Public launch September 17 ahead of iPhone 6 debut.
Apple Updates Online Store With Touch-Friendly Navigation and Search Result Tweaks
One change involves a new sliding navigation bar for product categories. From the main store page, once users select one of the four main shopping categories (Mac, iPad, iPhone, iPod), the navigation bar at the top of category page showing various products and other topics within that category can now be slid back and forth with the touch of a finger. Users on non-touch devices can slide the bar by clicking on arrows at each end.
A second change involves product search results, which had previously been presented as lists of items. Results are now presented in a grid formatted to allow easy tapping on touch-enabled devices. Users on non-touch devices will also see arrows appearing on either side of each product image allowing them to view all associated product images without having to click through to the product pages.
Apple's change should notably improve the user experience on the iPad, where the large screen can take full advantage of the grid-based search results and where Apple does not have a dedicated app for shopping the store. The company's Apple Store app has been iPhone-only since its July 2010 launch, with Apple believed to be refraining from making it a universal app with a native iPad interface under the view that the iPad allows for a full web experience.