Apple Rolling Out Tags in App Store to Help Refine Popular Search Results

With the App Store now home to nearly two million apps, Apple appears to be testing a new feature to make search results more contextual.

app store search tags
As noted in the MacRumors forums and on Twitter, some iPhone users in recent weeks have started to see tags in the App Store after searching for a popular term like "photos" or "wallpaper." After searching for "photos," for example, some of the tags that can be selected include "collage" or "editor" or "storage."

After tapping on a tag, the search results are curated accordingly. If a user searches for "photos" and then taps "collage," for example, the search results will be narrowed down to apps that can be used to make photo collages. In some cases, a second tag can be selected to narrow down the search results even further, as shown above.

As of now, it appears that the tags are only visible to a small number of users. Many users that see the tags are running the iOS 14.5 beta, but a few have claimed to see them on iOS 14.4.2, so it is possible that the tags could be a server-side change that will eventually be expanded to more users on multiple iOS versions.

Apple's website says 70% of App Store visitors use search to find apps, so the search tags should benefit many users. In 2016, Apple introduced Search Ads, allowing developers to pay Apple to have their app listing shown at the top of the search results based on the app's relevance to the user's search query, among other factors.

iOS 14.5 has been in beta testing since February 1, with the seventh beta seeded this week. Apple said the software update will be released in "early spring," and in a recent interview, Apple CEO Tim Cook said the update will be released in "just a few weeks."

Top Rated Comments

alexandr Avatar
24 weeks ago
but are they air tags?..
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Cheesehead Dave Avatar
24 weeks ago
"Apple Rolling Out Tags..."

YAY!!!

"... in App Store to Help Refine Popular Search Results"

BOO!!!
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
macduke Avatar
24 weeks ago
I think this deserves a finally. Such a simple thing to implement that has been needed since a few months after the App Store launched and began to explode with content. The obvious problem is people tagging the hell out of their apps. Hopefully there is a way to mitigate this by limiting the number something.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
duanepatrick Avatar
24 weeks ago
Same sentiment...Thought it was air tags for a sec :)
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
alexandr Avatar
24 weeks ago

You beat me to it ... This IS your AirTags, the Air is the App Store in the cloud with less letters
this is what you've all been waiting for! :))
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
alexandr Avatar
24 weeks ago

MacRumors is just trying to tell us something.
or are they?)
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

app store safe secure

Study Finds Up to 2% of Top 1,000 Paid Apps on App Store Were Scams

Monday June 7, 2021 6:33 am PDT by
Apple has used its app review process as a bulwark in recent legal assaults on its App Store policy, and put particular emphasis on the security benefits for iOS users when buying apps. However, an investigation has found that almost 2% of the top 1,000 highest grossing apps on a given day were some sort of scam. According to The Washington Post, which conducted the investigation, scam apps...
fortnite apple featured

Apple Earned Over $100 Million From Fortnite

Wednesday May 19, 2021 12:02 pm PDT by
Apple collected more than $100 million in revenue from the 30 percent cut that it takes from Fortnite in-app purchases, according to testimony provided by App Store gaming business development head Michael Schmid, who shared the detail in the ongoing Epic v. Apple trial. As noted by Bloomberg, Schmid offered the $100 million figure as a rough estimate, and declined to provide a specific...
apple bitcoin app scam

Bitcoin Scam App Approved by Apple Robs iPhone User of $600,000+

Tuesday March 30, 2021 12:30 pm PDT by
A scam bitcoin app that was designed to look like a genuine app was accepted by Apple's App Store review team and ended up costing iPhone user Phillipe Christodoulou 17.1 bitcoin, or upwards of $600,000 at the time of the theft, reports The Washington Post. Christodoulou wanted to check on his bitcoin balance back in February, and searched Apple's App Store for "Trezor," the company that...
chrome widget

Chrome for iOS Gains Widget Support With Version 90 Release

Monday May 10, 2021 1:14 pm PDT by
Google today introduced Chrome 90 for iPhones, iPads, and the iPod touch, adding support for new Search and Dino widgets on devices running a version of iOS 14. There are three separate Chrome widgets available. There's a two tile search interface that lets you conduct a quick search with quick access to voice search and incognito mode, a single tile search widget, and a shortcut to play the ...
Mac App Store General Feature

Apple's Craig Federighi: Mac Not Meeting the Bar for Customer Protection

Wednesday May 19, 2021 12:41 pm PDT by
Apple software engineering chief Craig Federighi is testifying in the ongoing Apple v. Epic games trial this afternoon, providing details about iPhone security to convince the judge that any change to the App Store policies would be detrimental to iPhone users. Epic Games wants the judge to force Apple to allow multiple app stores on iOS, similar to how it works on Mac, which would allow...
searchengineoptionsios

Australia Eyes Consumer Impact of Google's Default Search Engine Deal With Apple

Thursday March 11, 2021 5:04 am PST by
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission watchdog is eyeing a potential probe into pre-installed software and pre-defined "default" choices on mobile devices, including Google being set as the default search engine on Apple devices. In a press release (via ZDNet), the agency is asking for consumer and industry feedback on the state of default settings, pre-installed web browsers,...
f1623085603

Apple Announces iOS 15: First Look at New Features

Monday June 7, 2021 10:07 am PDT by
Apple today previewed iOS 15, the company's next major update for the iPhone, featuring new video calling capabilities, improvements to Messages, user statuses, a smart notification summary, and more. FaceTime In iOS 15, FaceTime features a new grid view and portrait mode support for video. For audio, FaceTime calls now offer Spatial Audio so that voices sound as if they are coming from...
appstore

Phil Schiller on App Store Knockoffs in 2012: 'Is No One Reviewing These Apps?'

Thursday May 6, 2021 1:49 pm PDT by
Knockoff apps have long been a problem in the App Store, with scam apps sneaking past reviewers to compete with genuine apps and steal sales, and back in 2012, Apple's Phil Schiller was absolutely furious when a fake app made it to the top of the App Store rankings, according to documents shared in the Epic v. Apple trial. At the time, Temple Run was a super popular iOS exclusive title, and...
apple app store page

Apple Exec: We Feature Competitors' Apps 'All The Time' on the App Store

Friday May 7, 2021 5:05 am PDT by
On May 3, the Epic Games vs. Apple trial got underway, and every day, new emails between Apple executives and employees continue to be shared by Epic as evidence for its case against Apple. In the latest batch of emails, the vice president of the App Store, Matt Fischer, claims that Apple features apps made by its competitors "all the time" on the store and rejects the sentiment that it...
app store search tags

App Store Now Offers Search Suggestions

Thursday April 29, 2021 1:43 pm PDT by
Apple today announced that the App Store is now offering search suggestions, a new feature that's designed to make it easy to locate exactly what you're looking for when seeking out a new app or game. You'll see search suggestions when you start typing in a new search term. So, for example, if you type in "Game," you'll see specific categories you can add such as "puzzle," "multiplayer,"...