Apple App Store: How the App Store Works

The great value of Apple is the great user experience that you can enjoy using all its devices, from the iPad or iPhone, through the Mac or Apple Watch, to the Apple TV. This is thanks to the fantastic integration between all of them and, above all, because of the fantastic applications that you can use and that have their origin in the App Store. Just about that we want to talk to you today, about the App Store, Apple’s application store where developers pour all their imagination and work in the form of fantastic applications that vitaminize the day-to-day life of all users.

History of the App Store

March 2008, Apple presents a platform where users of their devices can access to download different applications, at this time the App Store was born. Although it was presented in the month of March, its launch was in July, with 500 applications, a number that increased over time, reaching 3,000 applications in just two months and that would continue to evolve, reaching 35,000 in the month of April 2009, year in which with the launch of iOS 3, Apple gave the possibility to developers to generate push notifications, a fundamental point for all messaging applications, which from now on could notify users that they had received a message.

How the App Store Works

An important change within the App Store came in 2012, when the famous application recommendations began to appear, an example of this is the “free App of the week” or the “App of the day” today. The App Store continued to advance, reaching 30,000 million downloads, which had led developers, thanks to their applications, had entered up to 5,000 million dollars. In addition, with the arrival of iOS 6 in September, there was also a redesign of the Apple application store.

In 2013 the Cupertino company decided to change the way in which the applications of the App Store are positioned, in this way, with the arrival of iOS 7, an operating system remembered by the vast majority of Apple users, it is determined that the position in the different app rankings was going to be determined by app updates and user engagement. This algorithm was modified by Apple again in 2015, meaning that, from that moment, the ranking of the applications is marked by two factors, the keywords used in the different fields with metadata and the combination of these fields.

An important change, especially for developers, came in 2016 with Apple Search Ads, the new advertising platform within the App Store that allowed developers to advertise their applications to appear higher in user searches based on keywords. that they use. In 2017, the search algorithm was modified again by the Cupertino company, giving more possibilities to mobile marketers. Also that same year, Apple enabled developers to answer the reviews that users left about their applications. During the years 2018, 2019 and 2020, Apple has evolved the way in which the App Store shows its content to users, much more personalizing the contents of the interface based on user tastes.

Differences of the App Store on devices

Throughout history, Apple has adapted the App Store interface according to their devices to the point where you can find practically a different App Store for each device. When we talk about the App Store, most of the users come to mind the image of the Apple application store inside their iPhone or iPad, despite the fact that they are two different devices and that they currently have two systems operating differently, the interface of the App Store for iOS and iPadOS is practically the same, in fact, on both devices you can find the same tabs at the bottom of the screen, these being the following.

  • Today.
  • Games.
  • Apps.
  • Arcadian.
  • Search.

And since we are talking about iOS, we must also mention how the watchOS application store is integrated into the same iOS App Store due to the dependency relationship of the Apple Watch with respect to the iPhone.

App Store iOS iPadOS

Despite the fact that the App Store for iOS and iPadOS is, perhaps, the most vitamin and the one with the largest number of applications available to users, the Apple application store for the Mac also has a large number of applications of many utility for all Apple computer users. Since the way to use a Mac is not the same as using an iPad or an iPhone, the App Store interface varies accordingly. In this case, the tabs to navigate between different menus are located on the left side of the screen, also having a greater number of tabs that the user can navigate between. They are as follows.

  • To find out.
  • Arcadian.
  • Create.
  • To work.
  • Play.
  • Develop.
  • Categories.
  • Updates.

As you can see, the tabs redirect to different categories of applications that are the most common due to the common use that users make of a device such as the Mac. In this regard, it should also be mentioned that in macOS you can not only use the applications that are available in the App Store, if not any application that has a .dmg file can be installed, hence the variety and number of apps is less compared to the iOS and iPadOS App Store.

App Store en Mac

Finally we also have to talk about the tvOS App Store, surely the most decaffeinated application store that Apple has due to the limited variety of applications that exist for this device and operating system. In the same way as in iOS and iPadOS the different tabs are at the bottom of the screen, in macOS on the left side, in tvOS they are at the top, again, adapting to the way it is used the Apple TV. In this case you have 6 different tabs which are the following.

  • To find out.
  • Apps.
  • Games.
  • Arcadian.
  • Bought.
  • Search

mando apple tv

In this way you can see how Apple adapts the App Store interface depending on the device or operating system used, and above all, depending on how these devices are used.

This you find within the Apple Applications store

Highlights of the day

In the App Store for both iOS and iPadOS the first tab or menu that you find is “Today”, where the Cupertino company makes a selection of the most outstanding applications of the day so that you can discover new applications in order to help you in the actions you perform with your iPhone or iPad. Within “Today” you can find categories such as the best updates of the week, applications for basic uses such as recording video, editing and sharing it, and of course the application and game of the day, this, of course, among many other recommendations that the store of Apple applications done in a personalized way. Apple carries out this exercise in order for users to enter its App Store daily looking for inspiration in apps that they did not know and that can play an important role in their day-to-day lives.

Hoy en la App Store

With a similar purpose and operation we have the Discover tab in the Mac App Store and in the tvOS application store, which after all fulfills the same objective as the “Today” tab in the iOS and iPadOS App Store. Make new applications known to users relatively frequently to help both developers and users to create that special and essential relationship in the world of applications.

The importance of games and Apple Arcade

If we look at the different tabs or menus that the three Apple App Stores have, both that of iOS and iPadOS, as well as that of macOS and tvOS, we see how in all of them Apple gives capital importance to games, both those that They can be played by all users and they are available for free or for a single payment, such as Apple Arcade games, the subscription service for the most gamers. First of all, let’s talk about the Games tab, in which you can find all those games that you can choose without having to pay a monthly subscription, that is, the games that users had available until the appearance of Apple Arcade, because you have to emphasize that the appearance of the subscription service to exclusive Apple games has not diminished the variety and quantity of games that Apple users can access through the App Store. Within this great variety there are different categories, they are the following.

  • Action.
  • Adventure.
  • Careers.
  • Cards.
  • Casino.
  • Sports.
  • Strategy.
  • Family.
  • Indie.
  • AR games.
  • Table games.
  • Role playing games.
  • Music.
  • Children.
  • Words.
  • Puzzle.
  • Recreational.
  • Simulation.
  • Trivia.

Secondly and finally, we must also highlight the Apple Arcade tab. This is the way that the Cupertino company has wanted to enable to access its monthly subscription service to the exclusive catalog enjoyed by Apple Arcade users. Games with an exquisite care for aesthetics and with an added value that make it worthy of being on this platform with which Apple has wanted to attract the most gamer users.

Juegos y Apple Arcade

Dive into the best apps

Time to talk about the Apps tab, present both in the App Store of iOS, iPadOs and tvOS but that in macOS takes on a greater prominence even since, directly, many of the categories found in these tabs, in macOS are shown directly to the user. This tab at the end of the day serves to bring together in the same place each and every one of the applications that you can find in the App Store of each of the existing Apple devices. Initially, the Cupertino company already performs a classification based on different parameters. For example, you will find the apps that you like the most within Apple, the best paid applications or also, the best free applications as well as the most popular, in general. In short, Apple divides into different categories and selects all the applications that you have access to from your iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, Mac or Apple TV. Of course, as with the games available, you can also do a much more selective search taking into account the different categories in which Apple distributes or categorizes its applications. These are the following.

  • AR apps.
  • Apps for Apple Watch.
  • Food and drink.
  • Purchases.
  • Sports.
  • Graphic design.
  • Economy and business.
  • Education.
  • Entertainment.
  • Lifestyle.
  • Finance.
  • Photo and video.
  • Books.
  • Medicine.
  • Music.
  • Navigation.
  • Children.
  • News.
  • For developers.
  • Productivity.
  • Social media.
  • Reference.
  • Magazines and newspapers.
  • Health and fitness.
  • Time.
  • Utilities.
  • Trips.

All these categories are present in the App Store so that each user can perform a much more limited search for applications by entering each of these application selections.


Search and find what you need

Of course, categories are not the only way for users to search and find an application or type of application since from the Search tab, you can find applications both by name and subject. Of course, the more limited the search is, the easier and more comfortable it will be to find the application you are looking for.

Búsqueda de aplicaciones

Use paid apps without paying

If you are within an Apple family, you will be able to use the applications that other family members have bought without having to buy them again, and in the same way, the rest of the users of the family will be able to use the paid applications that you have paid without having to pay for them again. To do this, you have to follow the following steps.

  1. Open the App Store application on your device.
  2. Click on the icon or image of your profile.
  3. Click on Purchased.
  4. Choose the person who bought the application you want to download.
  5. Find the application among your downloaded apps.
  6. When you find the application you want to download, you will see the download icon appear, without having to pay for it again. Download it.

This is a very appropriate way to be able to save money on several applications legally or even to be able to distribute the expenses of some applications that have a high price among all the members of the family who are going to make use of said application.

Aplicaciones compradas

Check all your subscriptions

From the App Store application you can also check all the subscriptions you have active at that time. To do this, you just have to follow the steps that we indicate below.

  1. Open the app from the App Store.
  2. Click on your profile icon or image.
  3. Click on Subscriptions.

That’s how easy you can check which subscriptions you have access to. You can even view those that have already expired in the past and modify those that you have active at the moment in case you need or demand a new modality or subscription condition that is available for that service.

Suscripciones desde la App Store

Always keep your apps up to date

Finally, we want to emphasize the importance of always keeping the applications that you have installed on your device up to date. In the case of iOS and iPadOS, if you do not have the application updates activated automatically, you just have to follow the following steps.

  1. Open the App from the App Store on your iPhone or iPad.
  2. Click on the icon or image of your profile.
  3. All the apps that have an update pending will appear under Available updates at the bottom of the screen.


In the case of macOS, if you enter the App Store you will see that one of the categories or tabs that you have available on the left is Updates, so just by entering this tab you will be able to view the applications that have an update pending. We finish with tvOS, again, you have to enter the App Store app, click on Purchased and on the left side of the screen, click on Available updates.

As we have already mentioned before, we strongly recommend that you always keep all applications updated in order to enjoy the best user experience and also, so that your privacy and security are always as protected as possible.