and travel categories will now see recommendations and themed collections of apps from Apple’s editorial teams.
Until today, only five App Store categories – games, kids, education, food and Newsstand – were curated. Homepages for other categories simply displayed lists of new and popular apps chosen by an algorithm.
To promote the increased curation efforts, Apple has included a banner on the front page of several European App Stores, pointing users to a section grouping curated categories. In each category, Apple highlights editorial recommendations, curated collections, themed sections, and “best new apps”. Typically, these app picks are refreshed on a weekly basis.
The refreshed category layout mirrors the work Apple has been doing on the US App Store, but it’s not indicative of the sub-categories that the company will launch with iOS 8. At its developers conference last week, Apple announced Explore, a new App Store section that will allow customers to browse location-based app recommendations, editorial collections, and brand new sub-categories for apps.