Apple has got a new featured section in the App Store this week, celebrating their selections for the best iPad and iOS apps and games of 2012. It’s called App Store Best of 2012.
Here are their choices for iPad App of the Year and iPad Game of the Year: Paper by 53 and The Room. The Room was reviewed by my colleague, Beth, a few months back and she sang its praises.
There are a few other apps and games chosen by Apple that are favorites of mine – including iA Writer, and The Sonnets. One thing that stands out to me is how games-heavy the Apple selections are. I will be publishing my own list of the Best iPad Apps of 2012 soon. In the meantime, you may want to take at my Best iPad Apps of 2011 list.
No great surprise here, but still fun to see this. A Holiday Apps and Games section is featured this week in the iPad App Store.
The section includes just shy of 100 holiday-themed apps and games, in three sub-sections: Seasonal Stories, Holiday Cheer, and Festive Games.
All three sub-sections offer a good mix of fun titles for family and kids of all ages. The Stories section will be a particular favorite at my house. I’m sure we’ll end up reading a bunch of the stories together at bedtime over the next few weeks. A Charlie Brown Christmas is already a big favorite of ours – and there are lots of other classic tales and promising looking titles to check out.
I expect this featured section will hang around for a few weeks in the App Store. You can find it in the rotating block right at the top of the iPad App Store Featured area.
The infamous ‘Cannot connect to iTunes Store’ errors have been a frequent issue for many iPad and iOS users for months now. I did a post on the Best Fixes for Cannot connect to iTunes store errors back in August – and those fixes have resolved the problem for many users.
Today I’m seeing the error specifically when trying to use Search in the iPad App Store, as are lots of other iOS users. I can still update apps and install new apps without a problem – but as soon as I tap in the search bar I get the error, and of course cannot carry out any searches.
I’ve tried all the fixes listed in my best fixes post and they don’t solve today’s issue – which looks like another issue at Apple’s side. I’ve spoken to Apple support today and they have verified that they can reproduce the issue, that their techs are aware of it, and they’re working on it. There is currently no ETA on when it is expected to be resolved and I couldn’t get any details on what’s causing the issue.
Have any of you seen this problem today with App Store searches? Or seen any fixes for it?
A new featured section in the iPad App Store this week is titled ‘New to iPad? Start Here’ – to go alongside the launch of the iPad mini and the iPad 4th gen, or iPad 4. It gets near top billing in the iPad App Store too – positioned just below the rotating Editors’ Choice block, and above even the New and Noteworthy section.
The section offers up an eclectic mix of popular and notable apps across a broad range of categories, with a good sprinkling of some of Apple’s own leading titles. For productivity there are the apps that make up the iWork suite: Keynote (presentations), Numbers (spreadsheets), and Pages (word processing); as well as the excellent Evernote app. For those who like the idea of getting their news on the iPad, there are the CNN and Flipboard apps. For those looking to get social on the iPad there’s Facebook and Pinterest. Entertainment apps in the selection include Netflix and Vimeo.
Of course the selection also includes some critically acclaimed and high-profile iPad games – such as Sky Gamblers: Air Supremacy, which is said to be one of the most stunning games on retina display iPads, The Room, and the recently released Letterpress word game.
One notable family / education app that’s included is Star Walk – 5 Stars Astronomy Guide.
There are now over 275,000 apps designed specifically for the iPad and a great number of stellar ones for nearly any category you’re interested in – but this featured section should do well as a jumping off point for new iPad users.
Every Thursday afternoon the iPad App Store gets refreshed with new featured apps and content. This week there are also several notable changes to the layout of the Featured area – or at least I’ve only just noticed them this week.
The first change I noticed is that the Education category now has its own featured area. While the main page of the Featured area highlights apps from all categories and shows popover lists for Games, Newsstand and More, if you tap on the Education tab you get another full featured page treatment but filled with just apps from the Education category. This page has its own New and Noteworthy, What’s Hot, app collections (e.g. Reading, Physics, Geography, Astronomy & Earth Science etc), and Quick Links sections.
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